When Do I Self-Monitor My Blood Glucose (SMBG)?

You, your doctor and/or your Diabetes Educator will answer that.
Together you will decide how often you should monitor (check) your blood sugar based on your specific needs. You may learn too that your blood glucose monitoring pattern could change over time.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ pattern for how often you should self-monitor blood glucose.

People who need more frequent SMBG include those who:

  • take insulin
  • are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant
  • are sick and/or in the hospital
  • are starting a new medicine that their doctor knows will raise or lower blood glucose

People who need regular SMBG include those who:

  • take medications known to cause low blood glucose
  • are not meeting their blood sugar target levels
  • are newly diagnosed with diabetes
  • have a job that requires strict avoidance of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)

People who may not need SMBG include those who:

  • are meeting their blood glucose target levels while following a healthy lifestyle
  • have pre-diabetes

These are only a few examples. Your doctor or Diabetes Educator can provide more information, and explain when you should self-monitor. You will most likely need to change your blood glucose monitoring pattern over time.

Common Terms

Blood Glucose:
The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood at a given time.

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG):
Checking your own blood glucose level with a meter.

Target Level / Range:
The level (or range) that your blood glucose should fall within when checked. This target is set by your doctor or Diabetes Educator, and it can vary from person to person. Your target is as individual as you are!