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Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar

Because you have diabetes, you need to know when your blood sugar level is outside the target range for your body. Fortunately, you can see what your blood sugar level is anywhere and anytime by using a home blood sugar meter (blood glucose meter). Using the meter, you can find out what your blood sugar level is within a minute or two.

Knowing your blood sugar level helps you treat low or high blood sugar before it becomes an emergency. It also helps you know how exercise and food affect your blood sugar and how much short-acting insulin (if you take insulin) to take. Most importantly, it helps you feel more in control as you manage life with diabetes.

Three keys to success in monitoring your blood sugar anywhere are:

  • Keeping your meter and supplies with you at all times so that you always have them when you need them.
  • Making it a habit to check your blood sugar level by building it into your routine.
  • Checking your blood sugar meter's accuracy when you visit your doctor by comparing your results with your doctor's results.

what.gif  What is home blood sugar monitoring?
why.gif Why monitor your blood sugar?
how.gif How to test your blood sugar
where.gif Where to go from here

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Last Revised September 20, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
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