“How often should I check my blood sugar?” is one of the most common and important questions people have when it comes to diabetes management. Taking a closer look at the factors that influence the frequency of checking blood sugar can help you understand how self-monitoring blood glucose levels should fit into your daily life.
How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar?
So, what is the answer to “How often should I check my blood sugar?” It depends.
Many factors influence how frequently you should monitor your blood glucose levels, including whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your daily routine, and which medications you take (if any). Doctors typically recommend that people with type 1 diabetes check 4–10 times a day which is generally more often than those with type 2 diabetes check. But such recommendations should always be personalized. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should check your blood sugar, taking into account your individual needs.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar?
While asking “How often should I check my blood sugar?” is critical, asking when you should check your blood sugar is just as important. The following are some of the most common and beneficial times to check:
- First thing in the morning
- Before and after meals/snacks
- Before and after exercise
- Shortly before bed
Many people living with diabetes take a paired-testing approach. This means checking your blood sugar before eating, exercising, or other activity and again 1–2 hours later. Paired testing allows you to see how food, exercise, medications, and other variables affect your blood glucose levels. With this insight, you can make more-informed choices about your health.
Accounting for Change
Building self-monitoring into your daily routine is one of the best things you can do to stay on track with your diabetes management plan and support your health. But if your routine changes, your monitoring practices may have to change too.
The following can have an impact on when and how often you should check your blood sugar:
- Medication changes
- A new work schedule
- A new exercise regimen
- A new medical diagnosis
Talk to your healthcare provider about how changes in your health or lifestyle should affect your checking schedule. They may recommend more frequent checking of blood sugar during these times.
Paying Attention to Your Body
Sometimes your body lets you know when something is amiss. If you experience any of the following, it’s time to check your glucose levels:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Racing heart
These could be symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Checking your blood sugar at the first sign of trouble could help you prevent more serious complications.
A Better Way to Check Blood Sugar
Often, when people ask “How often should I check my blood sugar?” they don’t just want to know how to best support their health. They’re wondering just how disruptive blood glucose monitoring will be. But with the right technology, staying on track with your diabetes management plan doesn’t have to be a hassle.
The POGO Automatic® Monitor makes checking your blood sugar fast, easy, and discreet. Unlike traditional blood glucose meters, POGO Automatic doesn’t require separate lancets and test strips. Instead, it uses 10-test cartridges with lancets and test strips built in. At the press of a button, POGO Automatic lances and collects blood for you and provides accurate results quickly.
In addition to the innovative and convenient way that POGO Automatic allows you to check your blood glucose levels, the free Patterns® for POGO Automatic app allows you to use your blood sugar data to its fullest potential and gives you a new level of control and insight. Patterns can send you reminders when it’s time to check your blood sugar and alert you when your glucose values fall out of your target range. It also easily imports data from popular wellness apps, including Fitbit®, Garmin®, Apple® Health, and Omron®, giving you the opportunity to better understand how lifestyle and health variables affect your blood sugar.
No matter how often you need to check your blood sugar, POGO Automatic makes checking simple and meaningful.
Jaclyn Owens is a product director specializing in diabetes management tools. She is committed to using technology to empower people with diabetes and help them take control of their health.
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.