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When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar

Some Ways To Help You Prevent High Morning Readings

When should you test your Blood Sugar

What should my blood sugar be when I wake up? It depends if you already have diabetes or not. However, you should also know what you could do to keep your blood sugar levels from rising in the morning. Here are few suggestions:

1. Manage Your Body Weight

If you are overweight, consider losing weight to make it easy to manage your blood sugar levels. It really helps when you have been recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Weight loss usually helps regulate hormones and increase insulin sensitivity to lower your blood sugar levels. To lose weight, pay attention to your diet first avoid processed foods, eat veggies and fruits, and cut the intake of less-healthy foods. Cranking up your physical activity may also help.

2. Have a Bedtime Snack

Eating something before you go to sleep may help stabilize your blood sugar. Your snack should contain no more than 20g of carbs. This keeps your liver from producing excess glucose while you sleep. Some of the most impressive carb-friend snack options are low-fat yogurt, frozen grapes, small piece of fruit, a serving of fresh salsa and tortilla chips, and soybeans.

3. Have an Active Lifestyle

A Quick Tip

What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be

When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.

You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.

Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.

Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:

  • if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
  • if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol

The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.

How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level

Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.

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Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age

Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar

How Often Should You Check Your Blood Sugar?

In general, the American Diabetes Association’s recommended blood sugar levels are9:

  • Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL after meals

Your range is yours alonebased on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.

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Right Before Lunch Or Dinner

Checking your blood sugar before your next meal can tell you two things:

  • How well your body and/or medication dosages handled your last meal
  • How well your body and/or medication dosages handled your blood sugar in the last few hours without food being digested.

Keep in mind that some meals take longer to digest than others. High-fat meals that are also high in carbohydrates can take many hours to digest, affecting your blood sugar for many hours, too.

A high blood sugar level before lunch or dinner could suggest:

  • What you ate or drank at your last meal was more than your body could handle on your current diabetes management regimen.
  • Your body may need some extra help from a diabetes medication.
  • Your current diabetes medications may need a change in dosage.
  • Your current diabetes medication may not be the right fit for you.
  • Its time to try a different type of diabetes medication.
  • Your overall insulin production or insulin resistance level has changed and your body needs more support from a new or current medication.

A low blood sugar level before your next meal could suggest:

  • Youre getting too much of a certain diabetes medication .
  • Your insulin sensitivity or insulin production has improved, which means your medication dosages need to be adjusted by your healthcare team.

Talk to your healthcare team about making any adjustments to your diabetes regimen to help you achieve your blood sugar goals.

How And When To Test Your Blood Sugar With Diabetes

Most people with diabetes need to check their blood sugar levels regularly. The results help you and your doctor manage those levels, which helps you avoid diabetes complications.

There are several ways to test your blood sugar:

From Your Fingertip: You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle and put a drop of blood on a test strip. Then you put the test strip into a meter that shows your blood sugar level. You get results in less than 15 seconds and can store this information for future use. Some meters can tell you your average blood sugar level over a period of time and show you charts and graphs of your past test results. You can get blood sugar meters and strips at your local pharmacy.

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Meters That Test Other Sites: Newer meters let you test sites other than your fingertip, such as your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh. You may get different results than from your fingertip. Blood sugar levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly than those in other testing sites. This is especially true when your blood sugar is rapidly changing, like after a meal or after exercise. If you are checking your sugar when you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should use your fingertip if possible, because these readings will be more accurate.

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Fasting Blood Sugar : Normal Levels And Testing

Fasting blood sugar levels give vital clues about how a person is managing their blood sugar. Blood sugar tends to peak about an hour after eating and declines after that.

High fasting blood sugar levels point to insulin resistance or diabetes, while abnormally low fasting blood sugar could be due to diabetes medications.

Knowing when to test and what to look for can help people stay healthy, especially if they have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.

Keep reading to learn more about fasting blood sugar levels, including information on testing and tips for maintaining normal levels.

The body needs glucose for energy, and glucose comes from the food a person eats. However, the body does not use all of this energy at once. Insulin makes it possible to store and release glucose as necessary.

Following a meal, blood sugar levels rise and usually peak about an hour after eating.

How high blood sugar rises and the precise timing of the peak depends on a persons diet.

Food-related factors that can trigger significant rises include:

  • eating large meals
  • consuming sugary foods and drinks
  • eating foods with simple carbohydrates, or carbs, such as bread and sweet snacks

As blood sugar rises, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar, breaking it down so the body can use it for energy or store it for later.

However, people who have diabetes have difficulties with insulin in one of two ways:

Levels After Youve Eaten

How to Test Your Blood Sugar

Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.

Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.

These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:

When Measured

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/4the Right Way To Measure Your Blood Sugar Level

While most of us might want to check our blood sugar levels once in a while to ensure that were hale and hearty, those with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly so that any subtle changes can be taken note of. Regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels also helps manage the condition so that any future complications can be avoided. Heres how you can test your blood sugar and also the best time to do so.

