What tests do I need to do at home?
- Blood test — The blood test is used to measure the amount of sugar in
your blood. It will help you find out if your meal plan, exercise, and
medicine are working to control your blood sugar.
- Urine test — The urine test looks for ketones in your urine. This can be
done if you are sick or if your blood sugar level is very high. Meters are
also available that can test your blood for ketones.
Why do I have to test my blood sugar?
Testing your blood sugar is the best way to find out
how well your diabetes is controlled. A log book of your blood sugar levels will
help you see how food, physical activity, and diabetes medicines affect your
blood sugar. If your blood sugar is too low or too high, your health care
provider might want to adjust your diet, exercise, or the amount of medicine you
are taking. Take your log book with you whenever you visit your health care
How do I test my blood sugar?
The usual blood sugar test involves pricking your
finger with a small needle called a lancet, putting a drop of blood on a test
strip, and using a meter that displays your blood sugar level. Blood sugar
meters and test strips are available at your local pharmacy, through mail order,
or through your health care provider. There are many different types of meters.
Your health care provider can help you select the meter that is best for you.
Some insurance companies might cover the cost of these supplies. Call your
insurance company if you have any questions.
When should I test my blood sugar?
The most common times to test your blood sugar level
are before meals and at bedtime. Your health care provider will tell you how
often and when to check your blood sugar.
What should my blood sugar level be?
The paragraph below gives you an idea of what your
blood sugar levels should be. Blood sugar ranges might be different for each
person and can change throughout the day. Your health care provider will tell
you what range is good for you. Call your health care provider if one of the
- Your blood sugar test results are higher than usual (more than 100 mg/dl
above your usual results) for more than two days for an unknown reason.
- Your blood sugar level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) more than twice in a week.
Recommended blood glucose range for people with diabetes (based on plasma glucose)
Time of test Goal
- Before meals - 70-130 mg/dl
- Two hours after meal starts - <180 mg/dl
- Before bedtime snack - 100-150 mg/dl
Source: American Diabetes Association, 2009
What should I know about ketones?
Ketones appear in your urine when your body uses its
own fat for energy instead of sugar. Ketones usually appear when your blood
sugar level is more than 250 mg/dl. If ketones build up in your blood, you
can develop a very dangerous health condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketones are
most likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes.
How do I test for ketones?
The most common way to test for ketones is by dipping
a test strip into your urine. The test strip changes color, which is then
matched to a chart that shows the level of ketones in your urine. There are also
meters available that can test your blood for ketones.
When should I test for ketones?
Test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 250 mg/dl or higher or if you feel ill.
© Copyright 1995-2011 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 9/2/2011...#11730