Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website.

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Am Fam Physician. 2007;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:_______________________________

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