How often should I measure my blood sugar level?
The frequency of measurement depends on the diabetes therapy. If you are a Type 2 diabetic and are being treated with oral medication and/or insulin, or if you are injecting insulin twice a day as part of conventional diabetes therapy, then you should speak to your nurse about the details of monitoring your blood sugar level.
If you are injecting insulin as part of an intensive therapy or carry an insulin pump, then you should check you blood sugar level at least 4 times a day:
- after getting up/before breakfast
- before lunch
- before the evening meal
- before going to sleep
In addition, every 2 to 4 weeks you should measure your blood sugar level between 2 - 4 am to determine if there are any undetected night-time hypos.
Initial stage and exceptional circumstances
During the initial stages it makes sense to measure the "postprandial" blood sugar value 1 to 2 hours after you have eaten a meal. This helps you to establish the correct meal insulin type and to determine the necessary interval between injections and meals as well as the correct insulin dose. However, these values measured soon after meals cannot be used on their own to check the peak insulin intake.
Blood sugar levels must also be checked whenever you suspect exceptional circumstances, such as suspected hypoglycaemia or ketoacidosis, during illnesses involving fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, as well as dramatic changes in your daily rhythm (e.g. shift work, going on holiday to a different time zone).