Why It's Important To Check Your Blood Sugar | Cornerstones4Care®

Why Should You Check Your Blood Sugar?

When it comes to controlling your diabetes, knowing your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) numbers is important. Keeping track of your blood sugar helps you see how food, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels. Knowing how these things are affecting your blood sugar lets you and your health care provider know how well your diabetes care plan is working, and what changes may be needed to help you get better control.

Measuring your blood sugar levels can tell you:

  • How well your diabetes is controlled from 1 day to the next
  • How well your insulin dose is working
  • How physical activity and the foods you eat affect your blood sugar

Setting your blood sugar goals

Your diabetes care plan is personalized for you. Your individual blood sugar goals may be very different than someone else’s. You and your health care provider will set the goals that are right for you.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists some suggested blood sugar and A1C goals for people with diabetes. Review the chart below to see what they recommend, but your health care provider will give you specific numbers to work toward.

 Summary of Blood Sugar Goals for Children and Adults With Diabetes 

Blood Sugar Goals for Children (ages 0-19)

 Before meals

 90 to 130 mg/dL

 Bedtime/overnight

 90 to 150 mg/dL

 A1C

 Less than 7.5%

Blood Sugar Goals for Nonpregnant Adults (ages 19+)

 Before meal (FPG)

 80 to 130 mg/dL

 1 to 2 hours after meal (PPG)

 Less than 180 mg/dL

 A1C

 Less than 7.0%

Your A1C goal

Getting your A1C down and keeping it down is one goal of diabetes treatment. Large medical studies have discovered that keeping A1C levels below 7% can reduce your risk of developing some problems related to diabetes, such as problems with your eyes, kidneys, or nerves. That’s why the ADA suggests a goal of less than 7% for adults with diabetes. Lower targets, such as 6.5% recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), may be helpful and appropriate for some people too. Discuss your individual goals with your health care provider.

When to call your diabetes care team

Ask your diabetes care team when you should call your primary doctor with your blood sugar results. For example, your team might say that you or your caregiver should call if your blood sugar levels are lower or higher than usual. Guidelines from the ADA recommend that people with type 1 diabetes contact their health care provider if they’ve been sick for 1 or 2 days without getting better or if their pre-meal blood sugar level is 240 mg/dL or higher and stays high for more than 24 hours, no matter when they test.

Are You Checking Your Blood Sugar the Right Way?

Review your technique and learn more.

Have You Joined Yet?

You’re on Cornerstones4Care.com, which is a great start! But, did you know that there’s a lot more to the type 1 diabetes support program than just the website? From ongoing diabetes support emails to useful diabetes management tools, Cornerstones4Care® membership has its advantages.