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When to test your blood sugar

Checking your blood glucose as recommended can help you see how your meals, medications and activities affect your blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you routinely test blood sugar levels to aid in managing your diabetes.1

Routine or daily testing

For people using an insulin pump or insulin injections throughout the day, the ADA recommends testing multiple times daily.1 If you take another kind of medication, test your blood sugar level as often as your healthcare team recommends.

You and your healthcare team will determine when you should check your blood sugar based on your current health, age and level of activity, as well as the time of day and other factors. They may suggest that you test your blood sugar at any of the following times:1,2,3

  • Before each meal
  • 1 or 2 hours after a meal
  • Before a bedtime snack
  • In the middle of the night
  • Before physical activity, to see if you need a snack
  • During and after physical activity
  • If you think your blood sugar might be too high, too low or falling
  • When you're sick or under stress

Structured testing

Short-term, structured testing means checking your blood sugar at specific times over a few days. It can help you recognize patterns and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar.

You may want to consider structured testing, in addition to your routine or daily testing, if you:

  • Adjust your insulin or oral medication
  • Begin a new medication unrelated to diabetes
  • Change your activity level, meal plan or schedule

There are different ways to perform structured testing, depending on your goals.

  • The Accu-Chek® 360° View tool is a simple paper tool that helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • The Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool is an easy-to-use, printable tool that helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect of a specific meal, exercise or other event has on your blood sugar.

Take your completed tool to your next appointment so your healthcare professional can help you fine-tune your diabetes management.

Combining routine blood sugar testing and structured testing can give you a better view and a clearer picture of how your self-care program is working. You can then take one step at a time toward meeting your goals.

1American 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: Accessed March 11, 2016.

2Joslin Diabetes Center. Monitoring your blood glucose. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2016.

3Mayo Clinic. Exercise is an important part of any diabetes treatment plan. To avoid potential problems, check your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2016.