Talk to your doctor and diabetes care team about your target glucose levels and how often you should check your blood sugar. Effective monitoring and treatment of high blood glucose will help avoid problems associated with levels that are outside of a normal, healthy range.
Your doctor may ask you to start checking your blood glucose regularly. This will tell you how food, activity and medicine affect your blood glucose and allow you to manage your level to ensure it isn’t too high or too low. Track your glucose levels in a logbook so you can share the information with your physician and other members of your diabetes care team. This will allow you and your care team to make better decisions about your diet, physical activity and medication to optimize control of your glucose.
You may especially benefit from regular checks if you:
Before you buy a blood glucose meter (available at drug stores and other retailers), ask your doctor or diabetes educator to help you select one that will work best for you and is covered by your insurance plan.
Note: Meters can differ slightly, so always refer to your user's manual for specific instructions.
Blood glucose (blood sugar) targets are individualized based on:
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most non-pregnant adults with diabetes. More or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
Your doctor or diabetes educator may suggest your glycemic goals be more or less than these suggested values.
People who have diabetes can undergo spikes in their blood sugar (blood glucose) during which the levels are outside the normal range. These two conditions are called hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occurs when there is too much sugar in your blood because your body does not have enough insulin or cannot use it properly. If high blood sugar is left untreated, it can become severe and lead to serious complications, such as diabetic coma, that require emergency care. Persistent high blood sugar, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.
Hyperglycemia is usually defined as a blood glucose level of 180 mg/dL or higher. It can occur for a variety of reasons:
Symptoms of high blood glucose include:
You can prevent hyperglycemia if you:
What to do if your blood sugar level is high (150-240):
What to do if your blood sugar level is extremely high (240 or higher):
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition where the body has abnormally low blood glucose levels, usually defined as 70 mg/dL or less. Hypoglycemia is a common problem for diabetics, especially those who take insulin, and can lead to serious complications.
Hypoglycemia can cause a variety of symptoms, so it is important to identify how your body reacts when your blood glucose is too low. Some people experience symptoms while others do not. Because severe hypoglycemia can lead to accidents, injuries, coma, and death, it is important to regularly check and control your blood glucose levels.
Some symptoms of low blood glucose include:
You can prevent hypoglycemia if you:
What to do if your blood sugar (blood glucose) level is less than 70mg/dl:
Follow the rule of 15.
The information presented on this page is educational and not intended as medical advice or the practice of medicine. Specific aspects of your outcomes and care should be addressed and answered after consultation with your physician.