Go to the page content

MONITORING BLOOD SUGAR

Meet Eva who struggles getting her diabetes numbers right

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
 

  • Blood sugar checks can be done anywhere
  • You can track your glucose levels at regular intervals with a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System 
  • Your healthcare professional will tell you when and how often you need to check your blood sugar 

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

Fasting

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

Pre-meal

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

Post-meal

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.

Managing blood sugar levels 

5 healthy tricks to prevent blood sugar spikes
2 min. read

5 healthy tricks to prevent blood sugar spikes

For anyone living with type 2 diabetes, it is important to know a few things about what your blood sugar is up to. Is it going up? Is it coming down? And if so, what was your role in that?

4 great ways to benefit your heart and blood sugar
2 min. read

4 great ways to benefit your heart and blood sugar

Change can be hard, and taking the first step the biggest challenge of all, but the health and lifestyle benefits will be worth it both in the short and long term.

How to spot hypos and deal with it
3 min. read

How to spot hypos and deal with it

Ideas for how to manage your blood sugar during the COVID-19 crisis, to help you stay within your optimal blood sugar range and reduce the risk of getting low blood sugar level, which is also called hypoglycaemia or a “hypo”.

Benefits of 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 show you your progress over time.

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

There are many tools available to help you record your measurements, including diaries and smartphone apps. Talk to your healthcare professional about which is right 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

Are you aware of cardiovascular risk?

People with type 2 diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to someone living without diabetes.

Learn how you can reduce the risk.

Blood glucose range

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

Understanding how you can manage your diabetes

Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, are already living with the condition, or you’d like to find out more about diabetes to support a loved one, education is critical to the successful management of diabetes

About diabetes

About diabetes

Diabetes is a common medical condition that affects an estimated 537 million people around the globe. Out of those 537 million people, 45% of people living with diabetes are undiagnosed.

Treatment for diabetes
1 min. read

Treatment for diabetes

Treatment for diabetes varies depending on the type of diabetes but typically focuses on diet, exercise, home blood glucose testing, oral medication, and insulin injections. It’s important to be aware of the differences, plus natural and alternative diabetes treatments.

 

HQ22DI00084

References
  1. Good to Know: Factors Affecting Blood Glucose. Clin Diabetes. 2018;36:202.
  2. American Diabetes Association. The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Sugar. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/medication-treatments/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/checking-your-blood-sugar. Last accessed: May 2022.
  3. NHS UK. Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-sugar-hyperglycaemia/. Last accessed: May 2022.
  4. NICE UK. Type 1 diabetes in adults: diagnosis and management. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng17/ifp/chapter/testing-your-own-blood-glucose-and-target-levels. Last accessed: May 2022.
  5. Kirk JK and Stegner J. Self-monitoring of blood glucose: practical aspects. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2010;4:435-9.
  6. Almdal T, Scharling H, Jensen JS, et al. The independent effect of type 2 diabetes mellitus on ischemic heart disease, stroke, and death: a population-based study of 13,000 men and women with 20 years of follow-up. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1422–1426
  7. Fox CS, Coady S, Sorlie PD, et al. Trends in cardiovascular complications of diabetes. JAMA. 2004;292:2495–2499.
  8. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Atlas 10th Edition, 2021. Available from: https://diabetesatlas.org/idfawp/resource-files/2021/07/IDF_Atlas_10th_Edition_2021.pdf. Last accessed: May 2022.
  9. American Diabetes Association. 6. Glycemic Targets: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2022. Diabetes Care. 2022 Jan 1;45(Suppl 1):S83-S96.
  10. American Diabetes Association. 5. Facilitating Behavior Change and Well-being to Improve Health Outcomes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2022. Diabetes Care. 2022 Jan 1;45(Suppl 1):S60-S82.
  11. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring your blood sugar. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/bloodglucosemonitoring.html. Last accessed: May 2022.
  12. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. All about your A1C. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html. Last accessed: May 2022.
  13. Mosenzon O, et al. CAPTURE: a multinational, cross-sectional study of cardiovascular disease prevalence in adults with type 2 diabetes across 13 countries. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021; 20:154.
  14. Blood Sugar Level Ranges. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html. Last accessed: May 2022