Daily BG checking

Hi all, currently i check my bg levels between 3-6 times a day, some days i just check 3 times per day, I'm also in my honeymoon period and have being for just over 1 month. I have read that you should check at least 4 times a day, and that not checking is limiting your control. How often do you check daily?

hi adele,
im type 1 for three years. in spain, the health system only gives me three strips a day but thats not enough for me to know what is really going on with my bg. i test minimum four or five times a day and can go up to ten times, as i exercise multiple times a day commuting to work, walking dog, etc. ill test more if things are a bit wonky(out of nowhere highs or lows), if ive drunk any alcohol, if i feel a bit off.

i usually test before meals, sometimes 2 hours after if the food is not somehting i usually eat, before and after exercise and before going to bed.

I test four times a day (morning, lunch, dinner, and bed) but more often if I am too high or too low. My insurance is dumb and doesn't cover enough strips for a type 1 diabetic and the strips and meter they want me to use are expensive ($1 per strip) so I just bought a meter from CVS pharmacy and pay a quarter of the price I used to per strip. And the meter is accurate!

Hi Adele, To really know what is going on you need to test more than 4x per day at least for a while- if you stay stable for the most part, once you learn your patterns you may be able to do less and rely more on a cgm if you keep eating and exercise patterns the same.

At the least: test in the morning, before your meals, 1.5-2 hours after your meals, before sleep, at 3 am if necessary and any time you feel off. Doing this and, getting a dexcom/cgm, if you can will help you to see how different foods affect you and to lower your a1c level- average bg level. I test on average 10x per day, I'm relying on cgm more but it's not always accurate, finger sticks are the most accurate so far.

Wow,that’s a lot I’m going to test more times especially after food

I came up with a "chart" of a typical day a couple of years ago and had typed it a few times and eventually copied it to keep on hand but I think about 12/ day is reasonable:

1) wake up, test bg
2) before eating test BG
3) before driving to work test bg
4) 2 hours after eating test bg
5) lunch test BG
6) 2 hours post lunch test bg
7) drive home test BG
8) get home, run 3 miles...oh wait, don't forget to test your bg!
9) post-exercise maybe, maybe not, maybe eat dinner and, you guessed it, test BG
10) 2 hours post dinner, test BG ****AGAIN****
12) stay up late? Maybe squeeze in another one, what if you have errands to run, what if you want to exercise more? We have yoga at lunch at work a couple of times/ week but I try to test before that too as balancing and hypos can be uncomfortable. When I'm really gonzo, I'll workout in the AM and try to squeeze in runs at night, although not so much when it's below freezing or below zero as it's been this week.

I think that blood sugar testing should be a civil right, and should have no stigma or really, no limitation placed upon it. All it takes is one hypo behind the wheel to have a very bad day for yourself and possibly others.

Hi adele,
I test very similarly to acidrock, maybe a little less, 7-10 times per day.

Being so new to T1D, I'd recommend getting the book "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Scheiner. It really helped answer the multitude of questions swirling around my head when I was first diagnosed.

I think for anyone on insulin especially it is necessary to test more than 4 times a day. You need to check before meals to determine insulin dose. You should check on waking and before going to bed to make sure you are in range and correct if not (with more checks to follow up on result of correction). For the same reason it's important to check 2 hours after meal to see if correction is needed. In the early days such as you are in, it's also very useful to check after meals to see how different foods affect you and adjust your diet accordingly. The more information you have the more you will be able to get your A1C down into a healthy range. In addition to Kevin's recommendation I recommend Using Insulin by John Walsh.

I speak in another thread about balancing good D care with living a good life and I know that is important to someone of any age! Once you start testing regularly, and correcting as needed, your A1C will come down, you'll feel better and you'll get into a routine so it just seems normal and doesn't interfere with life...too much!

AMEN acidrock. I fight this battle monthly with my insurance company AND my endo. She says I border on obsessive. I'm ok with that....it's the frequent testing that has resulted in 31 years complication free.

