Diabetes is a controllable disease. One of the most helpful tools for
managing your diabetic condition is a home blood glucose monitor. These are
readily available, inexpensive, and in many cases covered by health
The average home testing unit is compact, and uses tiny chemically reactive
strips to measure glucose levels in the blood. A spring loaded ‘pen’ is
fitted with a sterile lancet (a tiny needle embedded in a plastic sheath)
and discharged against a fingertip or the forearm. A strip is inserted into
the machine, and a clean drop of blood applied. A digital readout will
inform you of your results within seconds.
The guidelines for blood sugar vary slightly from person to person, but an
average chart follows to provide a general idea of ideal parameters.
waking up (before breakfast)
may give you target levels that differ slightly from these depending on your
specific condition. Keeping track of your levels for a predetermined length
of time and charting your activity in a log or journal is the best way to
track your glucose tolerance. Type one diabetics should plan to test before
and after each meal or insulin injection, and Type 2 patients should test in
the morning, 1-2 hours after each main meal, and before bed.
Write down the date, time and result of each test. Make notes of each meal
and snack, and keep track of your physical activity. Take this log with you
to each doctor appointment. After a few weeks you will begin to see patterns
and you can adjust your habits to maintain a steady glucose level. Ideally,
you will be able to cut back on testing as your body settles into a stable
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is the most important part of diagnosing