The general non-fasting blood glucose cut-offs your doctor may use are:
- Below 140 mg/dL for people without diabetes
- 140 to 199 mg/dL suggests prediabetes
- Above 200 mg/dL suggests diabetes
Your blood glucose is the sugar in your blood that comes from the food you eat. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, it means your blood glucose (AKA blood sugar) stays higher than it should. Blood glucose is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Usually, a doctor will check your blood glucose (along with other labs like A1c) at annual physicals as a way to screen for diabetes risk.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, measuring your blood glucose at home is a helpful way to learn how your body responds to food, daily activities, exercise, or even stress. You can use blood glucose readings to work with your diabetes care team to make sure your treatment plan and medications are working for you.
How to use a blood glucose monitor?
A blood glucose monitor is a portable glucose reader you use at home to check your blood sugar.
It’s normal to feel intimidated if you are new to using a glucose monitor, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it after using it a few times. Here are the steps to get started:
- Gather your supplies. Once you’ve gathered your supplies (glucometer, testing strip, and lancet), start by washing your hands with warm soapy water. You can also use an alcohol swab if you are out and about or aren’t near a sink. You just want to make sure your hands are clean and dry.
- Warm up your hands. Try to warm up your hands before testing, either in warm water while washing them or by rubbing them together. If your hands are too cold, it can make it harder to draw blood.
- Turn on your glucometer and insert a test strip.
- Use a lancet (the device that helps you draw blood) to poke the side of your finger on the side (it can be more uncomfortable on the pad or tip of your finger).
- Put a small drop of blood on the test strip. If you don’t get enough, you can massage from your hand or the base of your finger to draw more out.
- Get your reading. Your glucometer will measure your blood glucose and give you a reading in a few seconds. Many meters will keep track of your readings, but you can also write them down.
You can use a tissue to help stop any bleeding if needed, but some people notice they hardly bleed at all. Also, make sure to switch up what finger you use to test to prevent calluses or pain.
When and how often should I test my blood glucose?
Since everyone is different, how often you test can be decided between you and your healthcare team as part of your individualized treatment plan.
Depending on your plan, testing at certain times of day is usually recommended because it gives insight into how your body responds to food, medications, or when you are fasting (not eating).
Fasting blood sugar
Checking your blood sugar first thing after you wake up and before you eat or drink anything (including that first cup of coffee) can be helpful to understand what your blood sugar is doing while you are asleep.
Note: A fasting blood sugar target for people with diabetes is 80 to 130 mg/dL.
Postprandial blood sugar (after meals)
Your blood glucose after meals also paints a picture of how your body responds to food and how your medication is working. It can be helpful to check the time when you sit down to eat so you can aim for no later than two hours later.
Note: The blood sugar target for two hours after the start of your meal is less than 180 mg/dL.
Why the Contour Next One blood glucose monitor makes testing easier
There are many options available to check your blood glucose, but the Contour Next One Blood Glucose Monitor is a favorite because of its many features. It’s fast and accurate, and easy to use. If you like using apps for health tracking, you can also set it up to work with your phone and sync to an automatic diary to share with your diabetes care team.
The Contour Next One also provides you with immediate feedback using a feature called smartLight technology. Just like a traffic light, your blood glucose readings are paired with colors: red for below target (low blood glucose), green for within target, and amber (yellow) for above target making it even easier to understand your results.
The second chance testing is another helpful feature, which tells you to add more blood to the strip if you don’t get enough for a reading. This reduces the chance you’ll have to poke yourself again or waste another test strip.
Here’s how to get a free blood glucose monitor
9amHealth wants to make it easy and affordable for you to get a blood glucose monitor that gives you fast and accurate information, which is why we’ve created a special add-on. You can add a blood glucose monitoring subscription to your personalized plan that includes a free Contour Next One Blood Glucose Meter.
If you are a current subscriber to any of the 9am plans, the meter and strips can be bundled together and sent to your house at a price that’s significantly lower than other popular retailers.
You and your diabetes care team can determine how often you will test your blood glucose and you can order based on that amount. Quarterly orders save you the most money, but you also have the option to subscribe monthly if that fits your lifestyle or budget better:
- If you test once a day: $45 each quarter or $15 a month for 100 strips
- If you test twice a day: $90 each quarter or $30 a month for 200 strips
- If you test three times a day: $135 each quarter or $45 a month for 300 strips
You can also add lancets, so you have everything you’ll need to stay on top of your diabetes care in one package.
Checking your blood glucose is a simple but critical part of diabetes care
Blood glucose monitoring provides you with the information you need to manage your diabetes. It’s a snapshot into your body that is completely individualized to you.
9amHealth wants to change the culture of diabetes care to make it affordable and convenient to get the personalized care you deserve. In combination with your subscription, the Contour Next One Blood Glucose Monitor add-on helps your care team work with you to create a plan tailored to your needs.
If you have any issues or concerns testing your blood glucose, make sure to reach out to your diabetes care team, who are there to support you.
9amHealth offers affordable at-home diabetes care products like the Contour Next One Blood Glucose Monitor to make glucose testing more convenient and affordable than ever before. You can get started with at-home, personalized online medical care with us here.