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.


Paying for Supplies

Most health plans provide some coverage for diabetes supplies. Coverage has improved in the past decade because of changes in Medicare and state insurance regulations. Call Medicare toll-free (800/633-4227) or your health plan if you have problems getting coverage for supplies. No matter which monitoring system you use, or how often you check, your health depends on how well you and your health-care provider put these numbers into action to keep your blood glucose and A1C levels within target ranges.

Ask Your Doctor about Blood Glucose Control
Childs suggests you ask your health-care provider for guidelines on how to put your numbers in perspective. Print this page and bring these questions to your next appointment.

  • How many times a day should you check your blood glucose? Let your provider know how often you're willing and able to check.

  • When should you check? Make sure your provider's recommendations mesh with your schedule. If they don't, work out something that will.

  • What are your target blood glucose and A1C levels?

  • Which numbers indicate your blood glucose is low (hypoglycemia) and high (hyperglycemia)? What should you do if you see these numbers?

  • How often should you contact your provider to discuss your results? Both in critical situations and on an ongoing basis.

Hope S. Warshaw wrote Complete Guide to Carb Counting (American Diabetes Association, 2004).