This results in a buildup of acids called ketones in the bloodstream. Triggers of diabetic ketoacidosis include certain illnesses, pregnancy, trauma and medicines — including the diabetes medicines called SGLT2 inhibitors. Weight-loss surgery is only one part of an overall treatment plan. Treatment also includes diet and nutritional supplement guidelines, exercise and mental health care. In the past, insulin therapy was used as a last resort, but today it may be prescribed sooner if blood sugar targets aren’t met with lifestyle changes and other medicines.
You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider. Researchers believe that blood glucose monitoring may prove helpful even in the short term, particularly for people who struggle to manage their levels. If you have diabetes, your target range for blood sugar levels is unique to you. Together, you and your healthcare provider will decide the target range that’s ideal for you.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care here team about which targets are best for you. How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Work with your doctor to identify your personal blood sugar goals based on your age, health, diabetes treatment, and whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Take, for example, a woman with type 2 who keeps her blood glucose in goal range without daily blood glucose checks. She may not need regular self-monitoring to manage her diabetes, but more hints an illness or a new medication might affect her numbers. Meter checks can provide important information to share with her provider. Some people use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a sensor under the skin that checks blood sugar every few minutes. People who use a CGM must also use a blood sugar meter daily to ensure their CGM is accurate.
Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources. Talk with your health care provider about how often you need to record your blood sugar results. The readings given by many devices can now be downloaded to a computer.
If you’re ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately. If you need to take medications that may affect the accuracy of the readings, your health care provider may recommend double-checking your CGM results with a standard blood sugar meter. Check with your health care provider about using a CGM if you’re pregnant, on dialysis or critically ill, as these conditions may affect the blood sugar readings from a CGM.
If you manage type 2 diabetes with noninsulin medications or with diet and exercise alone, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily. If you have other questions about your numbers or your ability to manage your diabetes, make sure to work closely with your doctor or health care team. Your range may be different get the facts if you have other health conditions or if your blood sugar is often low or high. Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didn’t pass. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.