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Tracking Diabetes: When To Check Your Blood Glucose


No two people with diabetes are exactly alike. For that reason, there is no absolute rule for when to check blood glucose. Together, you and your diabetes care team will work out a schedule that's best for you.

The goal of checking is to be sure your blood glucose is within healthy ranges (sometimes called "blood glucose target ranges") throughout the day.

The table below shows some common times for checking blood glucose levels, together with blood glucose target ranges for those times. You should discuss your unique blood glucose target ranges with your diabetes care team, because your target ranges could be different from those shown in this table.

WHEN TO CHECK TARGET BLOOD
GLUCOSE RANGES (mg/dl)
When you get up
(on an empty stomach)
80-130
Before meals 80-130
Two hours after
the start of meals
Less than 180
At bedtime 100-140
3 a.m. Greater than 70


Please note:

1. When getting blood work from a lab, or for certain glucose monitors, your glucose readings may be approximately 10% higher than these values.
2. Target ranges differ during pregnancy. Discuss this with your doctor if you are pregnant.

Check Anytime You Feel Ill

Even a minor illness like a cold or flu can affect your blood glucose levels. If you are sick, you'll probably need to check your glucose levels between three and five times a day, or even more.


The contents of DiabetesOutlook.com are intended solely for informational purposes and do not replace the advice of your physician or diabetes care team. You should not rely on any information provided by DiabetesOutlook.com without also consulting your physician. DiabetesOutlook.com maintains all information collected in accordance with applicable law.

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