Establish A Routine For How Often And When You Should Test Your Blood Sugar

Work with your doctor to plan your routine. They may suggest checking it while youre fasting, before and after meals, or before bedtime. Each persons situation is different, so its important to decide on an arrangement that will work for you.

When youve set that schedule, make checking your blood part of your daily routine. Build it into your day. Many meters have alarms you can set to help you to remember to test. When testing becomes a part of your day, youll be less likely to forget.

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Know Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time. It’s important to check your blood sugar level, because it will:

  • determine if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time
  • show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
  • help you and your diabetes health-care team make lifestyle and medication changes to improve your blood sugar levels

What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High

How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar?

Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:

  • Feeling very tired.
  • Having blurry vision.
  • Needing to urinate more often.

If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.

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What Is The Difference Between Home Blood Glucose Testing And Hba1c Levels

Home blood glucose testing: This is done with a blood glucose test meter. It is a finger prick test where a sample of blood is placed on a test strip. This is inserted into the blood glucose meter, which gives you a reading of your blood glucose at a single moment in time. HbA1c test:The HbA1c test measures the amount of glucose that has built up in your blood over a 3-month period. HbA1c testing is different from the glucose test that is used to tell you what your level is right now, due to things like smoking, exercise, medicines and what you eat. An HbA1c test is done to assess your blood glucose control over a longer 3-month period and to check how well your lifestyle measures such as diet and exercise, together with your diabetes medicines, are working to control your diabetes. An HbA1c test can’t be done at home instead a blood sample is sent to the laboratory. Read more about the HbA1c test for type 2 diabetes.

When To Get Urgent Medical Attention

Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:

  • feeling or being sick
  • a fever for more than 24 hours
  • signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
  • difficulty staying awake

These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.

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Is 120 Fasting Blood Sugar High

A fasting blood sugar test is performed. A fasting blood glucose level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter 5.6 millimoles per liter is considered normal for most people with diabetes. Prediabetes is defined as having a fasting blood sugar level ranging from 100 to 125 mg/dL . This condition is referred to as impaired fasting glucose in certain circles.

What Is Being Tested

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels? Diabetes Education.

This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy for the body.

People with diabetes often monitor their own blood glucose at home. This is done using a finger-prick test and a special machine, rather than a blood sample taken from a vein.

You might have blood taken for a blood sugar level. You might or might not be asked to fast beforehand.

There is also a test called an oral glucose tolerance test, abbreviated as OGTT or GTT. For this test you fast, then have a blood sample taken, then drink glucose, then have a number of samples taken over a few hours.

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Consider Testing Before A Meal

If you’re on a flexible insulin plan , you need to check before you eat to determine the dose of rapid-acting insulin you need. If you have type 2 diabetes and are starting to take insulin once a day, your provider or diabetes educator will probably adjust your dose based on your daily fasting glucose results and perhaps other results.

Below are target blood sugar guidelines for adults with diabetes who have no other health issues. There’s a slight difference between the two organizations’ recommendations. Ask your provider about specific fasting and after-eating glucose levels and A1C targets that are right for you.

Guidelines for testing before a meal:

American Diabetes Association: 70-130 mg/dl

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Less than 110 mg/dl

What Affects Your Results

If you have certain conditions, like anemia or gout, or if it’s hot or humid or you’re at a high altitude, that can affect your blood sugar levels.

If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.

The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood sugar range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day.

Time of Test

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What Causes High Blood Sugar

A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:

  • stress
  • missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
  • overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
  • taking certain medicines, such as steroids

Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.

How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:

7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes to Avoid
  • After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
  • Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
  • Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
  • Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.

Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.

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What Is An Optimal Blood Sugar Reading On Keto

According to the Mayo Clinic, a fasting blood sugar level under 100 milligrams per deciliter is healthy. Your blood sugar following food should not exceed 125 milligrams per deciliter, as this is a sign of prediabetes. Use an online calculator to convert your milligram per deciliter and millimoles per liter numbers.

In terms of what this means for ketosis, thereâs something called the Glucose Ketone Index. Remember that correlation between blood sugar and ketones? This is how you figure that out.

This does require a blood ketone monitor. Simply divide your blood glucose number by 18, then divide that number by your ketone reading. A reading of nine or less is correlated with ketosis.

One thing to keep in mind is to think of ketosis as an on or off switch. It doesnât matter how âdeepâ in ketosis you are. All that matters is whether you are in ketosis or not.

In other words, donât stress over equating certain blood glucose levels with being more or less in ketosis. Itâs simply a tool to find out the nitty-gritty details.

How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level

Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:

  • Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
  • Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
  • Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
  • Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
  • Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
  • The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.

If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.

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