Blood glucose test

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2014-02-15 21:37:25 -0600
Started 2014-02-05 17:26:52 -0600

How many times a day does a diabetic need to take blood sugar tests?

Tags: blood sugar

72 replies

TopazDee 2014-02-15 06:01:21 -0600 Report

Hi I am in the UK and as a fairly newly diagnosed diabetic I was sent for a days course to understand all aspects of being a type 2 diabetic run by 2 NHS highly trained diabetic nurses my new way of life (I hate the term diet as it's not a fad to loose weight it is a life threatening condition) I take 2 Zircon (gliclazide) tablets a day what I did learn about these were quit scary I was unaware that this medication could cause massive blood glucose level drops (Hypo's) so was advised to take regular readings throught the day my surgery nurse told me once a day was enough, fine if you take Metformin.
When we broke for lunch 13.15hrs. I was feeling a bit wobbly (breakfast was early 07.00hrs.) I took my Bg's they were 4.1 (73/4) obviously to low for me we all differ all the medical profession can do is give a guide line, we have to keep a check on how we feel especially the lower guide line.
After I had eaten a salad sandwich and a Muller Light Yogurt it rose to 7.8 (140) which gave me the energy to see me through to my tea at 18.00hrs.
They did advise that taking readings were a good idea when adding new foods to your new way of living.
Good Luck Stay Safe.

Stuart1966 2014-02-13 19:17:44 -0600 Report

An excellent philosophical question!

The best answer I can offer, based on my experience (for whatever that may be worth) you test as often as you are capable and willing. The current theory, the more the better, but that is dead wrong multiple levels. Glad (if reluctant) to elaborate if you desire…

There are many excellent reasons to test. There are many insidious reasons to be leery of them as well. The most you are willing and capable of performing is the best answer four plus decades as a T1 diabetic that I can offer

venis27 2014-02-11 10:41:38 -0600 Report

Yes, I barely disagree with that..I always have this feeling that I need to go back to the start and totally reconsider my methods on approaching diabetes…

margokittycat 2014-02-11 00:40:30 -0600 Report

Dear Anonymous and all other responders to this discusion. Talk to your doctor only your doctor can answer this question for you.

I have been diabetic for over thirty years and I test 8 timesa day and up to 12 sometimes depending on how I feel.

Every single diabetic in the world is diferent and not one is the same as another one. Things that help one may hinder another.

TSo check with your doctor and see what they say. you can always test more then what they tell you if it makes you feel better or if you feel you need to.

venis27 2014-02-09 13:25:19 -0600 Report

But as far as my life with diabetes since 2006 is concerned, I feel that both words are accurate description of the way I use the GM seven years after!

IronOre 2014-02-09 09:43:58 -0600 Report

So how do you expect someone on here to answer a question like that?
It is between you and your doctor.

Type1Lou 2014-02-08 10:22:07 -0600 Report

There is no single right answer to this question. It will depend on the type of diabetes you have and what kind of medications/devices you are using. I am a Type 1 on an insulin pump and I average 8 tests per day: upon rising/before breakfast, before lunch and dinner, 2 hours after a meal, before bedtime and often in the middle of the night. I might do additional tests to verify a low BG feeling before I take anything to treat it. You may also test more frequently after changing meds/dosages or devices or during an illness or stressful period or before and after rigorous exercise.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-07 11:11:19 -0600 Report

Diabetes is not the same for everyone so how many times a day a person test depends on each individual. If you feel low or high and need to test to be sure then do so. I usually test once or twice a day depending on how I am feeling. If I am feeling really low I test every two hours until it is back to my normal range. Same if I am high. You are the only one who can decide how many times you need to test.

venis27 2014-02-07 10:10:12 -0600 Report

I am in that state but I trully believe that in the bottom line, half of the holes are useless and could have easily be avoided. I am sure that doing it maximum of four times per day is feasible and can be really effective, too. This definitely concerns those that live with diabetes for years..!if you are still counting ten times per day, then there are definitely some things that you should have paid attention the previous million times that you used the hole puncher!or there is still a major problem with the fact that your mind flatshares with diabetes in the same body…!

margokittycat 2014-02-11 00:51:49 -0600 Report

Not true. I have been diabetic for over 30 years. I live a very active life and have a family and grandchildren, live on a farm raise animals and ake care of live stock. Run a trucking business and volunteer at a lot of different community places. I am a Girl Scout leader of 5 troops and I test 8 times a day and sometimes up to 12. I am allergic to long lsting insulins and can only take short lasting, and ans that is very dangerous, with all I do. It isn't that I didn't or don't pay atenion or do things I should not do, it is because the only kind of insulin i can take is fast acting short term so I have to take shots more frequently which means checking BG mor frequently and being so active my BG drops and that cause me to have t check more frequently,

Maybe someone withless than 8 years under hier belt of th big D needs to think before they open thier mouth and say the incorrect thing like you have done.

