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Your blood sugar s show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your s go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your s go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your s go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level.
You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your with your health care team.
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:. The of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin.
Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar. The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up fasting , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia pronounced hye-per-gly-see-mee-uh. It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems. If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high. Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia pronounced hye-poh-gly-see-mee-uh.
It means your blood sugar level drops below Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes. Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:.
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away. If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low. The A1C test tells you and your health care team your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It also helps you and your team decide the type and amount of diabetes medicine you need.
For many people with diabetes, the A1C goal is below 7. This is different from the blood sugar s that you check each day. You and your health care team will decide on an A1C goal that is right for you. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and some of the cost of supplies for checking your blood sugar.
Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low cost or free supplies. Ask your health care team what to do if you run out of test strips. There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed.
Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future. At each visit, John and his health care team look at his A1C test , his blood glucose meter and his blood sugar record to see if his treatment is working. John and his health care team talk about what he can do to get closer to his A1C and blood sugar goals.
John decides he will be more active. He will:. Work with your health care team and decide what changes you need to make to reach your blood sugar goals. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Funnell, M. This tip sheet tells you Why do I need to know my blood sugar s?
How is blood sugar measured? How do I check my blood sugar? What are target blood sugar levels for people with diabetes? How often should I check my blood sugar? What should I do if my blood sugar gets too high? What should I do if my blood sugar gets too low? What do I need to know about the A1C test? What is a good A1C goal for me? How often do I need an A1C test?
How do I pay for these tests and supplies? What if I have trouble getting to my blood sugar goals? John's Story Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar s how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar s?
There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. These targets are: Right before your meal: 80 to Two hours after the start of the meal: Below Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar s are right for you. If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away: chew 4 glucose tablets drink 4 ounces of fruit juice drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or chew 4 pieces of hard candy After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again.I need to know what you think of this
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Know Your Blood Sugar s: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes