Keeping track of how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood is an important part of self-care when you have diabetes. This is also called self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). To make sure your glucose and insulin are in balance, check your blood sugar as instructed by your healthcare provider. You may need to check your blood glucose levels at certain times every day. Or you may need to check them only a few times a week.
To check your blood sugar, make sure you have the following:
You can check your blood sugar at home, at work, and anywhere else. Your diabetes team will help you choose a blood glucose meter. A meter measures the amount of glucose in a tiny drop of blood. You’ll use a device called a lancet to draw a drop of blood. Put the strip in the meter first. Then touch the test strip to the drop of blood. The meter then gives you a number (reading) that tells you the level of your blood sugar.
Your blood sugar should be in your target range — not too high and not too low. A target range is where your blood sugar level is healthiest. Staying in this range as much as possible will help lower your risk for health problems (complications). Your diabetes team will help you figure out the best target range for you. That range depends on many things. They include your age, other health problems, how well your diabetes is controlled, and how long you have had diabetes. In general, target ranges are:
Use a notebook, chart, or log book to keep track of your readings. Write down the date, time, and your blood sugar level numbers. This helps you see patterns, such as high blood sugar after eating certain foods. Take your log along when you see your healthcare provider. Your blood glucose levels will help your provider decide if he or she needs to make any changes to your management plan. To check your blood sugar, follow the steps below.