About blood glucose

Blood glucose and how it affects your diabetes management

Blood glucose (BG or blood sugar) is a form of sugar produced when the body digests carbohydrates (sugars and starches). It's the body's major fuel for the energy it needs. When insulin is absent or ineffective, the blood glucose level increases. High blood glucose levels can lead to both short and long-term diabetes complications.

Setting blood glucose level goals when you have diabetes

The goal in living with diabetes is to keep your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible, as often as possible. That means maintaining a healthy glucose average, and also preventing blood glucose swings that are too high or too low. Keeping in "good control" helps you feel better and reduces the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. "Poor control", on the other hand, affects your health in the present, and puts you at higher risk for the long-term complications of diabetes.

The exact glucose target level can vary by person. A person without diabetes generally has an average blood glucose level of around 5.6 mmol/L. Good control for a person with diabetes before a meal is 4.0 - 6.0 mmol/L. But a number of circumstances can affect your ability to hit that average. Your physician will give you guidance as to what average would define "good control" for you.

Blood glucose testing

Blood glucose testing is an important part of diabetes management because it can show you how well your choices are working. The results from your blood glucose meter provide immediate feedback, which can help you understand how different factors are impacting your blood glucose levels.

But testing is not just about getting a test result. It's also about knowing how to interpret each result and how to take action. Your goal should be to keep your blood glucose in the target range recommended by your healthcare team, and avoid going either too high, which can lead to hyperglycemia, or too low, which can result in hypoglycemia. Keeping your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible is one of the best ways to stay healthy and reduces your risk of diabetes complications.

Once you know your blood glucose level, you can use the information to adjust your food, exercise or insulin, so that you can feel your best.

Blood glucose testing tips

By testing your blood glucose at the right times, you can learn how daily activities affect your blood glucose (BG) levels—and help you avoid the highs and lows. Your goal is to feel your best and help prevent long-term diabetes complications.

  • Test around meals. Testing before and after meals helps you find out how what you eat affects your BG.
  • Test around exercise. Testing before, during and after exercise will help you and your healthcare team develop a plan that's right for you.
  • Test your blood glucose levels in conjunction with any adjustments in insulin dosage to help gauge your body's reaction. People new to insulin pump therapy should test at least 4-8 times/day.
  • Comparing blood glucose with A1C. Compare your BG tests with your A1C results, which show you your average BG for the past 2-3 months.

The information made available on the Animas website is not intended to be used or viewed as a substitute for consultation with a healthcare professional. The information provided on this site cannot be the basis for diagnosis or therapy. You are advised to obtain professional advice and should always discuss your treatment plan with your healthcare team.