Blood Glucose Monitoring
Blood glucose monitoring (also called blood sugar monitoring) refers to home monitoring of blood glucose levels. This test uses a portable glucose monitor. Monitoring is done by the individual or a caregiver on a regular basis.
Who is a candidate for the test?
Blood glucose monitoring is used for people who have diabetes. This includes individuals with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and pregnant women with gestational diabetes. People can check their blood glucose levels to ensure that they are within the proper range. If the level is too low or too high, the person can take the proper action to correct the blood sugar level.
How is the test performed?
The person pricks his or her finger with a sterile lancet, or pointed instrument, to get a drop of blood. The drop of blood is placed on the glass plate of a home glucose monitor. The monitor will give a reading of the blood glucose level. Some home monitors keep a computerized record of these readings.
What is involved in preparation for the test?
The person should use good handwashing technique and provide a clean environment before doing the test.
What do the test results mean?
The National Institutes of Health, or NIH for short, gives the following recommendations for blood glucose levels.
- Blood glucose before meals should be 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Blood glucose at bedtime should be 100 to 150 mg/dL.
These are general guidelines that should be discussed with the healthcare provider. The provider may recommend a specific value for an individual. The provider will also provide instructions for dealing with high or low blood glucose levels.