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Testing Your Blood Sugar

Testing blood sugar is important
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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 use NovoLog®?

Do not use NovoLog® if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking NovoLog®?

About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to do either.
About all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take, including supplements, as your dose may need to change.

How should I take NovoLog®?

Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after using NovoLog®, a fast-acting insulin, to avoid low blood sugar. Do not inject NovoLog® if you do not plan to eat right after your injection or bolus pump infusion.
Do not mix NovoLog® with any other insulin when used in a pump or with any insulin other than NPH when used with injections by syringe.
Do not change your dose or type of insulin unless you are told to by your health care provider.
Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes.
Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your health care provider.

What should I consider while using NovoLog®?

Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar.
Be careful when driving a car or operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Talk to your health care provider if you often have low blood sugar or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
Serious allergic reactions may occur. Get medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, or sweating.
Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

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

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

• Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.

• Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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