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When should you monitor your diabetes blood sugar level?

Your healthcare professional may recommend that you monitor when you start treatments that may cause you to have low blood sugar. 

How to monitor blood sugar



The following terms are used to describe glucose measurements taken at different times of day:


Checking in the morning before breakfast when your blood sugar is lowest


Checking right before a meal to see how much your levels change when you eat


Checking two hours after a meal when your blood sugar peaks

Keep in mind that a blood sugar check you perform yourself is not the same as the HbA1c test performed by your healthcare professional and the results cannot be compared.

Why should you be recording your diabetes blood sugar levels?

Checking your blood sugar gives you a snapshot of your levels at a particular moment. Recording these measurements will help to show you your progress over time.

Accurately recording your blood sugar and what you eat, when you exercise, and emotional factors like stress, will help identify the causes of unusual peaks and dips. This may help you to improve your diabetes management.

There are many tools available to help you record your measurements, including diaries and smartphone apps. Read this article to learn how technology and digital health can improve diabetes management. And talk to your healthcare professional about the right option for you.

Tips for monitoring your blood sugar

  • Set a routine:  Testing and recording regularly could help you remember to do it and make it easier to keep a record of your levels. Speak to your healthcare professional about what works for you.
  • Record immediately:  Don't put it off thinking you will remember the results later – you probably won't!
  • Be honest:  Record everything your healthcare professional tells you to: snacks, beverages, carbohydrate content and the exercise you do. An accurate picture of your progress will help you avoid health complications
  • Stay vigilant:  Learn to spot trends, such as high blood sugar after high carbohydrate meals or reduced levels after physical activity 
  • Keep learning:  A blood sugar reading on its own is not a sign of success or failure – it's an opportunity to learn about the factors that impact your blood sugar control and how you can manage them better in the future

Blood glucose range

The average blood sugar ranges for people with and without type 2 diabetes can be seen below.11

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