Learning From Your Blood Glucose Results
It's likely that your healthcare team has talked to you about the importance of checking your blood glucose (blood sugar). But many people don't realize just how much valuable information they can obtain from their blood glucose results.
Blood glucose monitoring shows how your body handles the food you eat, how exercise affects those glucose levels and how the medication you are taking is working—as well as letting you know if your body has the fuel it needs throughout the day. Such information is essential to anyone who self-manages their diabetes.
It's important to know that keeping your blood glucose within the target ranges as recommended by your healthcare provider can actually make a difference in how well you feel throughout the day.1 If you haven't noticed the connection, consider making notes in your logbook or electronic diary – try to make sense of high or low blood glucose readings.
If you see a pattern of highs or lows outside your target range, you may want to ask yourself:
- Did I eat at an unusual time, did I have a larger or smaller portion, or tried a new food?
- Did I have more or less physical activity than usual?
- Did I forget to take my medication, take it at the wrong time, take too little or too much?
- Am I taking a new medication?
- Am I stressed about something?
- Do I have an infection or an illness?
- Did I drink alcohol?
Any of these can have an impact on your blood glucose levels. If you're making changes to your lifestyle, or if you can't figure out why you've been out of range, talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator.
1. Polonsky WH. Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When You Can't Take It Anymore. Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association; 1999
Updated on 7 Jan 2019