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When to Check Your Blood Sugar

There are many things that impact how often you should check your blood sugar. Talk to your doctor to learn how often you should check your blood sugar.

There are certain situations when you need to check your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar if:

  • you have signs of low blood sugar
  • you have signs of high blood sugar
  • you take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine and you are doing exercise
  • you do not take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine but you are starting a new exercise program

Talk to your doctor to learn how often to check your blood sugar. You will have to check your blood sugar more often if:

  • you take insulin
  • you take a medicine from the Secretagogue class of medicines
  • you have changes to your diabetes medicines
  • you have episodes of very low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia
  • you are driving and take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine
  • you are ill (with a cold, infection or having surgery)
  • you started a new exercise program
  • your A1c is not within the normal range

Important Times to Check Your Blood Sugar

There are certain times when you need to check your blood sugar.

  1. If you have signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  2. If you have signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  3. If you take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine and you are doing exercise
  4. If you do not take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine but you are starting a new exercise program

1. If you have signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

If you have the signs of low blood sugar, check your blood sugar as soon as you can.

Signs of low blood sugar include:

  • trembling or shakiness
  • hard to think
  • easy to upset (irritable)
  • hunger
  • anxiety
  • tingling
  • nausea
  • sweating

Some people do not experience the signs of low blood sugar.

Note: If you take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine, you are at risk for low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar more often.

Talk to your doctor about when and how often to check your blood sugar.

Learn more about low blood sugar »

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2. If you have signs of high blood sugar

If you have ths signs of high blood sugar, check your blood sugar as soon as you can.

Signs of high blood sugar include:

  • being thirsty
  • feeling tired
  • needing to pee more often
  • having an upset stomach
  • having blurry vision

Many people do not experience the signs of high blood sugar.

Check your blood sugar more often.

Talk to your doctor about when and how often to check your blood sugar.

Learn more about high blood sugar »

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3. If you are doing exercise and if you take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine

If you take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine, you are at risk of your blood sugar going too low (hypoglycemia) after exercise.

Check your blood sugar before and after exercise to see how your body responds to exercise.

Learn what you do if you have low blood sugar »

Speak to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for help.

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4. If you are exercising and you do not take insulin or a Secretagogue medicine

You are not at risk of your blood sugar going too low (hypoglycemia) after exercise.

You only need to check your blood sugar before and after exercise with a new exercise program or changes to your existing exercise program. Your blood sugar reading helps you learn how exercise changes your blood sugar. Seeing how exercise helps to lower your blood sugar will help motivate you to continue with your exercise program.

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Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016