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Your blood glucose level changes throughout the day. Checking your blood glucose with your meter can:

  • Tell you what your blood glucose is right away
  • Help you to understand the impact that food, activity, medication and even stress can have on your results
  • Help you and your healthcare provider make adjustments to your diabetes plan

A1C, on the other hand, is a lab test that shows your average blood glucose level for the past 2 to 3 months. This check is useful for an overall view of your diabetes control, but does not provide day-to-day details needed to adjust activity, food, or medication.

Remember that although your A1C may be within the target range, your day-to-day blood glucose may be swinging from too high to too low. If you have lots of swings in your blood sugars it increases your risk of having a low. Checking your blood glucose with a meter can help identify these swings.

 

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What are the recommended blood glucose targets?

As a guide, you need to know what levels to aim for. Here are the targets for most people with diabetes published* by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Blood glucose 

Before meal

2 hours after meal

A1C

 
Recommendations* 4-7 mmol/L 5-10 mmol/L Recommendations*

7% or _____ % 

My personal targets     My target A1C   

 

When should you check your blood glucose?

How often to check your blood glucose level depends on many factors, including your individual diabetes plan and your current glucose levels. Remember to always check your blood glucose with a purpose in mind and also to keep an accurate record of your results to share with your healthcare provider.

OneTouch Verio Flex® meter - green means your results are in range

 

Possible times to check

What you can learn

In the morning, before a meal

How well your body and/or medication are regulating your blood glucose overnight

Before and 2 hours after the beginning of a meal

How food and portion choices in a meal affect your blood glucose. How well your medication is working to cover your meal

Before the next meal

If your blood glucose has returned to target after the meal

Before activity

If you need to adjust food or medication to prevent both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia

During and after activity

How the activity affects your blood glucose and if a snack or adjustment in medication needs to be considered

Bedtime

The effect that supper had on your blood glucose and, if you need a snack before going to sleep to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia during the night

When you feel sick

If the illness or stress is affecting your blood glucose level

As suggested by your healthcare provider

How well your medication is working

Immediately before driving if you are on insulin or insulin secretagogues

If it is safe to drive; you should not drive when your blood glucose level is <4.0 mmol/L

What should you do if your blood glucose results are too low?

Remember to treat low blood glucose immediately according to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Was your meal too late? Did you eat less or skip the meal? Not eating enough food will cause a low blood glucose in anyone who takes insulin or medication that stimulates the body to release more insulin. Meals should be evenly spaced throughout the day, and should contain the right amount of carbohydrate to help keep your blood glucose in target range.
Were you very active? Activity usually lowers blood glucose - at the time of the activity or possibly after. You may need to plan for the activity by snacking after extended or intense exercise, or reducing your medication. Increase your blood glucose testing after extended or intense activity.
Did you have alcoholic drinks? Processing alcohol impairs your body's response to low sugar. Always eat some carbohydrate food when consuming alcohol. This may help to prevent a low. Test more often if you decide to drink, in moderation.
Are your lows frequently happening at the same time? If you see lows at the same time of day, over several days, then you may need an adjustment to your medication.

Consult a member of your healthcare team to discuss solutions that are right for you.

What should you do if your blood glucose results are too high?

Did you eat more than usual? Are your meals too close together? Are you having a snack that you don’t really need? Eating too much will cause blood glucose levels to rise. Meals should be evenly spaced throughout the day, and should contain the right amount of carbohydrate to help keep your blood glucose in target range, but not so much that the result is high blood glucose.
Have you been less active than usual? You should try to include some type of activity every day.
Are you sick or stressed? Illness or stress can result in higher-than-normal blood glucose results. If this continues, see your healthcare provider.
Did you forget to take your medications or insulin? Medications should be taken as prescribed.

Additional questions about OneTouch® products?

Call OneTouch® Customer Care Line at 1 800 663-5521 or visit us at OneTouch.ca

* Check with your healthcare professional for the target range that is best for you.

Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes. 2013;37(Suppl 1):S1-S212

Not all of these tests need to be done daily. Alternating the time of testing can result in different insights.

NACO/OTB/1117/0774