If you have
gestational diabetes, you need to know when your blood
sugar level is outside the
target range. Fortunately, you can see what your blood sugar level is anywhere
and anytime by using a home blood sugar meter.
You need to check your blood sugar every day to make sure it is staying
in a target range. If it is staying too high, you may need to adjust your
treatment, or you may need to start taking insulin if you are not taking it
already. You can know what your blood sugar level is at any time by using a
home blood sugar meter. This is often referred to as home blood sugar
monitoring or self-testing.
You will need to test your blood sugar if you
feel faint, dizzy, unusually tired, nervous, or jittery; if you break out in a cold
sweat; if you have a headache; and/or if you feel sick to your stomach.
If you are using an insulin pump or if you use insulin more than once a day,
you will need to test your blood sugar often. The number of times that you test may change every day, depending on when you eat, what you do, and how you feel. For example, you may need to test your blood sugar 5 times one day and 10 times the next day.
test your blood sugar level using a blood sugar meter, prick your finger with a
small needle called a lancet to collect a drop of blood. Some blood sugar meters allow you to prick other sites on your body, such as your
forearm, leg, or hand. Follow the instructions
to prepare your test strip and meter to receive the blood sample. The meter shows the results of your test.
Home blood sugar monitoring involves:
You don't have to draw blood from a vein to do
home blood sugar monitoring. Home blood sugar
monitoring involves using a drop of blood from your finger (or other site).
Home blood sugar monitoring does involve using
a drop of blood from your finger (or other site).
Home blood sugar monitoring doesn't involve
testing the amount of sugar in a urine sample. It involves using a drop of blood from your finger (or other site).
Continue to Why?
Monitoring your blood
sugar level at home helps put your mind at ease by helping you:
Home blood sugar monitoring helps you know how
exercise has affected your blood sugar.
Home blood sugar monitoring does help you know how
exercise has affected your blood sugar. Checking your blood sugar after
exercising will help you know whether your blood sugar levels are staying
within a target range.
Continue to How?
Here is a simple way to
monitor your blood sugar at home.
Before you start testing your blood
The more often you
test your blood sugar, the more you will know about how well your treatment is
Follow these steps when you test your blood
Recording your blood sugar
results is very important. Your doctor will use this record to see how well
your treatment is working and to know if anything needs to be changed or if
insulin needs to be started. Be sure to take your record with you on each visit
to your doctor or diabetes educator.
To record your results, you
Your fingertips may get
sore from testing your blood sugar so often. Here are some tips to help prevent
To test your blood sugar, you need to put a drop of
blood on the test strip used with your home blood sugar meter.
To test your blood sugar at home, you need to
put a drop of blood on a test strip. The meter will provide the results of your
blood sugar test.
To test your blood sugar at home, you do need
to put a drop of blood on a test strip. The meter will provide the results of your
blood sugar test.
Continue to Where?
Now that you have read this
information, you are ready to start monitoring your blood sugar levels at
you have questions about this information, take it with you when you visit your
If you haven't talked with your doctor about when and how
often to test your blood sugar, do so during your next visit. Record the times(What is a PDF document?) you need to check your blood
sugar each day, and record when you are stressed or ill.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a national organization
for health professionals and consumers. Almost every state has a local office.
ADA sets the standards for the care of people with diabetes. Its focus is on
research for the prevention and treatment of all types of diabetes. ADA
provides patient and professional education mainly through its publications,
which include the monthly magazine Diabetes Forecast,
books, brochures, cookbooks and meal planning guides, and pamphlets. ADA also
provides information for parents about caring for a child with diabetes.
To learn more about the different types of diabetes, see:
Return to topic:
August 12, 2013
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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