Blood Sugar Testing
Diabetes Information Page

If You Have Diabetes, Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers

Taking control of your diabetes can help you feel better and stay healthy. Lowering your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) by any amount reduces your chances of having eye, kidney, and nerve problems. Knowing your blood sugar numbers will help you control your diabetes.

There are two different tests to measure your blood sugar:

  1. The Hemoglobin Alc test (pronounced He me-glo bin A-one-C) measures your blood sugar control over the last 3 months. It is the best way to know if your blood sugar is under control.
  2. A blood sugar test you do yourself, using a drop of blood and a meter, measures your blood sugar at the time you test.


Take Control of Your Blood Sugar.

Ask your health care provider for a Hemoglobin Alc test at least twice a year. Ask your health care provider what your Hemoglobin A1c number is and what it means. Test your blood sugar as often as needed. Talk to your health care provider about your blood sugar goals for the Hemoglobin Alc test and for testing your own blood sugar. Get regular physical activity, take prescribed medicines and eat foods to keep your blood sugar under control. See a dietitian or a diabetes educator to create a meal plan that is right for you.

As an aid in preparing your diet plan you might want to consult the Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates

For more information, call 1-800-438-5383 or visit the web site at on the Internet.

Source: National Diabetes Education Program, NIH Publication No. 98-4350 (NDEP10, revised March 2000)

Last updated June 3, 2002