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.


Why It's Important to Check

Checking your blood glucose is an important part of managing your diabetes and keeping you on track toward a healthy lifestyle.

"Many people don't get proper training or learn to use their blood glucose results to adjust their care," says Belinda Childs, ARNP, CDE, BC-ADM, a clinical nurse specialist at Mid-America Diabetes Associates in Wichita, Kansas. Which is why an estimated 67 percent of Americans with diabetes have an A1C above the recommended target of 6.5 percent, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists' "State of Diabetes in America" report. If you're among that 67 percent, it's time to talk to your health-care providers about the steps you can take to improve your control. You may need to take more of one blood-glucose-lowering medication or start another. You may also need to reign in your portions and skimp on sweets. And a few more 30-minute walks each week could improve your blood glucose and much more. Your blood glucose monitoring results can help you improve your control if you and your health-care provider review and use them.

Blood Glucose Goals Diabetes experts rely on the target goals for blood glucose and A1C set by either of two organizations -- the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Keep them handy for reference.