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Testing your blood sugar gives you important information about how well your type 2 diabetes management and treatment plan is working. It lets you see how factors such as food, exercise, and medication affect your blood sugar levels.
Keeping your blood sugar in your target range is the best way to manage diabetes and reduce your risk of complications.
Bring your meter or a log of your results with you each time you see your doctor. This will help you and your doctor make decisions about your diabetes treatment.
To test your blood sugar, you’ll use a blood sugar meter. This measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood you place on a test strip.
Your doctor or a certified diabetes care and education specialist can show you how to use your blood sugar meter. In general, you will:
Some people may use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which uses a sensor placed under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. Your doctor can help you decide if a CGM may be right for you.
When and how often you should test your blood sugar depends on a number of factors, such as:
Common times to test your blood sugar include:
Your doctor or a certified diabetes care and education specialist can help you develop a testing routine that’s right for you.
In general, target blood sugar ranges for someone with type 2 diabetes are:
But your doctor may recommend different targets for you. Your specific blood sugar targets depend on a number of factors, such as:
These tips can help make testing your blood sugar easier and ensure you get an accurate reading:
There are many types of blood sugar meters available. How do you know which is right for you? Here are some factors you may want to consider:
The A1C test provides an average of your blood sugar over the past 2–3 months. It measures the amount of hemoglobin in your blood that has glucose attached to it.
Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that helps transport oxygen. When glucose enters your bloodstream, it attaches to hemoglobin. The more glucose attached to hemoglobin, the higher your A1C will be.
In general, the A1C goal for adults with type 2 diabetes is below 7%. Keeping your A1C below this level can help reduce your risk of diabetes complications, such as heart disease, eye problems, and kidney disease.
Your specific A1C goal depends on a number of factors, including your age and overall health. Speak with your doctor about what your target is and what you can do to help meet your goal.
Because the A1C test measures your average blood sugar over 2–3 months, it can take about that long to see a significant change in your result. Your blood sugar levels within the 30 days before you take the test have a greater impact on your A1C result than your levels in previous months.
Your doctor or a certified diabetes care and education specialist can help you determine what steps you can take to help lower your A1C. You may need to make changes to your diet, exercise, or medication plans.
An A1C result of 5.7–-6.4% indicates prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.
Making lifestyle changes can help prevent prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.