Checking your blood glucose is straight forward, but it can be hard to get used to at first.
To check your blood glucose levels:
- Wash your hands.
- Put a test strip into the blood glucose meter.
- Attach a lancet to the finger picker - use a fresh lancet every time.
- Place the finger picker to push the lancet in.
- Press the button on the finger picker to push the lancet in.
- Gently squeeze your finger until you have a drop of blood.
- Hold your finger so the blood touches the top of the test strip.
- Read the numbers on the screen of your meter.
When to check blood glucose levels
Try to check your blood glucose:
- when you wake up
- before meals
- before bed
- before, during and after physical activity - take a break during exercise to check your levels
- before driving or operating machinery
- if you feel unwell or feel like your blood glucose levels are high or low
- if you have been drinking alcohol
This helps you understand your blood glucose levels and how they're affected by meals and physical activity.
Blood glucose - the numbers
The ideal range for blood glucose levels are:
- on waking up or before breakfast: 5 to 7 millimoles per litre (mmol/l)
- before other meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- before bed: 5 to 9mmol/l
This is a guide - your diabetes team will agree the best range with you.
Your blood glucose levels can be affected by many things, including:
- what you eat and drink
- illness or infection
- some medicines
- being more or less active than usual
- drinking alcohol