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Glucose (Blood Sugar) Monitoring

Checking blood glucose levels regularly helps to ensure they remain within a healthy target range. High blood sugars can cause serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet and eyes over time. Low blood glucose impairs the ability to think and function normally. It's important to monitor blood glucose levels both over time (A1C testing) as well as specific times throughout the day (meter testing).    

A1c Testing

Diabetes A1c Test

A1C Test Info Sheet

The hemoglobin A1c test measures the average blood glucose level over the past three months (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and is different from blood glucose checks performed each day with a meter. The A1c goal for most people with diabetes is less than 7%, which is an estimated average glucose of 154 mg/dL. It varies by individual. Your care team determines your A1c goal as well as your daily target goal. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least two A1c tests per year (at a minimum) in addition to daily blood glucose monitoring.

Video: Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) Meter Testing


Checking blood glucose using a meter is the best tool to monitor your diabetes control. It shows your blood sugar level at any given time. Discuss with your care team how often you should be testing your blood glucose. 

Checking blood sugar throughout the day 

Testing glucose levels at the same time each day allows you to track patterns. For people who receive multiple daily insulin injections or use an insulin pump, it's generally recommended to test before meals and snacks, occasionally two hours after the first bite of a meal, at bedtime, prior to exercising, when low glucose is suspected, after treating a low, and prior to critical tasks such as driving.

Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)

Hypoglycemia is defined by less than normal blood glucose (usually below 70 milligrams). Symptoms include excessive hunger, shakiness, sweating, dizziness, feeling light headed, pale skin and/or feeling confused. Left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to unconsciousness. If taking oral diabetes medications, ask your care team whether hypoglycemia should be a concern. 

Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose)

Hyperglycemia is defined as above normal blood glucose based on the target range set by your care team. In general, it’s when glucose is above 180 mg/dL consistently. Symptoms include excessive thirst and/or urination. 

Recording blood glucose results is vital

Testing your blood sugar on a regular basis is an integral part of diabetes self-management because it puts you in charge. Whether utilizing a smartphone app or a paper log, recording and sharing the results with your care team provides them with an overall picture of your body's response to your diabetes care plan. Download our printable blood glucose logs, available in English or Spanish.

Continuous Glucose Monitors


Learn About CGM


DCOE Hypoglycemia Questionnaire

This is a helpful resource to bring to your next clinic appointment. It also gets you thinking about managing low blood glucose.
Download Questionnaire


Download our printable blood glucose testing log to monitor your blood sugars and share the results with your care team.


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