August 17, 2023

Diabetes and Problem Solving

General Health

Back in December we talked about blood sugar monitoring for people with diabetes, this month we want to talk about how you can use blood sugar numbers to better manage your diabetes. Any time a person checks their blood sugar it provides information. Depending on what time of day the person checks their blood sugar will determine what kind of information it is providing.

If a person checks their blood sugar first thing in the morning before eating (fasting), this reading can tell them what their blood sugar was doing overnight. If a person is able to take their blood sugar before going to bed and when they wake up, they can compare the two readings to determine if their blood sugar increased, decreased, or stayed the same overnight.

If a person checks their blood sugar two hours after eating, that reading can help them determine how the food they ate affected their blood sugar. If the reading is higher than they expected, the person should consider changing what they ate or the portion size to help prevent a high blood sugar in the future.

Anytime a person gets a reading outside of the range that they are expecting, they should think about possible causes:

  • Did they eat more than usual?
  • Did they eat something different?
  • Did they take their diabetes medication today?
  • Were they more or less physically active than usual?

Food, medication, and activity level are the three main things that can affect your blood sugar. Other things that may affect blood sugar include stress, illness, type of food, or in an accurate testing result.

To make sure you get an accurate reading every time you check your blood sugar, it is important to wash your hands before pricking your finger. Next, make sure that your test strips are not expired or damaged. It is important to store your test strips in their original container and keep them at room temperature. Extreme temperature changes and excess humidity can cause them to read incorrectly.

Checking your blood sugar can provide you with valuable information about your diabetes. Using this information can help you make changes to better manage your diabetes.