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:40:14 -0600 Report

Margo- I am right there with everything you said! I have never met anyone who has the same condition as me given it's so rare! I do respond to long lasting insulins so I use an insulin pump called the animas ping. If you have the option of being on the pump I would recommend you truly consider it and try it for at least 2 weeks to a month and just see the difference in how much easier life is not having to inject every couple hours. I recommend you look in to the animas ping because it's the best by best I mean safest pump available! It's really easy to use and is pretty too! I know that change is not always exciting or something you might want especially after your 30 years of experience with diabetes!

But please consider the animas ping- coming from someone who can relate to you with the long lasting allergy I'm telling you it's worth it! Try it out and you'll never look back! Im so sure you will love the pump that I'm willing to send you a site (pump connection point with no insulin- just to see how it feels!) to test out and see that sites don't hurt (if you use the correct special kind!)

I say this because I care and want to help! Consider it! It could make a lifetime of a difference!

Feel free to email me at small

margokittycat 2014-02-12 00:02:29 -0600 Report

Thank you. I actually just atarted seeing a new endo last month because my last one did not listen to me and refused to put me on a pump although I have been asking for the past 6 years. I ask my new endo the on my very first appointment and she was all for it. we are going to do some updating on some things first and then do it.

It is funny you mention the Animas ping because that is the exact one that I want. I have been researching all of them for a while and it seems to have the best of everything that I want adnd that others say to look for.

Thank you so much for you care and support. I really want to be on the pump and make my life less hectic. I lead a busy life but it is hard when you re having to turn around every couple hours and and test and take shots and then test again.

venis27 2014-02-11 01:59:45 -0600 Report

and of course,as every wants different things from his everyday life,its logic that everyone will be satisfied with different diabetic life standards..just accept it..and sorry,but diabetes is not the army or a managerial career so that you can or have the right to judge someone's quality of point of view from his..years of experience!

venis27 2014-02-11 01:45:14 -0600 Report

first of all,i do talk about the way i see obsessiveness in my behaviour,and that i think that after eight years i should have learned more things about my body,my food and the activity of insulin that i use for all this time…and getting more relaxed instead of counting again and again. but thats my perspective,and even if i talked in a more general way sounding like it concerns everyone,its not the most categorical and offensive thing in the i would suggest that next time you will be less agressive and more polite,as a forum for people with diabetes is supposed to be,among other,a pool of personal perspectives,and there must be space for polite disagreements,just like the previews peopk

bayridgevet 2014-02-06 20:16:43 -0600 Report

It depends on how brittle the diabetic is. 6 to 8 times a day is not unusual for severe diabetics. You can't get in trouble testing too much, but if you skip you may have trouble Follow doctors orders…

jayabee52 2014-02-06 17:42:57 -0600 Report

I believe a MINIMUM should be testing 3 X a day: #1 after rising for the day (fasting) #2 two hrs after eating a meal (check after different meals on different days of the week) #3 just before bedtime. (if one goes to bed with a low-ish number you can wake with higher numbers in the AM due to a liver dump. If you are low-ish on your BG numbers then eat something like peanut butter on an apple which will digest most of the night and raise your BG levels so no liver dump). Of course I consider 3 a minimum and testing may be increased should the need arise.

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:43:33 -0600 Report

Yes this plan would work if you only ate ONE meal a day my dear.

jayabee52 2014-02-15 21:37:25 -0600 Report

I rotate the postprandial to different days of the week on as I progress through the week ie: Sunday 2 hr after breakfast, Monday 2 hr after lunch, Tues, 2 hr after evening meal in rotation.
It works OK for T2s and note I emphasized that as a minimum number. I understand that this would not be sufficient for T1s.

vrswesley 2014-02-08 13:23:15 -0600 Report

my doc says no more than once a day… I dont agree.never have agreed

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:44:54 -0600 Report

The correct decision for you to make is to find a new doctor who's head is not up their butt! LOL seriously sounds like they have not learned about diabetes since 1960

vrswesley 2014-02-11 23:50:48 -0600 Report

Im in the process of changing.. just take present doc wasnt alive in thge 60's.. shes young.. but does seem to haven out dated view on diabetis.

dagger1234 2014-02-05 22:47:35 -0600 Report

I got to an argument with my pharmacy because they told me I was "testing too much". They told me I should only be testing 4 times a day. I snapped on them because they were annoyed I called in to refil so fast. My doctor told me to test before and after a meal and before, during and after working out. That's all in all a total of 6 strips a day!!! I told them my doctor suggested 6 or more if neccesary and the manager of the pharmacy lost his mind. I told him to calm down and stop giving me attitude because at that time, I was just diagnosed and had no idea what to do.

