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Learning About Blood Sugar-How is blood sugar tested?

How is blood sugar tested?

There are two common tests for blood sugar. They can help you and your doctor check how well your blood sugar is under control.

Finger stick

One test is a finger (or forearm) stick that you can do at home. This test is done one or more times a day. You can do it first thing in the morning before you eat (fasting) or at other times of the day, like after a meal. This test tells what your blood sugar level is at that moment in time. The fasting target is usually 80 to 120. After a meal, the target is usually less than 180.

Blood test

The other test is a blood test called A1c (AY-one-see). This test is done at your doctor’s office or a lab a few times a year. The A1c shows the average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. Usually the goal is for your A1c to be below 7.

Watch for blood sugar that drops too low

All diabetes medicines can cause blood sugar to drop too low. When blood sugar is too low, it’s called hypoglycemia (high-po-gly-SEE-mee-ah).  It can cause you to feel dizzy, sweaty, confused, shaky, hungry, and weak.

Warning: If you think you may have low blood sugar, eat or drink something with sugar in it right away. Your doctor or nurse may suggest something like hard candy, juice, or glucose tablets.