Your blood sugar level and diabetesIf you have been diagnosed with diabetes and your blood sugar level is too high you are at risk of developing serious complications such as lower limb amputations, blindness, heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure.

Depending on the diabetes medication you have been prescribed, your healthcare team may discuss with you the option of monitoring your blood sugar level at home.

Not everyone with diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar level themselves but if you do, you’ll be provided with a meter and testing strips. Using a finger-pricking device you prick the side of your finger, put a drop of blood on a testing strip and then check the meter to see if you are achieving your target blood glucose level.

You will agree your target level with your healthcare team but the aim will be for it to be as near normal as possible. The target ranges for blood glucose levels for people with Type 2 diabetes are:

  • 4 – 7mmol/l before meals
  • less than 8.5mmol/l two hours after meals

At least once a year, your healthcare team should offer you a blood test (the HbA1c test) to help determine your long-term diabetes control. It measures your average blood glucose level for the previous 6-12 weeks, by looking at the amount of glucose that attaches to the red blood cells in the body. Generally the lower the better (but not too low).

For more information about blood glucose testing click on the link below which will take you to the Diabetes UK website:

Monitor your blood glucose levels