by Atlantic Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Team

For anyone living with diabetes, testing blood sugar levels is likely a part of their day to day routine. When you test, do you know what you are testing, and why you are testing? And what do you do with those numbers? What do they mean?

All of these questions are important when deciding why and how often you should test. Self-Blood Glucose Monitoring (SBGM) is the term used to describe our testing of blood sugars at home using strips and a meter. This practice can show us how food and exercise affect your sugar level and understand how well your diabetes treatments are working. How often you should test depends on what type of diabetes you have and what type of medication you are on. Research has told us that people with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin or medications may not need to regularly self-test as it doesn’t improve blood sugar levels. More frequent testing of one to two times per day may be required for people on medications that can cause low blood sugars, those not meeting targets, or if they are newly diagnosed. Regular testing up to four times per day may be required by people who take insulin, starting a new medication or have diabetes and are pregnant.

When you do self-test, it is important that you test for a reason and that you take action based on the result. Talk to your health care provider about your numbers and how you can use them to make changes. In addition to home blood glucose testing, there is an important blood test t ...

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