What should my blood glucose levels be

Your personal goal depends on your age, type of diabetes and how long you've had it, other health conditions, life style, and desire for control. Here are some guidelines:







Before a Meal (or fasting)




over 180

After a Meal




over 220

Your diabetes educator and physician will help you set your own goals. For some people, a blood sugar level below 80 mg is too low, while for others a level under 100 mg is too low. A level over 120 before a meal is too high for some, while for others it is normal.

Recording SMBG Results

Keeping a record of SMBG test results is vital. You and your health-care professionals use this information to make safe adjustments to your diet, exercise plan, and insulin or oral hypoglycemic pills. Make sure your SMBG test record includes any unusual events, such as illness, stress, and changes in exercise or activity level.

SMBG Meters and Sensors

Meters and sensors for testing your blood glucose level vary in size, weight, test timing, range, and calibration method. They can read blood sugars as low as 0 and as high as 600 mg. Results may be obtained in 20 seconds to 2 minutes. Some tests require blotting or wiping, while others do not. All the available meters and sensors have been tested for accuracy. costs vary from $50 to $150. Insurance may pay 80% of the cost for people with insulin dependent diabetes. Trade-in offers and rebates can help reduce costs. At this time, all meters require test strips, which cost $.65 to $.80 each and are not covered by most insurance plans.

Photometric (color reflectance) meters have been around the longest and have proven reliable and accurate. They use a light source with filters and a lens to detect the color change on a strip pad caused by glucose in the blood. A digital result is produced. Photometric meters include the Accu-Chek, One-Touch, Tracer, Diascan and Glucometer.

An alternative technology for glucose measurement uses electrochemical detection. Glucose in the blood causes a reaction on the test strip that produces a tiny current. The meter detects the current and reports a digital test result. The Exactech Companion uses this technology.

Choosing a Lancet Device

Some people prefer to see the lancet stick their fingers, while others prefer a hidden lancet. Button activated, pen-shaped devices are easy to use. Reliable lancets like the Softouch, Glucolet, Penlet, and B-D Autolance are available for $15 to $20.

NOTE: Diabetes Forecast magazine publishes its Yearly Consumer Issue and Buyer's Guide in October. In this issue, you'll find information on available meters and sensors, including prices and accuracy evaluations.

Glycosylated Hemoglobin

Glycosylated hemoglobin, or Hgb AlC, is a test that reflects the average of your blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells . Glucose binds to hemoglobin, causing it to become glycosylated. The higher the percentage of hemoglobin that is glycosylated, the higher your average blood sugar for the past 2-3 months.

In these examples, the circles represent red blood cells, the large H inside the circles represent hemoglobin, and the small G's represent glucose. Where a G is present in a cell, the hemoglobin is glycosylated.

ExaiuyLa A: Avyzyjti blixjJ ymyaiü 3Û-1Û0; Hyfí A:C 7.G V*

Evumpl^fl: Average jloud sugars 2Q0-33O; HrjB ALS 13.C1Ï

Evumpl^fl: Average jloud sugars 2Q0-33O; HrjB ALS 13.C1Ï

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