Knowing if your blood glucose is not at goal, either too high or too low, can help you problem-solve. Checking your blood glucose regularly using a smart glucometer can also provide valuable data to help you and your care team adjust your medications and make appropriate lifestyle changes. Your target blood glucose levels may be:
Blood Glucose Fasting (before any food or drink)
Blood Glucose before meals
Blood Glucose Post-Meal Goals
1 hour after, less than 180 mg/dl
2 hours after, less than 160 mg/dl
Less than 150mg/dl
Checking Your Blood Sugar Level
What is A1C?
The A1C (glycohemoglobin) test measures the amount of glucose that has been attached to your red blood cells over a three month period. The A1C represents the estimated average glucose. This test reflects the average percentage of blood glucose in your body over the past two to three months.
The higher the A1C, the more glucose is attached to your red blood cells and the greater your risk of complications. Most patients with diabetes have an A1C test every three to six months. In general, keeping your A1C under control helps prevent the complications of diabetes.
Everyone’s goal is different, so discuss your A1C goal with your healthcare provider.
Decreasing Your A1C Reduces Complications
Did you know reducing your A1C by merely 1% results in a decreased risk of complications of at least 10%?
For example, an A1C reduced from 8.5% to 7.5% results in almost 40% lower risk of kidney, eye, and nerve disease.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the dangerous condition that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose to perform its normal functions. Alternatively, hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is the condition characteristic of diabetes. Hyperglycemia occurs when the body lacks insulin or cannot use insulin properly.
Hypoglycemia is an acute complication of diabetes, meaning it can arise suddenly. Hypoglycemia can result from taking too much medication, skipping meals, eating less than usual, or exercising more than usual.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Your blood sugar is considered low when it drops below 70 mg/dL. At these levels, you may experience symptoms, including:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sweating, chills and clamminess
- Irritability or impatience
- Confusion, including delirium
- Rapid/fast heartbeat
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Hunger and nausea
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
- Weakness or fatigue
- Anger, stubbornness, or sadness
- Lack of coordination
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
- Some patients, however, may show no signs of hypoglycemia, a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness. Each person’s reaction to low blood sugar is different. The only way to confirm hypoglycemia is to check your blood sugar using your glucometer.