29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and another 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
If you have diabetes, you are certainly not alone, and learning how to monitor your blood sugar levels can help you live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Let’s get into what you need to know.
When to Check Blood Sugar Levels
In general, you’ll want to talk with your healthcare provider or primary care physician regarding the best times to check your levels. Optimal times can vary from person to person, but they typically include:
- Before and after meals (to determine how the meal impacted levels)
- After fasting for a designated amount of time
- Before all meals (to determine insulin amounts)
- At bedtime
When you meet with your doctor, you should bring your blood sugar levels to your appointment. This way, you can collaborate with him or her on making the appropriate treatment changes if needed.
Talk to your doctor or healthcare providers about the best times to check your blood glucose, as optimal times vary by person.
As a general rule of thumb, before any appointment, you should always ask your provider what you need to bring with you. That way, you’ll be prepared and have your results ready for them to review.
Identifying Target Goals
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has listed appropriate recommendations for diabetics’ blood sugar levels.
You will likely be given an A1C test. This monitors your blood glucose average over a 2-3 month span. The normal range is less than 5.7%, prediabetes is between 5.7%-6.4%, and diabetes is 6.5% or higher.
Before people develop Type 2 Diabetes, they tend to exhibit symptoms of prediabetes. Other than having the A1C range, prediabetics will also have a fasting blood glucose between 100-125 mg/dl.
The healthy range is 70-99 mg/dl for the average adult. This number may be slightly higher for elderly patients. These tests are done after a period of fasting (typically six hours) without any food or drink other than water.
Lowering Your Blood Sugar Levels
Many doctors recommend that individuals work on maintaining or lowering their blood sugar levels. Fortunately, this can be achieved in simple and natural ways. They include:
- Exercising regularly
- Controlling extraneous carb intake
- Increasing fiber
- Implementing portion control
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating foods with a low glycemic index
- Routinely monitoring blood sugar levels
- Managing stress levels
- Losing extra weight
The combination of some or all of these can help you take care of your diabetes and your overall health and well-being.
Final Thoughts on Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Levels
Taking care of your diabetes is essential for healthy and sustainable living. At GetWell Urgent Care, we are passionate providing top-notch medical care for diabetes and a variety of other services. Pay us a visit.