Diabetes Care and Frequency of Blood Glucose Monitoring - How Often Do You Check?
Diabetes cares and frequency
of blood glucose monitoring
varies from person to person. People diagnosed with
type 2 diabetes should consult with both their doctor and their diabetes educator to
determine a monitoring schedule that works for their individual situation. Blood glucose
levels are often tested at specific times.
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blood sugar levels after a minimum of 8 hours fast,
up to 12 hours fast (no calories consumed). This is generally taken first thing in the morning.
- 2-Hour Post-Prandial: Diabetics should aim for normal postprandial blood sugar
(blood sugar taken after eating). Rather than simply trying to get fasting blood glucose
into normal levels, the aim is to keep blood glucose well-managed throughout the day. In
non-diabetics, blood glucose levels return to normal levels within 2 to 3 hours. Diabetics,
on the other hand, may experience elevated blood glucose all day long.
- Pre-Prandial: A measure of blood sugar before eating. This measurement
is taken a maximum of 2 hours before a meal. It can help diabetics
to eat, as well as plan for any medication adjustments for after the meal.
Ideally, preprandial blood glucose levels should be the same as fasting levels.
- After any changes in routine, whether that's a change in the way you
usually eat (larger or smaller meals, more carbohydrates than usual, etc) or
if you exercise more heavily or skip your usual exercise routine.
Post and pre-prandial blood glucose readings are good predictors for
overall glycemic control. An A1C blood test will show the average blood
glucose level over the last 3 months, a measure of how well-controlled
it is. Your doctor can tell you what the appropriate blood glucose
target ranges are for your individual situation as well as how
often testing is recommended. You won't necessarily have to test your
glucose levels this often.
More frequent blood glucose readings are useful for people who are recently
diagnosed and are just starting diabetes treatment;
for those starting medication or who have just adjusted
their medication; and for those who are making significant
Frequent measurements establish a baseline and help to show how dietary choices,
exercise, and medication affect blood glucose.
Keep a record of your readings along with notes (download free diabetic log sheets
or buy a log book).
Records will help show how well your sugar levels are being managed, as well as
help pinpoint potential problem areas too. Seeing the numbers together also makes it
easier to do a comparison and spot any trends. Once there is a good understanding
of how your blood glucose levels are affected by lifestyle choices and medication,
how often you monitor can be decreased. Diabetes self-care
and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be discussed with your health care provider
who can advise you best about what's right for you.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.