How Often Should A Type 2 Diabetic Check Blood Sugar Levels?
Type 2 Diabetics should check blood sugar levels every day. But how many times a day? When during the day? These are very common questions asked by newly diagnosed diabetics, as well as long time diabetics who have now decided to make a healthy change.
How To Check Blood Sugar (aka Blood Glucose)?
Glucometers, or blood sugar readers, take a small drop of blood for testing. The most common way to get this blood is by pricking a fingertip. There are other way, and you can ask your doctor about these methods, but the fingertip is by far the most common.
Why Do I Have To Check My Blood Sugar?
Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugar. The only way to monitor how your treatment plan is working. Whether it’s controlled by diet and exercise alone or with the help of medication, is to check your blood sugar levels on a daily basis.
The A1c that your doctor measures once every three months is an indicator of your average blood sugar, but an average doesn’t tell you the whole story. You are missing the information about how often your blood sugar spiked high, how often it dropped low, and how often it was in your target zone.
By testing your blood sugar throughout the day, you can see which foods cause a spike so you know to avoid eating that in the future. By testing your blood sugar several times a day, you can also start to learn how certain levels of exercise affect your blood sugar, as well as how quickly or effectively your medication is working. It can tell you if your blood sugar is going too high or too low.
Why Don’t Non-Diabetics Have To Check Their Blood Sugar?
Before you had diabetes, your pancreas was able to make enough insulin to combat any and all glucose you consumed. Therefore, your blood sugar level stayed within a normal range no matter what you ate.
But once diabetes crept in, and your pancreas got pooped out from making too much insulin, your blood sugar levels no longer stayed normal throughout the day.
How Often Should I Use My Blood Glucose Monitor?
When you are first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you are starting with no knowledge of what your body is doing. It is recommended that you check your blood sugar many times a day.
You can check your blood sugar as soon as you wake up, just before every meal, 2 hours after every meal, before exercise, after exercise, just before taking medication, a little after taking medication, just before bed, etc! You can check it however often your heart desires. Some newly diagnosed diabetics like to check their blood sugar 10 times a day.
Eventually Can I Check My Blood Glucose Less Often?
As you get a basic understanding of how your body reacts to certain meals, exercise, and medicine, you can check your blood sugar less often. A “veteran” diabetic is recommended to check their blood sugar three to four times per day. Veteran diabetics usually check their blood sugar levels before a meal or two hours after a meal.
I sometimes have patients who solely rely on their A1c reading from their doctor to know how their blood sugar is doing. These are also the patients who most likely have Diabetic Retinopathy. Don’t be like that!
Where Do I Write My Readings Down?
You can use a notebook, an app (such as Glucose Buddy or Glucose Wiz), or a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or Evernote- it helps them do their job better, plus it give you diabetic-friendly brownie points.