I test a least 10 times per day....unless hypos/hypers come into the picture. Then it's a blood sugar testing free-for-all.


As with everything else concerning this insane disease, the answer is "it depends".

That four-times-per-day "rule" is nothing more than an approximate guideline. How often you need to test is determined by a universe of factors including how stable your BGs are, whether anything in your routine has changed recently, your own personal mental comfort level (i.e., how closely do you need to monitor for peace of mind? A dear friend once said to me that a touch of OCD comes in really handy for a PWD .)

. . . and a myriad of other factors, many of them discussed above. I have tested as little as 3 times a day and as many as 10 or 12, depending on what's going on right then.

All of the suggestions above in the previous posts are excellent. Once you know your body's response pattern, you can often back off on the number of tests. But any time you even suspect that something may have changed -- there's only one way to find out. It's a four letter word beginning and ending with t.


lol.. I agree, lows and hypers are crazy for me too!

It's a lot but it's worth, it believe me, it will teach you a great deal about what is going on. And I forgot about driving, if you do, I always test before driving to see where I am.

Yes I’m currently reDing “think like a pancreas”, and holly Molly it’s extremely helpful, my fave route reaD in a long time!

Ahahahha, thankyou so much for all the replies, I am now definitely going to test more rigoursely

This is the best description that I have seen about how often a person with type 1 diabetes should self monitor their blood glucose. I think anyone that uses insulin, including people with type 2 diabetes, should also follow this recommendation by the American Diabetes Association as published in their position statement in Diabetes Care, July, 2014:

Patients with type 1 diabetes should perform SMBG [self-monitor blood glucose] prior to meals and snacks, at a minimum, and at other times, including postprandially to assess insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios; at bed- time; midsleep; prior to, during, and/or after exercise; when they suspect low blood glucose; after treating low blood glucose until they have restored normo- glycemia; when correcting a high blood glucose level; prior to critical tasks such as driving; and at more frequent intervals during illness or stress.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes need to have unimpeded access to glucose test strips for blood glucose testing. Regardless of age, individuals may require 10 or more strips daily to monitor for hypoglycemia, assess insulin needs prior to eating, and determine if their blood glucose level is safe enough for overnight sleeping.

I test 14x/day. The above language lays out the clear rationale for this testing frequency. In this case, I believe more is better.

What David said.

I had a very long honeymoon and only tested an average of 3 times a day for years (with A1Cs in the 4s and 5s). I ate a specific number of carbs with each meal and could usually predict my BG within a dozen or so points. The big caveat is that I was only taking Metformin.

However, as the pancreatic function decreased and eventually started insulin, I had to increase the testing. Now, I usually test between 7-10 times a day.

According to my meter, I have checked an average of 10.5 times/day for the past 7, 14, and 30 days. I also have a CGM. My BG levels have been very up and down for the past few months. I am going to see a new CDE in a couple of weeks, and am looking forward to a second pair of eyes to help me figure out what is going on.

Hi -

I see you're very newly diagnosed. I was only testing about 4 times a day, before each meal and at bedtime, for the first few months. You are eventually going to need more data about how your blood sugars respond to different meals and different doses of insulin. When you're ready to deal with those issues you'll probably find yourself testing about twice as often. If you are running close to normal blood sugars now, you probably should add tests before driving. You don't want to go low behind the wheel of a car.

You're going to have diabetes a very long time and it will take time to learn even the basic skills required of those living with T1. As you learn them, you'll want more information and that point you'll want to test more.

I currently test around 9-10 times per day.

I fight the tendency to over-test actually. How often I test varies widely, say from 4-10 times a day. How frequently testing is justified will vary greatly from one person to the next. For my particular case, I view it this way: if you are reasonably certain that that your levels are in your desired range, but you are testing anyway, you are wasting a resource. There is no valid reason to test in order to tell you something you already know— the worthwhile tests are the ones when you don’t know what to expect…

But to each their own

I test at meals and before bed, before and after a workout, before I drive if it's been a while since I last tested, and whenever I feel weird.