Introduction to self-monitoring blood glucose
The tiny drop of blood you see on your test strip contains a wealth of information. You can use this to help you within the blood glucose target ranges recommended by your healthcare provider, as well as your own lifestyle goals.1
Blood sugar target ranges
In general, the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) recommended blood sugar levels are:
- Between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals2
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals2
Your range is yours alone—based 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.
But what if you're out of range? These results provide valuable information, too. You can review your numbers over time to find patterns in highs and lows. Then you can work with your healthcare team to make adjustments to your diabetes management plan that will bring you closer to your target range.
Gaining insights from routine testing
Day-to-day blood sugar checks—also known as routine testing—can give you a good idea of how you're doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:
- Are your medications working as they should?
- How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
- How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?
Your healthcare team will probably recommend a schedule of routine or daily testing to help you manage your blood sugar.
Recognizing patterns with structured testing
You can take self-monitoring a step further with structured testing—checking your blood sugar at specific times over a short period to see how the things you do may affect your blood sugar.
For example, if you're interested in insights into your overall blood glucose control, you can identify patterns with the Accu-Chek® 360° View tool. If you'd like to look at one thing, such as a specific meal or activity, try before-and-after testing using the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. Print one out and take the completed tool to your next appointment. You and your healthcare professional can use the results to fine-tune your diabetes management.
1Polonsky, WH. Diabetes Burnout: What to do when you can't take it anymore. Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association; 1999.
2American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2016; Abridged for primary care providers [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2016;34(1): 3-21. Available at: http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/34/1/3.full.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2016.