Blood sugar: There is no pass or fail

Checking your numbers is all about feeling your best

If you have diabetes, checking your blood sugar is something you have to do. You just have to. Not because your doctor says so, but because you want to feel good. Right?

Many things affect blood sugar numbers, such as your eating pattern and what you eat, exercise, medication changes, stress and your daily schedule. Since blood sugar is always changing, checking at certain times can be a useful tool to help manage diabetes.

Here’s when you should check:

  • First thing in the morning before eating (fasting): Ideally blood sugar should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL
  • Before a meal or snack: Blood sugar should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL
  • Two hours after the start of a meal (post-prandial): Blood sugar to be under 180 mg/dL, which follows the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association. Some people follow guidelines from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, which recommends it be under 140 mg/dL after a meal.

The number of times you check your blood sugar is a decision to be made with your doctor. Your doctor also may have you check when you are sick, working to reach a treatment goal or changing your medication.

The most important thing to remember is that checking your blood sugar is not a test you pass or fail. Often people do not want to share their blood sugar log or information from their blood sugar meter because the numbers are not at their goal.

If your blood sugar numbers are not at goal, your care team can help you reach them by reviewing your log’s or meter’s important information. Blood sugar numbers that are low or high can be signs that you may need to work on changing your diet, activity, sleep schedule or medications. This is nothing to be embarrassed about. You want to feel your best — and so does your care team. That’s what it’s all about.

Pledge to take action for diabetes

Nov. 3, 2016, marks the National Day of Action for diabetes. Select an action that you commit to doing today to improve your health.

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