When should I test my blood glucose levels (BGLs)? This varies depending on the type of diabetes and your medication, but possible times include before meals, two hours after eating, before bed, before you exercise and if you’re feeling unwell.
What should my BGLs be? As a guide, if you have a type 1 diabetes, a healthy target to aim for is 4-6 mmol/L before you eat, and 4-8mmol/L two hours after starting a meal. If you have type 2 diabetes, aim for 6-8mmol/L two hours after starting a meal. Ask your doctor or Credentialed Diabetes Educator for more guidance.
What’s mmol/L? It stands for millimoles per litre of blood, and is how BGL’s are measured
What’s HbA1c? It’s your average BGLs over a period of 10-12 weeks and, used in conjunction with the blood glucose monitoring you do yourself, paints a picture of your blood glucose management. Your doctor will arrange HbA1c test every three to six months.
What’s a hypo? It’s when BGLs drop below 4mmol/L. A hypo can make it hard to concentrate, so some activities (like driving) aren’t safe, and need to be treated quickly using specific foods. Only people who take insulin or some types of glucose-lowering tablets are at risk of a hypo.
Will I have to use insulin? Yes, if you have type 1. But 50 per cent of people with type 2 will also need insulin six to 10 years after being diagnosed, because the pancreas produces less insulin over time.
What’s pre-diabetes? It’s when BGLs are higher than normal, but not high enough for type 2 diagnosis. Lifestyle changes can delay or prevent pre-diabetes from becoming type 2.
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Diabetic Living is a one-stop health information source for the 1.7 million Australian's who have Type 1, pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Backed by a team of medical experts, DL provides easy-to-understand health and exercise information along with delicious, dietician-approved recipes for everyone looking to lead a healthy life.