Having a hard time interpreting blood sugar numbers? This is a common situation for a majority of our members, but it’s also something we want to change. Diabetes self-management includes taking your blood sugar, and then also knowing what to do from there.

Here are some quick tips to see where you stand with your blood sugars:

Tip 1: First know that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. A blood sugar reading of 130 mg/dL in one person versus another person is not the same at all; I repeat, not the same at all. Everyone has different needs in terms of blood glucose levels for energy. The point is to keep your blood sugars in a target range.

So what should my blood sugar targets be?

Tip 2: Make a plan. Talk with your clinician about what your target blood sugars should be in all instances. This means knowing what your target blood sugar should be in the morning, 2 hours after a meal, and any other time you regularly take your blood sugars. Compare your blood sugar readings to these targets to know where you stand throughout your entire day.

Tip 3: Know some typical ranges. There are some ranges that you can keep in mind that are recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Before a meal, your blood sugars should range 80-130 mg/dL, and 1-2 hours after a meal should be less than 180 mg/dL. You and your clinician might decide on more strict targets for your blood sugars, so again, make sure to ask your clinician about what is right for you!

Why are there different target ranges for different instances throughout the day?

Tip 4: Your daily activities affect your blood sugars. Now that you have some targets set, it is important to learn how what you do during a day affects your ability to meet your goals. Here is what you can expect:

    • If you exercise, you will probably notice a decrease in your blood sugars.
      • This is because exercise burns off sugar.
    • What you eat plays a major role in your numbers. If you eat foods with a higher amount of sugar than expect your blood sugar to rise.
    • If you forget your medications, you will probably expect to see a rise in your blood sugar.

How can I aim for blood sugar targets?

Tip #5: Tracking. In order to keep up with all of this information, it is important to track it! Do not just track your blood sugar numbers, but also what you eat and what you do for exercise. This will help you recognize specific patterns in your numbers and lead to you learning how to be the best at self-managing your diabetes.

If you are still having trouble understanding your numbers, talk with your Health Advisor, a diabetes educator, or your clinician. Once you can see these patterns, you will become a master in managing your diabetes.

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