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Check Your Blood Sugar to Avoid Complications

When you have diabetes, you need to check your blood sugar throughout the day. It can help you decide what to eat, if you need to adjust your medication, and help you steer clear of complications like:

Ways to Check Your Blood Sugar

Self-Checking: Give yourself a blood sugar test several times a day. To do it, you use a gadget that pricks your finger with a tiny needle. You’ll put a drop of blood onto a test strip. The strip goes into a handheld device that measures your blood sugar level.

Write down the test results, so you can share it with your doctor. Based on your results, the two of you may adjust your diet, exercise, or medication.

A1c Test: This is a blood test you'll get in your doctor's office at least twice a year, or as often as he recommends.

The results show your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months. You and your doctor need this test to see how well your diabetes treatment plan is working, so you can make changes if you need to.

Think of it this way: Self-checking is like a daily snapshot of your blood sugar control. The A1c test gives you the big picture.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring System: Some people opt forthis.If you get one, your doctor will place a tiny sensor under your skin to check blood sugar levels every 5 minutes. It sends data to a monitor that you wear like a pager for a few days.

You'll still need to check your levels throughout the day; continuous glucose monitoring doesn't replace that. It gives your doctor more information about trends that self-checking might not show.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 06, 2014

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 or 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.

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