Amy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country.

Let's get one thing straight: testing glucose is not a judgment of your personal worth. It's not a test that you either “pass” or “fail.”

In fact, all glucose readings are good. At least, good in the sense that if you hadn’t checked, you wouldn’t have the information about your body that you do.

Let’s say you find yourself at a surprisingly high 240 mg/dl at bedtime. Now you've been prompted to think briefly about whether your evening was different than usual:

  • What did you eat? Was it out of the ordinary for you?
  • Did you stay sitting watching TV all night?
  • Did you read quietly instead of doing dishes and straightening up the kitchen like you usually do?

In any case, after testing and getting this information, you now know you need to lower your blood glucose by taking a walk or being active in some way. And you may want to try a different dinner choice tomorrow night to avoid repeating the high.

"Testing" vs. "checking"

Patterns of changes in blood glucose levels over time generally make sense, but single results often don’t, so there’s no need to beat yourself up over them. 

Remember: a single high result could mean you're overtired or on the verge of getting sick, both of which can make your blood sugar run high for a limited amount of time.

And diabetes-related complications are never brought on by just one value but rather high blood glucose levels over lengthy periods of time, which is reflected by an increased A1c (and high A1c values over years).

Consider talking about glucose “checking” versus “testing.” What you’re really doing is checking your current blood glucose level so you know what to do next.

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