Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar at Home


Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jul 15;76(2):262.

  See related article on home blood sugar monitoring.

Why should I monitor my blood sugar at home?

Monitoring your blood sugar at home helps you and your doctor make good choices about treating your diabetes. Controlling it can help lower the risk of problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

How do I monitor my blood sugar at home?

There are many easy-to-use blood sugar meters available. You can buy them at most drug stores and medical supply stores. When choosing a meter, you should think about features you want, like test time, sample size, and memory, and whether the meter can test somewhere other than your fingertips. Be sure you read the directions on how to use the meter before using it.

How often should I check my blood sugar?

This depends on several things, such as the type of medicines you are taking and how well your diabetes is controlled. Your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.

What should my blood sugar level be?

Your doctor will tell you what your goals should be. Ask your doctor what to do if your blood sugar is above or below your goal.

Fasting blood sugar goal:________________

Blood sugar goal one to two hours after meals:_______________________________

Blood sugar goal at bedtime or during the night (2 a.m.):____________________

Contact your doctor if your blood sugar is:_______________________________

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

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