Recording Your Readings
Pick a way to record your readings. Your meter came with a log book, or
you can use a journal, a spreadsheet, etc. It doesn't matter which you go
with as long as you write down your readings. It will be a valuable resource
for you to identify if your blood sugar is going up or remember how you
reacted to a certain food. Your doctor will use it to evaluate how your
blood sugar is responding to treatment.
Testing a Meal
There is no standard time to measure your blood sugar after a meal, you will need to consider what you ate and how
you expect it to affect your blood sugar to decide at what times you should test.
The goal is to identify how high your blood sugar went and how long it
took for it to come back to your pre-meal level. So don't stop testing until
you see the reading come all the way back down.
- Measure your blood sugar before you start eating.
- When someone says "test 1 hour after your meal", it means 1 hour
after the first bite, not 1 hour after you finish eating.
- If it is a new food, I test at 30 minutes afterwards, then 1 hour
afterwards then 1.5 hours afterwards, etc until I see my blood sugar reach its peak, start falling and come back to my pre-meal
- If my meal higher in fat
and protein (like ice cream), I test at 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, etc
because the peak blood sugar is
- Subtract your initial blood sugar from your peak blood sugar to find the "spike". If
you start at 100 and rise to 120, you spiked 20 points which is very
good. However if you start at 70 and rise to 120, you spiked 50 points.
Test strips for your meter are the most expensive part of testing. In the
beginning you will go through a lot, maybe 4-10 a day. Once you have things
under control, you can usually reduce how often you test if you aren't using
the readings to adjust your insulin. Here are some ways to save money on
- Save your strips for when you will act upon the information you get
from testing. If my fasting blood sugar has been stable for a while, I
will not test for a few days and then use up 4 to really test out a new
food. I never stop testing completely, otherwise I wouldn't notice if it
started getting out of control. I just chose carefully when I'm going to
- Many test strip manufacturers have discount programs that anyone can
join. For example, FreeStyle has a program where if the bill is more
than $15 after your insurance is applied, they pay the difference,
limiting how much you owe to $15.
- Use the meter with the cheapest test strips. The meters are
relatively inexpensive but the test strips add up fast. Walmart has a
brand, ReliOn, with some of the least expensive strips.
- If you don't have insurance, you can buy strips online, usually
through Amazon for less than the pharmacy price.