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Regular Monitoring

Reasons to check your blood sugar more frequently

  • If your diabetes medicine changes
  • If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
  • If you change your diet
  • If your exercise routine or activity level changes
  • If your level of stress increases
  • If you are sick.When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important!

Follow your doctor's testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your SMBG goal values for at least 1 week, or until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.

Call your doctor's office if your blood sugar is above: _____________

Additional instructions from your doctor:

Other reasons to check your blood sugar

  • If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),which include dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills and confusion 
  • If you have symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia),which include sleepiness, blurred vision, frequent urination and excessive thirst 
  • To learn how meals, physical activity and medicine affect your blood sugar level 
  • To document how well your blood sugar is controlled if you have a job in which poor control could cause safety problems 
  • To help you decide if it is safe to drive or perform other tasks that require concentration if you are taking insulin or have had hypoglycemia in the past

What time of day should I test?

Recommendations for the best time of day to test your blood sugar depend on your medicine, mealtimes and sugar control. On the chart below, your doctor will check the times when you should test your sugar. Your doctor may also suggest different goals, depending on your situation.

Time to Test:  Fasting, Before Breakfast 1-2 Hours After Breakfast Before Lunch  1-2 Hours After Lunch Before Dinner  1-2
Hours After Dinner 
Bedtime 3 A.M.
Target Goal Ranges* 80-120  < 180  80-120  < 180  80-120  < 180  100-140  70-110 
Doctor's Recommendation                             

*Blood glucose values are measured from blood samples obtained from the finger or other sites, as read on your blood glucose monitor. The target goals are based on recommendations from a panel of medical experts. Talk to your doctor about what changes to make if your blood sugar levels are not within this range. 

What does SMBG at the recommended times tell me?

Time of Test Can Be Used to … 
Fasting blood sugar (FBG)
nighttime (3-4 a.m.) 
Adjust medication or long-acting insulin
Before a meal Modify meal or medication
1-2 hours after a meal Learn how food affects sugar values (often the highest blood sugars of the day*)
At bedtime Adjust diet or medication (last chance for the next 8 hours)
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of medicine you take.

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