Now a days, I seem to think I kind of have my blood under control now- but I've been exercising a lot now too so I should mention to my doctor to write a note to let me test more to avoid another confrontation!

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:46:46 -0600 Report

4x a day works if you are a type two. A type one needs to test at least 6 if not 8 or more times a day to really be able to tell if they are "under control"

vrswesley 2014-02-08 13:27:41 -0600 Report

my doc told me i was testing too much. now I pay for my own so I test when i want.. its hard cause I dont have alot of money but insurance wont pay for what i want so I found some online good prices.

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:48:12 -0600 Report

Does $9 for a bottle of 50 sounding an affordable deal? Go to walmart and get a reli-on meter and a bottle of 50 for $9 and test away!

Type1Lou 2014-02-08 10:26:21 -0600 Report

I believe the pharmacist was definitely out of line on this. You were right to stand up for yourself. You were acting responsibly to get the data to get/keep your BG's under control. You go girl!

rdhorn 2014-02-05 21:41:48 -0600 Report

Agree with Nick if you can afford to do so. I can't speak for anyone else, but test strips are a controlled item and insurance will not pay if you run out of strips before the refill date.

Type1Lou 2014-02-08 10:29:48 -0600 Report

But, you can have your doctor write a scrip to cover the strips you need to test as often as you need to maintain control. This usually involves his/her stating on the RX, how many times per day you should test and he/she needs to be specific. If he indicates a range of 7 to 8 times a day, the insurers will default to the lowest number. This is where I feel they are "penny-wise and pound-foolish".

rdhorn 2014-02-08 12:30:12 -0600 Report

Yes, you are correct. I just left my diabetes educator moments ago and was advised, testing 3 times daily was more than enough. However, everyone is different.

kimfing 2014-02-05 20:27:34 -0600 Report

I test when i get up, after breakfast, before lunch after lunch before dinner after dinner n before bed

isaboll 2014-02-05 17:42:19 -0600 Report

Thanks for the reply! I've seen some say before and after meal and exercise. Seems a bit much to do every day.

Nick1962 2014-02-05 17:49:38 -0600 Report

Welcome to the group!
Don’t know if you’re a T1 or T2, but as far as I’m concerned, testing is something you really can’t overdo unless you have really good control.
I’ve tested sometimes 10+ times per day to find out what meals I can and can’t tolerate, what types of exercise/activities have effects, when and how much I need to eat, etc.
Sure it gets expensive, but I’ve maintained an A1c under 5.5 for a few years now and doctor says I no longer need to test (but I still do, just not as much). Those numbers helped me learn how to adjust my eating and lifestyle patterns.

Nick1962 2014-02-05 17:38:51 -0600 Report

My personal advice - as often as you can afford to.

venis27 2014-02-07 09:59:59 -0600 Report

…in my opinion punching your finger ten times per day is nothing but a problem,its more mark of obsessive than responsible behavior

beatingtype1 2014-02-11 22:52:07 -0600 Report

You are either a type two and don't understand type one. Or a type one who does not take proper care of their self due to not being properly educated or someone who has a piece of shiznit doctor

Either way in reality you are wrong.

Type1Lou 2014-02-08 10:32:03 -0600 Report

I would be lost without my meter…testing as often as one needs to in order to maintain control is responsible behavior and not obsessive, IMHO.

venis27 2014-02-08 19:11:30 -0600 Report

Well, in my case I figure out some elements of obsessiveness, and this is something that I do struggle to fix…it certainly works differently for everyone though..,doesn't it?..but I certainly believe that 20 counts per day doesn't necessarily mean responsible work

Nick1962 2014-02-07 10:28:04 -0600 Report

You’re right, it was obsessive. That obsession was my attempt to gain control and I have. However, it was no more obsessive than using a CGM and getting readings every 5 minutes.
I’ll disagree about it not being responsible behavior. That testing, as I stated above, gave me a pretty clear picture of what was going on and what I needed to correct. However, if all I did was test and did nothing with that information, I’d agree that would be irresponsible.

Big picture – that obsessive behavior allowed me to get a grip on a condition that many suffer a lifetime with. In addition, because of it I no longer burden my insurance company with medical and pharmaceutical claims, and as a result they reward me with lower premiums. I’m saving about $4K per year. Spending $10 a day for a few months for a better understanding of your health is well worth the investment in my book.

