Managing blood sugar levels is an important part of living with diabetes. It's essential to understand what a normal blood sugar range is and how to keep your levels within it. While glucose meters are still the most common way to measure blood sugar, new technology can help reduce the number of finger pricks needed to control it. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that most people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals.
However, these goals may be different for you depending on your age, any complications from diabetes, and if you experience symptoms when your blood sugar is low. Insulin must be injected to lower blood sugar because enzymes in the stomach interfere with its action. You and your healthcare provider should set a target goal for your blood sugar levels at different times of the day. It's not necessary for all of the readings to be within the target range, but staying within ideal limits for longer periods of time can reduce the risk of complications.
People taking insulin may also choose to use a continuous glucose monitor to control their blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar isn't high enough to put you or your child at immediate risk, you may be referred to a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist). In addition to daily monitoring, your provider will likely recommend regular A1C tests to measure your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start suddenly and are usually the reason for controlling blood sugar levels.
Most people can't “feel” what their blood glucose level is unless it's very high or low. If the blood sugar level drops below the target range, it is known as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Here are some tips for talking to someone about their blood sugar and glucose levels. It's often more useful to have fewer readings with more information (description and time of meals, description and time of exercise, dose and time of medication) related to blood sugar level in order to guide decisions about medications and dose adjustments.
Checking your blood sugar levels often and tracking them using an app or writing them down will help you manage your diabetes better.