Using a Blood Sugar Log

Woman holding glucometer and writing in blood glucose log.

You have diabetes. This means your body has trouble regulating a sugar called glucose. To help manage your diabetes, you’ll need to check your blood sugar level as directed by your healthcare provider. Keeping a log of your blood sugar levels will help you track your blood sugar readings. It’s a simple and easy way to see how well you are controlling your diabetes.

Checking your blood sugar level

You can check your blood sugar level with a blood glucose meter. You’ll first prick the side of your finger with a tiny lancet to draw a tiny drop of blood onto the test strip. Some glucose meters let you use another place on your body to test. But these other places should not be used in some cases as they may be inaccurate. Follow the instructions for your glucose meter. And talk with your healthcare provider before doing the test on other places.

The strip goes into the meter first, then a drop of blood is placed on the tip of the strip. The meter then shows a reading that tells you the level of your blood sugar. Your readings should be in your target range as often as possible. This means not too high or too low. Staying in this range helps lower your risk for complications. Your healthcare provider will help you figure out the target range that is best for you.

Tracking your readings

Every time you check your blood sugar, use your log to keep track of your readings. Your meter will also probably have a memory feature that your healthcare provider can check at your next visit. You may be advised by your healthcare provider to check your blood sugar in the morning, at bedtime, and before and after meals. Be sure to write down all of your numbers. Also use your log to record things that might have affected your blood sugar. Some examples include being sick, certain medicines, being physically active, feeling stressed, or skipping meals. 

Lessons learned from your readings

Tracking your blood sugar readings helps you see patterns. These patterns tell you how your actions affect your blood sugar. For instance, you may have higher numbers after eating certain foods or lower numbers after exercise. They just help you understand how to stay in your target range more often, so that your diabetes remains in good control.

Sharing your log with your healthcare team

Bring your blood sugar log and glucose meter with you to all of your healthcare appointments. This can help your healthcare team make changes to your treatment plan, if needed. This may involve making changes in what you eat, what medicines you take, or how much you exercise.

To learn more

The resources below can help you learn more:

  • American Diabetes Association 800-342-2383

  • Lighthouse International 800-829-0500

  • National Eye Institute 301-496-5248

  • Hormone Health Network 800-467-6663