Q&A About Checking Your Blood Glucose
By Ellen Cottone, MS, RDN, LDN
WHY SHOULD I CHECK MY BLOOD GLUCOSE?
If you have diabetes, you’ve been told how important it is to make regular visits to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider checks your blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight on a regular basis. Checking blood glucose is equally as important, and crucial for the best possible diabetes management. High blood glucose over long periods of time can lead to problems with your eyes, kidneys, feet, skin and teeth. Research shows that the more control you have over your blood glucose, the less likely it is that you will develop these complications. Low blood glucose is also very dangerous, and can lead to loss of consciousness or even death if not treated. However, many people do not feel the signs of high or low blood glucose at all. This is why it is so critical to check blood glucose.
WHAT ARE BLOOD GLUCOSE TARGET RANGES?
According to the American Diabetes Association, the target ranges for blood glucose are as follows:
- A1C (average of blood glucose over three months): 7%
- Blood glucose before a meal: 80-130 mg/dl
- 1-2 hours after the beginning of a meal: less than 180 mg/dl
These are general guidelines, however, and might not apply to everyone with diabetes. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out what these numbers mean, and what is the best range for you.
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