Make the Most of Your Meter

Monitoring blood glucose levels lets you check how well -- or not -- your diabetes-care plan is working. Learn how to choose the right meter for you and get the most out of your readings.

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Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood glucose monitoring has become a critical element of diabetes care. Studies have shown that good blood glucose control can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes complications. With regular monitoring, you can compare your day-to-day results with your A1C levels. You can also quickly learn how certain foods, meals, stress, illness, or activities can affect your blood glucose.

"Observe and analyze your blood glucose patterns frequently," says Betty Brackenridge, M.S., R.D., CDE ,and coauthor of Diabetes Myths, Misconceptions and Big Fat Lies! (Diabetes Management & Training, 2002). Don't wait for months until you see your provider and have pages of records. Instead, ask your provider for some guidelines so you can make adjustments in your care between visits based on your results. Brackenridge, who has type 2 diabetes, says: "Results lose power the minute you take them. The quicker you evaluate your numbers and take action if need be, the more effectively the numbers can help you make decisions about your care."

Cliff Tener of Phoenix, who has type 1 diabetes, agrees. "I resisted monitoring for a long time because I didn't want to poke myself," he says. "Then I started to check my blood glucose three times a day. Now I check upwards of eight times a day. Monitoring more often has helped me improve my control."

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