Type1Lou 2014-02-08 10:36:20 -0600 Report

Nick, I wouldn't call your behavior "obsessive" which is pejorative, but "doggedly determined". And we need to act in such a fashion if we are truly determined to properly manage our condition. Some may be able to do less and others may need to do more. (Like some people can easily get A's in school while others have to put in much more effort to even get close to an A.) It will vary by individual.

jigsaw 2014-02-08 18:51:41 -0600 Report

Yes, you've clarified it to the point of perfection! You added a new word to my vocabulary also.

Type1Lou 2014-02-09 11:28:17 -0600 Report

I just LOVE words and language, Jigsaw! I wanted to get across that I'd prefer to read less judgmental comments. We're all struggling in one way or another to master our conditions and should be encouraged to do so.

Nick1962 2014-02-08 18:39:18 -0600 Report

Good to see you again Lou. Any new quilts posted?
Had to look up “pejorative” LOL
But yes, that’s definitely part of my personality – while I never got A’s in school, I never left a project unfinished either. There may come a time when I can’t manage without help, but I want that day as far off as possible.

Type1Lou 2014-02-09 11:10:52 -0600 Report

The last Quilt photo I uploaded was my Guild Challenge for this year called "Ogeechee Tupelo" It was my attempt to recreate Florida nature photographer, Carlton Ward Jr's awesome phot of an Ogeechee Tupelo on the Suwanee River. I didn't win any prizes but loved the challenge! Thanks for asking!

Nick1962 2014-02-09 17:56:44 -0600 Report

I had to look the photo up, but that’s a pretty accurate rendition! Nicely done!
The wife has been on “quilt hiatus” for a while, but since all her nieces and nephews decided to get pregnant at the same time, she’s busy making baby quilts now. Nothing fancy, but at least fat quarter mountain has gone down an inch.

Type1Lou 2014-02-09 18:25:01 -0600 Report

Nick, it sounds like your wife and I are on the same "High-fiber" diet…FABRIC! I'm sure she's heard that "A fat quarter is NOT a body part!"…a little bit of quilter's humor!. It's a very satisfying hobby..or should I call it "obsession"…no let's not go there!

Nick1962 2014-02-09 18:37:25 -0600 Report

No doubt. She's very good at it, I should really post some of her stuff.
I won't go there because anyone who labels me obsessive never met a quilter.

jigsaw 2014-02-07 19:07:35 -0600 Report

One can't argue with success! It simply makes no sense to do so. Bottom line, it appears that you have experienced above average success with your mgmt. Even if you have been obsessive ( and I'm not judging in this case) it's much better then having poor control and high BG. Heck, I think I'll go stick my finger and see what's going on.

Nick1962 2014-02-08 18:30:18 -0600 Report

No, the results do speak for themselves, and because of it I really don’t worry about what’s going in my mouth. I already know the results and repercussions should I chose to ignore my better judgment.
Here’s hoping your stick comes back normal!

Oh by the way, I did find my perch dinner. Right under my nose at a takeout soul food place less than a mile from the house. Didn’t even know it was there for the last 4 years. Bonus, instead of breaded and deep fried, they’ll do broiled, grilled or steamed.

Nick1962 2014-02-08 19:31:48 -0600 Report

Wasn't the lake perch I'm used to, but a good facsimile. Tried some Croaker for the first time too. Stewed squash and black-eyed's…diabetic friendly and darned near paleo too!

venis27 2014-02-07 11:43:31 -0600 Report

Yes, it makes perfect sense in that way, everyone has to go through periods of intense and very often blood counting in order to get a grip on that thing..!but hopefully, someday, somehow there had to come to a point where you are over it… (it = obsessive compulsive glucose meter misuse) :-) >> 10 times/day!

Type1Lou 2014-02-09 11:30:13 -0600 Report

Venis27 I respectfully disagree with your term "misuse" and ditto with the "obsessive" label. Why so judgmental?

Nick1962 2014-02-07 13:49:24 -0600 Report

Oh absolutely it came to a stop, and I’ll admit I was pretty anal retentive about it for a while. Furiously filling out my log books, built a spreadsheet complete with graphs and charts, heck if I could have afforded a CGM I would have used one. But for me it was all as a learning/study tool. Testing in any amount is useless if you don’t do anything with the information. Right now I can guess my BG and be within 10 points of correct. Overkill? Maybe, but I don’t have near the stress many have regarding my condition. I have a T1 acquaintance spent a year on a CGM and the info she gained and shared should really be published. She could probably go a couple weeks without a meter and still manage with what that taught her (and yes, she is obsessive, but in this case, it worked in her favor).

Now, since no one has offered a cure for sure, so I guess I’ll always be “on a meter” of some sort, and we constantly change with age metabolically, so my testing is for maintenance only at this time. Without that intense up-front testing, I’d never be at this point.

Next Discussion: A1c? »