Blood Glucose Testing
Testing your blood glucose regularly helps you keep diabetes control easy
Blood glucose testing, also known as blood glucose monitoring, is one of the main tools involved in controlling diabetes.
Not everyone with diabetes will test their blood glucose levels but it is regarded as being very beneficial for helping to make diet and medication dosing decisions.
If you are on any medication that can lead to hypoglycemia (most notably insulin), you should test your blood glucose levels.
What is blood glucose testing?
Blood glucose testing is the process used to measure the concentration of glucose in your blood. Blood glucose testing can be carried out at home using a blood glucose meter.
A blood test involves pricking your finger with a small needle called a lancet, drawing a drop of blood from the finger and applying it to a test strip that has been engaged into a blood glucose meter.
How does blood glucose testing help to control diabetes?
Blood glucose testing can help to control diabetes in a number of ways:
• Informing food choices
• Assisting medication dosing decisions
• Identifying periods of high or low blood glucose levels
In turn, this can lead to:
• A reduction in HbA1c (improved long-term glycemic control)
• A lower risk of serious diabetic complications
• Reduced depressive symptoms
• Improved confidence in self-management of diabetes
How often do I need to do blood tests?
How often you should test your blood glucose can vary depending on your type of diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes should test at least 4 times per day including before each meal and before bed.
People with other types of diabetes on hypo-causing medication should test their blood glucose levels at least once a day. Aim to test at different times of the day to discover whether blood glucose levels are going too low (or too high) at certain times of day. This will help you to take steps to prevent low or high results from happening and this can be done with help from your doctor.
If on medication that can cause hypos, be prepared to test your blood glucose levels at any time you feel the signs of hypoglycemia.
Blood Sugar Level Ranges
Understanding blood glucose level ranges can be a key part of diabetes self-management.
This page states 'normal' blood sugar ranges and blood sugar ranges for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and blood sugar ranges to determine people with diabetes.
If a person with diabetes has a meter, test strips and is testing, it's important to know what the blood glucose level means.
Recommended target blood glucose level ranges
The recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes.
Normal and diabetic blood sugar ranges