Blood sugar tests: what should be recorded?
Testing your blood sugar on a regular basis is the best way to keep your glucose levels in check. But what do you do with the information your meter gives you? Recording it can help you see patterns and trends that you might miss if you don't write it all down.
Blood sugar tests: what should you record?
There are a few absolute 'must-haves' when recording your blood sugar test results. The most important points are the blood sugar readings taken before and after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. Your doctor might recommend recording your blood sugar at other times of day, such as right before bed.
You might also consider recording the following:
- What you ate for each meal or snack, as well as the time it was consumed
- What medications you took and when
- How much you exercised and when
- Anything unusual about your day, such as missing a meal
- Something unusual about your schedule, such as attending a social event or being on vacation
- If you are sick or feeling stressed out
- If you tested a blood sample from your fingertips or some alternate site
Each of these things can affect your blood sugar levels. By recording them, you give yourself a chance to find patterns in your blood sugar readings.
Where you should record your blood sugar test results
This is where the fun comes in. You can record your blood sugar numbers wherever and however you want, as long as you get all the pertinent information down in one place. Most glucose meters come with a small logbook that can be carried with you. Some logbooks are very simple, with space for only the blood sugar readings and the time. Others are elaborate, with space for meal and exercise information.
Using a customized journal or Excel spreadsheet can allow you to create your own log. If you want to go all-out with information, online software designed to record every aspect of your day-to-day life is available. Take your time in looking at the wide variety of glucose logs online to find one that suits you or inspires you to create your own.
What do your blood sugar test results mean?
Once you have established a few weeks of blood sugar results in your log, sit down and review it. Look for times when your glucose is lower or higher than it should be. Do those out-of-range readings seem to fall during the same time of day? Do they happen after you eat certain foods, after you exercise, or when you first wake up in the morning?
Take the logbook to your next doctor's appointment and discuss it with your physician. These trends can help your doctor understand what is happening in your body and adjust your medications accordingly to help you achieve tighter glucose control.
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, "Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep Your Diabetes Under Control"
WebMD, "Record the Results"