Checking your blood sugar (blood glucose) is important. Changes in blood sugar are common and can vary greatly throughout the day depending on what you eat, your activity, and medications you take.
You will use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar several times a day. A meter is a small device that tests a tiny drop of blood and then displays your blood sugar level at that moment. A lancet is a device used to prick the skin to get the drop of blood. The results are used to make decisions about food, physical activity, and medications.
Areas other than the finger maybe used such as the fleshy part of the hand, the forearm, the outer thigh, the calf or the stomach. Experts recommend using the side of the fingertip to get the most accurate result. There are times that other sites should not be used because the result may be less accurate. These times include:
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see what meters and supplies are covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance, store brand meters and supplies are usually less costly.
For most people, the American Diabetes Association recommends
Most people check their blood sugar after fasting (first thing in the morning before they eat) and before other meals. Your doctor may ask you to test your blood sugar after a meal (post-prandial) when your blood sugar may be higher. Usually a post-prandial blood sugar is checked 2 hours after eating.
Other times you may want to test are:
If you are using the results to decide on how much insulin to take, you will need to check your blood sugar several times during the day. Some people only need to check once or twice a day. If you are making medication changes, changing your activity or meal plan, if you are pregnant or if you are ill, you may need to check more often. Your health care team can help you to decide how often you should test.
Follow your meter’s instructions when doing your check.
All meters have a 1-800 phone number on the back in case you have questions about your meter. Your doctor will write prescriptions for your glucose meter and supplies. Insurance pays part of the cost of meters and supplies. Store brand meters and supplies may be less expensive if you do not have insurance.
Check with your doctor and your healthcare team to make sure these goals are correct for you.