Why should I self-monitor my blood sugar levels?

Monitoring your blood sugar (glucose) levels is an important part of keeping your diabetes under control. Each time you use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar levels, write down your results in a log. Over time you can look for patterns. If your blood glucose level is too high or too low several days in a row, you can talk to your doctor about making changes in your diabetes care plan to keep your levels in the normal range. By self-monitoring your blood sugar levels, you can address problems right away, rather than letting them go untreated and possibly developing complications from your diabetes.

Insulin and oral diabetes medications are powerful drugs that lower blood glucose. You can tell how well they are doing their job by keeping track of your blood glucose. It can help you figure out how much medication you need to take to keep your after-meal blood glucose levels in your target range. Monitoring will also let you see how exercise affects your blood glucose. Also, when you use these medications, you are at risk for low blood glucose levels. Monitoring will tell you if your blood glucose is low, so you don’t have to guess. It can also guide you in deciding how much carbohydrate you need as a treatment.

If you have type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes and manage it with an eating and exercise plan, you don’t need to worry about low blood glucose levels. However, monitoring blood glucose may be helpful to you. It gives you feedback on how well your diabetes care is working. Positive feedback may be a wonderful source of encouragement for you. You can see the effects of your exercise program or food choices on your blood glucose levels. For pregnant women, it guides the treatment adjustments that will help keep you and your baby healthy.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.