The Best Time to Check Your Blood Sugar

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Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level when you suffer from diabetes is sometimes a tricky balancing act, especially if you are sick, pregnant or experiencing increased stress or a change in your daily routine. One strategy you can utilize is to check your blood sugar at least twice a day.

Type 1 Diabetes

  • The Type 1 diabetic (this is juvenile onset diabetes) should ideally check her blood sugar at least three times a day unless ordered to check more often by her physician. The most critical times to check are before and after meals, when you are sick or making a change in your routine, and before and after you exercise.

    You should also check your blood sugar before bedtime. If your sugar is low or high, you don't want to wind up being taken to the hospital in the middle of the night because of a diabetic reaction or insulin reaction. Before you drive or operate any heavy machines, you should also check your sugar. If you think you're becoming hypoglycemic or someone else thinks this is happening, check your sugar levels. If you are in the hospital, it is a good idea to increase your blood sugar checks to at least four times a day.

Medication Versus Insulin

  • If you are taking oral medication to manage your diabetes, you should test your blood sugar at least once a day unless you are sick or feeling symptoms of hypoglycemia.

    If you take insulin along with your oral medication, your blood sugar guidelines are the same. You will check your blood sugar at least once a day unless you are sick or feeling as if your blood sugar is low.

    When you check your sugar, your target level should be below 180 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter), as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a target blood sugar level of 140 mg/dl. Consult with your doctor to determine what the best blood sugar range is for your individual health and situation.

After Meals

  • Your blood sugar level will reach its peak level one to two hours after you have eaten (post-prandial blood sugar). You should check your it during this time range (one to two hours after you start eating) so you can determine your post-prandial blood sugar level.

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