Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

11/11/02

Q:
I'm helping my father manage his diabetes. His doctor recommends testing his blood sugar 4 times a day and adjusting his insulin dosage as needed (1 unit of regular insulin for every 20 points over 200). We are testing his blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. I've read that testing can be done 1-2 hours after meals. Under what circumstances would it be preferable or necessary to do the testing after meals?

A:
Testing post meals has an advantage: you want to know how your meal is affecting your blood sugars. One hour is when your carbohydrates are peaking; the goal for 2 hours after eating is 140. Many practitioners prefer this as a testing time. Of course, if you need to adjust insulin for meals, you need to test before. When getting adjusted to a new progran, doing some 2 hour checks for a time may help understand the whole days picutre better. As things settle, it is not the goal to become a true pin cushion.



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