Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetes Care and Frequency of Blood Glucose Monitoring - How Often Do You Check?

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.

This article may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through links on this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

  • Fasting: 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 choose what 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 lifestyle changes. 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.