Checking Your Blood Glucose LevelsSaturday, September 13, 2014
Do you check your glucose levels?
Are you not really sure what your glucose readings mean? When are the best times to check your glucose? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), glucose goals before meals are 70-130 mg/dl, and 2 hour after meal levels should be less than 180mg/dl.
Do you know your A1C?
The goal for A1C is less than 7%. This is an important number to be aware of, if you do not know what it is ask your healthcare provider. Your ophthalmologist and podiatrist should also be aware of your most recent A1C level. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist (AACE) they recommend having an A1C less than 6.5%, fasting glucose levels of less than 110mg/dl and 2 hour after meal less than 140mg/dl. (1)
Everyone can have different glucose goals; for instance, individuals that are older, or those that have frequent hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia unawareness. Individuals with past cardiovascular events may have less strict guidelines. It is important to discuss what exactly your goals are with your health care provider, endocrinologist or diabetes educator.
What are the best times to check your glucose levels?
The best times to check your glucose levels are before meals, 2 hour after meals and before bed. (2) Depending on your medication regimen you do not necessarily have to check all these times every day. Discuss with your healthcare provider to help determine how many times a day would be best for you to check your glucose levels. When you check your glucose, you want it to tell you something. Remember, food, medication and exercises are 3 things that affect your glucose levels. By checking 2 hour after meals, you are conducting experiments to help determine which foods will keep you in target; it will also show you how well your medication is working.
If you’re thinking of starting an exercise program or already have one.
If you are on insulin or a sulfonylurea drug you are at risk for having lows, it is important to see how physical activity affects your glucose, so you can better prepare. If you check your glucose once or twice a day, it may be helpful to rotate the times you check, so you can see your overall day opposed to just a part of your day.
Remember, if you do check your glucose levels, the most important item to bring to your Endocrinologist or Diabetes Educator is your glucose logs. It is helpful to record your readings on paper opposed to leaving them in your meter, this way it is easier to see the full picture. Your health care provider will not be able to adjust your medications without seeing your glucose logs. Be honest with your readings, your healthcare team is not there to judge you but rather to help you.
Don't have a meter?
If you do not have a meter, or have not been told to check your glucose levels, this would be a good question to bring up to your healthcare provider.