Understanding Your Blood Sugar Numbers

When you have diabetes it is important to check your blood sugar to make sure it is at a healthy level. If you can keep your blood sugar from getting too low or too high, you can reduce the chance of developing problems due to diabetes, and you will feel better too. If your blood sugar is too low, you may feel tired and sick. If your blood sugar is too high, you may damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels.

Blood Sugar Measurement

One way to check your blood sugar level is with a home blood glucose meter. The number tells you what your blood sugar is at a particular point in time. By keeping track of your levels, you can see how food, exercise, medicines, or other things affect your blood sugar. Your blood sugar may also be checked by a lab. Your ideal or goal blood sugar will differ depending on the time of day it is checked. Sometimes, your blood sugar will be checked before you eat, or a "fasting" blood sugar. Other times, it will be checked a few hours after you eat, which is also sometimes called a post-prandial blood sugar.

Today, your blood sugar was _____mg/dL. We would like it to be less than _____mg/dL.

A1c Measurement

Your A1c number tells us what your AVERAGE blood sugar has been over the last two to three months. This number tells us how well your diet, exercise, and medicine are working. We like to keep your A1c less than _____%. If it is too high, that means we need to change your diet or medications.

Today, your A1c was ______%.

Estimated Average Glucose (eAG) Measurement

The estimated average glucose or eAG is another way to report your A1c. The eAG number is reported as "mg/dL," just like the number you see with your home blood glucose meter. It is an AVERAGE of your blood sugar levels if you could monitor your blood sugars continuously through the day and night for several months. For example, if your A1c is 7%, that means your estimated average glucose over the last two to three months has been about 154 mg/dL. We would like to keep your estimated average glucose at about _____mg/dL.

Today, your estimated average glucose was _________mg/dL.

If your blood sugar numbers are too low or too high, you may need to change your diet or medicines. It is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to make sure your blood sugar is at the right level for you. By keeping your blood sugar at the right level, you will be healthier, and feel better too.

Feel free to ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

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