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Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don’t know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. How often should you check your blood sugar? The answer depends on the type of diabetes you have, your blood glucose level targets, and more practical matters, such as whether you can afford or have enough test strips. Recent studies show that people with type 2 diabetes PWDs type 2 who don’t use medications but do self-monitor blood glucose might not see much difference in blood glucose control compared with people who don’t self-monitor. But using a meter to check your blood glucose levels strategically can provide helpful information to guide you in selecting. With this guide on finding how often to test, discovering how accurate your meter is, and more, we’ll show you what you need to know about testing your blood sugar.
We spoke with Joyce Harrell, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at Texas Health HEB, to understand how regularly checking your blood sugar can work with your diet and exercise plan to help you control your diabetes better and stay ahead of any spikes or dips before they happen. When you eat, your food is broken down into a sugar called glucose. Glucose gives your body the energy it needs to work, but in order for your body to use glucose, it needs help from insulin. When you have diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or use it efficiently, which causes the glucose to stay in your blood. Your blood glucose, or blood sugar, level is an essential measure of your health, but when you have diabetes, regularly checking your blood sugar is a crucial part of controlling the disease since your body cannot naturally regulate your blood glucose level. Just testing when you feel bad is like a very small bandage for your diabetes control.