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Testing Your Blood Sugar

Testing blood sugar is important
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Individual results may vary.

When it comes to controlling your diabetes, knowing your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) numbers is important. Keeping track of your blood glucose helps you see how food, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood glucose levels.

Blood glucose 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 simple device measures the glucose in the drop of blood you provide. Learn more about how to check your blood sugar.

Blood sugar levels change throughout the day

There are 2 terms you will hear when testing your blood sugar levels:

  • Fasting blood glucose is your blood sugar level after you have not eaten for 8 to 12 hours (usually overnight)
  • Postprandial glucose is your blood sugar level taken 1 to 2 hours after you have eaten

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 expected range of glucose levels in plasma.

Plasma Values
Blood glucose before meals 70 to 130
Blood glucose after meals Less than 180

People with diabetes often test blood glucose before and after meals. They may also check at bedtime. To know more about how often to check your blood glucose, consult with your doctor.

You should also keep a record of your blood glucose monitor readings and review them during doctor visits. To get started, use this easy-to-use blood sugar diary.

Nocturnal hypoglycemia

One reason to monitor blood glucose levels is that, when your blood glucose levels go down overnight, you may be at risk for a condition called nighttime or nocturnal hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is particularly dangerous because, while asleep, you may not know that this is happening. Hypoglycemia can also become more serious and even lead to coma or death, so itʼs important that you and your doctor understand how—and when—your body is using blood sugar.

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can also be a problem for some people with diabetes. Symptoms of hyperglycemia may include having to urinate often, being very thirsty, and losing weight. Talk to your doctor to find out more about testing your blood levels, and what levels will be healthy for you.

The A1C test

An A1C test is a blood sugar test that helps you and your doctor understand how well your treatment plan is working over time. For this test, you will provide a small blood sample, which will be tested in a lab. The results from the A1C test will show your blood glucose level over the last 3 months.

Level of Control A1C Number
Goal Less than 7
Take action 7 or more

This chart shows the range of A1C test results. Discuss your A1C test score with your doctor to find the A1C goal that's right for you.

The ADA recommends that your A1C be less than 7. If your result is 7 or more, it may be necessary to change your treatment plan in order to manage your diabetes more effectively. Learn more about knowing your A1C.

Indications and Usage

What is NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection)?

  • NovoLog® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Important Safety Information

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Before taking NovoLog®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:

  • pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • taking new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including supplements.

Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

What should I avoid while taking NovoLog®?

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how NovoLog® affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Serious side effects can lead to death, including:

Low blood sugar. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache.

Your insulin dose may need to change because of:

  • weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, or change in diet or level of physical activity.

Other common side effects may include:

  • low potassium in your blood, injection site reactions, itching, rash, serious whole body allergic reactions, skin thickening or pits at the injection site, weight gain, and swelling of your hands and feet.

Get emergency medical help if you have:

  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.

For more information, please click here for complete NovoLog® Prescribing Information.

NovoLog® is a prescription medicine.

Talk to your doctor about the importance of diet and exercise in your treatment plan.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. Visit pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.

Selected Important Safety Information

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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