Testing your blood sugar is a basic part of life for most people with diabetes. The numbers tell you and your health care team if your condition is under control.
Still, for such a simple concept, it raises many questions. How often should you test? What time of the day should you do it? You and your doctors will work closely together to find the answers that will keep you healthy.
If you have diabetes, you probably know the warning signs of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. "It's been described best as a little like the feeling you get when you're sliding on ice in a car: panic, rapid heart rate, [and] sort of a sense of doom," says John Buse, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, chief of the division of endocrinology, and executive associate dean for clinical research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
You also probably know that hypoglycemia...
A fastingblood glucose level (FBG), taken in the morning before you eat or drink anything, is the go-to test for many. Another test at bedtime is common.
But what about other times? Testing 1 to 2 hours after breakfast or before lunch gives a more complete picture of what’s going on, says Pamela Allweiss, MD, of the CDC.
The American Diabetes Association says testing right after a meal can provide your doctor with good info when your pre-meal blood-sugar levels are OK but you haven’t reached your A1c goal.
“Monitoring is really important, particularly if you take insulin or medicine that can cause hypoglycemia,” says David Goldstein MD, professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. And measuring both before and after meals is important in understanding what your blood-sugar patterns are and what to do about them.
Good to Know is a new feature that allows members of the community to answer questions from WebMD experts, doctors, staff, and other community members. We're testing this new feature and we'd like your feedback.