Blood Glucose Test Results Help You Take Control
Benefits of monitoring your blood glucose
Monitoring your own blood glucose helps you take control of your health, especially once you learn what your test result numbers mean and what you can do with them. A recent clinical research, the Structured Testing Program (STeP), offers the proof. The study concluded that collecting, visualizing and understanding the data of blood sugar test results and focusing treatment based on that data significantly reduced the A1c levels of poorly managed, non insulin-treated type 2 diabetes over a 12-month period.
Blood glucose monitoring gives you the data to make informed decisions about your medication, diet and exercise regimens. It is a smart way to see how what your eating habits and what you do affect your blood glucose.
In fact, your test results guide the conversation you’ll have with your healthcare provider about setting target range goals for yourself and how well you’re achieving them. They also help you understand how to adjust your own oral medications or insulin dosage, if your doctor has taught you how to do this yourself.
Overall, you’ll be better equipped to cope with the day-to-day demands of living with diabetes so you can feel better each day. By doing all of this, you can lower your risk of future diabetes complications.
Best times to test
The standard times to test your blood sugar level include:
- Before breakfast (fasting)
- Before lunch/dinner
- Two hours after a meal
- Before bed
- Before and after rigorous exercise (and hours later)
- When you don’t feel well
Other events that could require more frequent testing include:
- Changes to your routine while travelling
- Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
- When you’re experiencing either high or low blood sugar symptoms
- When you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- Before and after surgical procedures
- After dental procedures
- During illness
- While taking medications for illness
- While premenstrual
Setting a target range
What is the target blood glucose level for people living with diabetes? It depends on your age and other medical conditions you may have. People living with diabetes should aim for a fasting blood glucose of 4.0 to 7.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) and a blood glucose between 5.0 and 10.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) 2 hours after eating. Your doctor will set target blood sugar test results specifically for you, based on several factors including:
- Whether you are living with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes
- Your age
- How long you've been living with diabetes
- If you have other diabetes-related complications
- Your overall health, including other medical conditions you may have
When to retest
Have your test results come back too high or too low, yet you feel just fine? Or are your test results on target, but you still don’t feel right? Don’t dismiss the results. Wash your hands, retest and see if you get the same numbers before you take action. Over days and weeks, compare your readings to previous ones.
Tools for understanding results
Accu-Chek offers simple, on-paper diabetes management tools that help you understand your blood sugar test results. Try the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. It can help you and your healthcare provider identify patterns on how things like stress, food or exercise affect your test results.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you analyze your test results. They will use this information to consider a number of options such as adjusting your testing routine, ensuring that you’re testing correctly, suggesting changes to your self-management or even ordering extra tests to explain any anomalies.
Accu-Chek (n.d). Simple tool to understand your results. Retrieved from: https://www.accu-chek.ca/en/when-why-how-test/simple-tool-understand-your-results. Accessed August 3 2021.
Canadian Journal of Diabetes (2013). Targets for Glycemic Control. Retrieved from: https://www.canadianjournalofdiabetes.com/article/S1499-2671(13)00057-9/fulltext. Accessed August 3 2021.
Diabetes Canada (n.d). Managing Your Blood Glucose. Retrieved from: http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/blood-glucose-insulin/managing-your-blood-sugar. Accessed August 3 2021.
Diabetes Care Journals (2011). Structured Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose Significantly Reduces A1C Levels in Poorly Controlled, Noninsulin-Treated Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved from: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/34/2/262.full. Accessed August 3 2021.
Diabetes Québec (2018). Target blood glucose levels. Retrieved from: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/care-and-treatment/self-control/target-blood-glucose-levels/. Accessed August 3 2021.
Mayo Clinic (2020). Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When, and How. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/blood-sugar/art-20046628?pg=1. Accessed August 3 2021.
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