Living with diabetes blog

Use blood glucose numbers to better manage diabetes

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. March 6, 2010

You may wonder why it's so important to test your blood sugar every day. Many people don't know how to interpret high readings or what to do about it. Sometimes you may think that the doctor is more focused on the hemoglobin A1C and isn't as interested in the daily blood sugar results. You also might not be motivated to check your blood glucose if you don't understand how you can benefit from the information.

You may become frustrated or obsessed if you don't have the "right numbers" or feel like a failure if your blood glucose numbers are high. Blood glucose monitoring may seem hard to do at first, but as you learn to use the results to understand your body better and manage your treatment, it will become easier. Here are some general tips:

  • There's no "right" or "bad" numbers. Blood glucose testing is a tool to help you track how well your treatment plan is working.
  • Strive for consistency. Eat at the same time of day and try to eat the same amount of food. What you eat, how much you eat and at what time you eat all affect your blood glucose level.
  • Look for patterns in your blood glucose numbers and think about possible causes for your blood glucose patterns or changes from your usual pattern. No matter how well you're managing your diabetes, your blood glucose readings won't be perfect every time.
  • You're the most important member of your health care team. Call your health care provider if problems arise or if there are major changes in your glucose test results, or if you have low blood glucose reactions for reasons you don't understand.

The blood glucose number is a reminder, if used correctly, and will help you take control of your diabetes and not allow your diabetes to take control of you. Monitoring and controlling your blood glucose delays the development of long-term complications.

How do you feel emotionally when your blood glucose results are in range? Out of range? Does this affect how you manage your diabetes? What are some of your ideas for ways to handle these times?   

Peggy

Mar. 06, 2010