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Facts about self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG):
  • Blood glucose is monitored at home using a small hand-held machine called a “glucose meter.
  • Persons with type 1 diabetes usually need to measure their blood glucose levels at least four times a day. Persons with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or on other diabetes medications also need to measure their glucose levels regularly, as recommended by their health care provider.
  • Most glucose meters require a drop of blood from a pin-prick on the patient’s finger. The blood glucose value is then displayed on the glucose meter’s screen.
  • The home glucose test is useful because it can be performed by the patient anywhere and anytime.
  • The date, time, and blood glucose reading are all stored in the machine’s memory. These results can be downloaded onto the computer and used by patients and their providers to make dosing adjustments.
  • The test strips that come with the machine can give inaccurate readings if they’re stored in locations that are too hot, cold, or are expired. It’s important to store the test strips as carefully as you would any medication.
  • The test strips can give inaccurate readings if the patient’s blood glucose level is very high or very low. Persons with diabetes should check with their health care provider if they receive a reading that is far outside the normal range.
  • Generally, goal glucose is 80-130mg/dl before meals and a peak of less than 180mg/dl after meals (usually 2 hours after meals).  However, these goals may differ depending on your age and medical issues.
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