Managing Your Blood Sugar


Diabetes control for your health

Diabetes control means keeping blood sugar levels as close to target as possible. Managing blood sugar helps protect against diabetes complications, such as eye, kidney, heart, and nerve damage. If a person with diabetes already has these complications, control is one way to slow their rate of progression.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the following represent normal blood sugar levels:

  • Before meals: 70 to 130 mg/dL
  • One to two hours after meals: less than 180 mg/dL
  • Hemoglobin A1C: levels at 7% or less

Check with your health care professional to set your personal goals.

How do I know if my blood sugar levels are within my target range?

The only way to know if your blood sugar levels are within your target range is to monitor your levels frequently — at least as often as your health care provider recommends.

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

While each person's blood sugar testing schedule is slightly different, many people test at common points during the day. Here are some examples of when people test and the conditions under which most people are advised to test:

  • Fasting blood sugar testing: This test is done in the morning upon waking, before eating or drinking anything, before exercising, and before taking oral anti-hyperglycemic medications or insulin.
  • Pre-meal testing: Some people test their glucose just before eating, especially if they use short-acting insulin or pre-meal pills to control glucose. Work with your health care team to determine how to interpret and use these numbers.
  • After-meal testing: This is commonly done two hours after a meal. This gives your physician/health care team a good idea of how well your medications are working to control blood sugar.
  • Bedtime testing: Work with your health care team to determine the best time for this test.
  • As always, consult your health care team about your schedule and directions for testing.