When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?

Checking blood sugar levels is a crucial element of care for people with type 2 diabetes. Among the many benefits of keeping track of blood sugar levels is assisting a doctor in prescribing the most effective treatment for the individual's diabetes. Also, by monitoring your blood sugar levels, you may learn what sets off your body's abnormal response to highs and lows.

How often should one check their blood sugar? Your health and the demands of your everyday life will have the most impact on the response.

The blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes should be checked at least once daily. Testing as many as seven times a day may be necessary for some people. A variety of criteria determine whether you need to or can do more regular testing −

  • Have you only recently been diagnosed? If that's the case, you should have your blood sugar checked more often, so your physicians have the information they need to formulate the best course of therapy for you.

  • Does your body need insulin? Patients with type 2 diabetes who require insulin therapy are encouraged to monitor their blood sugar levels at least three times daily and more often if they are taking several daily doses or using an insulin pump.

  • Do you engage in regular physical activity? Every day, athletes and gym rats should check their blood sugar more often.

  • Is there cause for alarm about the situation? Patients should check their blood sugar levels before driving or using heavy equipment for their safety and the safety of others.

  • Is your capacity to test often constrained by anything outside of your control? As an example, those who rely on their fingers to type at work may need to restrict their testing if the discomfort of doing so interferes with their ability to do their job. Some people may be unable to squeeze in regular tests because of their hectic schedules or because they need help to afford the test strips necessary.

You and your doctor should discuss these considerations to choose the best blood glucose monitoring regimen for you.

When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?

Determine how frequently you should be testing your blood sugar by discussing your situation with your healthcare team, considering your age, amount of exercise, and other considerations.

They may recommend checking your blood sugar at any of the following times.

Earlier than Breakfast

A fasting blood sugar test, performed first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything, may reveal how effectively your body controls blood sugar while you sleep. And it helps you track your blood sugar levels throughout the day by providing a reference point.

After Each Meal

Injectors of insulin may gauge whether or not they need to add a "correction dosage" of insulin to their bolus dose for a meal by checking blood sugar levels before eating. A pre-meal reading may be used as a baseline to see how your feed and any pre-meal medicines impact your glucose levels when you test twice (before and after).

After Every Meal

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests testing 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal. Determine your goal post-meal glucose range with the help of your healthcare provider to see whether your blood sugar is within a healthy range.

Just Before Bed

You can detect whether your blood sugar is within a healthy range or if you need a snack before bed by taking a reading just before you turn it in. The morning blood sugar test uses this as a baseline to show how your blood sugar levels are altered during sleep.

Around 3 a.m.

Nighttime testing may be recommended for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, those at risk for severe hypoglycemia, or those with additional medical requirements. Pre-bed, post-sleep, and three o'clock in the morning are typical testing periods for night owls. If you have diabetes and are at risk for low blood sugar, keep a small, easily accessible source of carbohydrates by your bedside, such as a juice box.

At each Stage of Your Workout

The effects of exercise on individuals may differ according to factors such as how long they engage in the activity, how intense it is, and what kinds of muscles are used. Checking blood sugar levels before exercise is recommended to help avoid hypoglycemia, as is eating a snack if readings are below goal.

Stop your practice, have your blood sugar checked, and then treat any hypoglycemia you may be experiencing. As the ADA states, blood sugar levels may remain altered for up to 24 hours after exercise. Learning how your body reacts to various activities via post-exercise testing might aid your training. Remember that even little housework and garden labour may contribute to your daily physical exercise needs. Every one of those regular pursuits is covered by these rules.

If you know how your present blood sugar level corresponds to your symptoms, you can more accurately manage high or low blood sugar. Many people have different degrees of symptoms; thus, checking your blood sugar level with a metre or continuous glucose monitor is the only reliable method to determine your current level.

When you're Feeling under the Weather

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level requires a careful diet, medicine, and exercise management. Yet, there are other causes of hyperglycemia than diet and exercise, including stress, sickness, and pain. A doctor may advise you to check your blood sugar and urine for ketones more often during illness or stress and to do the same if your blood sugar levels suddenly spike.

Using Insulin

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests testing many times daily for persons utilising an insulin pump or insulin injections throughout the day. If you're taking additional medications, monitoring your blood sugar levels as directed is essential.


A blood sugar metre is needed to check one's blood sugar levels. A drop of blood, often from a fingertip, is placed on a disposable test strip, and the metre calculates the quantity of sugar in the blood. Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), you still need a blood sugar metre for daily calibration.

A gadget suited to your needs might be suggested by your doctor or a qualified diabetes care and education professional. They may also instruct you on how to read and use your metre.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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