Knowing Your Numbers
When it comes to controlling your diabetes, knowing your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) numbers is important. Keeping track of your blood sugar helps you see how food, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels over the course of several months.
Blood sugar monitoring
If you take insulin, you will most likely need to check your own blood sugar. To do this, you'll use a device called a blood glucose meter or blood glucose monitor. This device measures the sugar in the drop of blood you provide. Learn more about how to check your blood sugar.
Blood sugar changes throughout the day
There are 2 terms you will hear when testing your blood sugar, fasting blood glucose (FPG) and postprandial glucose (PPG). These are the daily checks you do with your blood glucose meter. Since you can’t always “feel” if your blood sugar is high or low, checking your blood sugar several times a day is often the best way to make sure it’s under control. Always follow your health care provider’s instructions about when and how often you should check your blood sugar.
FPG–This is your “fasting plasma glucose.” This means your blood sugar when you have been “fasting” (not eating) for at least 8 hours. You may be checking this in the morning when you wake up.
PPG–This is your “postprandial plasma glucose.” This means your after-meal blood sugar number that you check about 1 to 2 hours after you eat. It measures blood sugar spikes that happen after you eat. It is possible that blood sugar spikes that are too high after you eat may be preventing you from reaching your A1C goal.
The readings from your blood glucose meter can help you understand your insulin needs for these different times of the day. The chart below shows the FPG (morning) and PPG (after-meal) blood sugar goals that are recommended by the American Diabetes Association (called the ADA for short).