Blood Sugar Monitoring
Testing at Home
You can check your blood glucose (sugar) levels
at home using a glucose meter. The results tell
you what your glucose levels are at certain times
of the day. Your meal choices, activity,
medications, and how you feel will affect the
Before testing, always wash your hands with
soap and water. Poke your clean finger for the
blood sample. Apply the drop of blood to the test
strip. You will have a result in about 5 seconds.
Be sure your meter is giving accurate results. If
you are not sure, ask your health care team for
help. Your meter result can be compared to a lab
result. The meter result should read within 15%
of the lab glucose.
Your Glucose Goals
The table below lists the goals for most people
with diabetes. Talk with your health care team
about setting goals that are right for you.
Goals for People
with Diabetes Your Goal
_______ to _______
2 hours after
starting a meal:
less than 180 mg/dL
Less than ________
_______ to _______
When to Test
How often you test your blood glucose levels at
home depends on your treatment plan. Some
people test a few times per week. Others need to
check four or more times per day. This may
change over time.
Ask about whether you should check before or
after activity or during the night. Record your
results in a logbook. Bring your logbook and
meter to every clinic visit for your health care
team to review.
Testing on Sick Days
If you get sick with a cold or flu or if you have an
infection, you may need to check your blood
glucose levels as often as every two hours. Call
your health care team if: ___________________
How Often Comments
Anytime you feel symptoms of low or high blood sugars
Vary the time you test each
day (fasting in the morning,
before a meal, 2 hours after
the start of a meal, at
What Do I Do with My Blood Sugar Results
• Keep a log of your blood sugar tests. With a
written record, it is easy to see patterns and
know if your blood sugar is within your goal
• Make notes about eating, activity, stress, and
illness when you write down your blood
sugar results. This will help guide what
changes are needed to get your blood sugars
into your goal range.
• Contact your nurse or doctor for help if you
are having trouble keeping your blood sugar
within your goal range.
Always bring your meter and/or written
results to your clinic visit. Most meters are
able to download blood sugar results from the
memory to a computer. Printed charts and
graphs of your blood sugars will provide
more detail about your blood sugar control.
Other Tips to Remember
• If you use an alcohol (pad or hand sanitizer)
to clean your finger before testing, let the
alcohol dry before you poke.
• Keep test strips in the bottle they came in. Do
not take a strip out of the bottle until you are
going to do a test. Store the bottle at room
temperature with the cover on tightly.
• Do not use strips if they are outdated. Check
the expiration date on the side of the bottle.
• Place the test strip gently into the drop of
blood. Let it pull the blood into the strip. Do
not try to place the drop of blood on top of
the test strip.
• Put used lancets in a thick plastic bottle
(laundry detergent or bleach bottle) or a
sharps box. Do not put used lancets into the
Association AD. Professional Practice Committee for the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2016.
Diabetes Care. Jan 2016;39 Suppl 1:S107-108.
Spanish version #5833
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
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