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Tracking Diabetes: When To Check Your Blood Glucose

  When to Check and What Your Goals Are
No two people with diabetes are exactly alike. For that reason, there is no absolute rule for when to check blood glucose. Together, you and your diabetes care team will work out a schedule that’s best for you.

The goal of checking is to be sure your blood glucose is within healthy ranges (sometimes called "target blood glucose ranges") throughout the day.

The table below shows some common times for checking blood glucose levels, together with target blood glucose ranges for those times. You should discuss your unique target blood glucose ranges with your diabetes care team, because your target ranges could be different from those shown in this table.

When you get up
(on an empty stomach)
Before meals 80-120
Two hours after
the start of meals
Less than 140
At bedtime 100-140
3 a.m. Greater than 70

Please note:

1. When getting blood work from a lab, or for certain glucose monitors, your glucose readings may be approximately 10% higher than these values.
2. Target ranges differ during pregnancy. Discuss this with your doctor if you are pregnant.

Check Anytime You Feel Ill
Even a minor illness like a cold or flu can affect your blood glucose levels. If you are sick, you’ll probably need to check your glucose levels between three and five times a day, or even more.


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