Know Your Numbers

Blood Sugar

Having diabetes means you must check your blood sugar levels every day. Testing your blood sugar is the only way to know if you blood sugar is too high, too low or just right. You can check your own blood sugar with a finger-stick test using a blood sugar meter. This can help you manage your diabetes day by day or even every few hours.

Your blood sugar can change because of stress, exercise, what you ate, and when you took your medicine. So what should your blood sugar numbers look like?

  • Fasting or before a meal: 80 to 130
  • Two hours after eating a meal: 180 or lower
  • Bedtime: 100 to 140

Your healthcare provider may change these numbers to what is right for you. If your sugar stays higher than it should be, it can cause damage to many parts of your body. It’s important to treat it quickly and get your blood sugar levels to where it should be for you.


The blood test A1C shows how well your diabetes treatment is working. You should have an A1C test at least twice a year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Most people with Type 2 diabetes should keep A1C levels below seven percent. If your levels are higher, you may need to talk to your doctor about your treatment.

Blood Pressure

People with diabetes are much more likely to develop heart disease. If you have diabetes, try to keep your blood pressure below 140/80 mmHg. Taking blood pressure medications, staying at a healthy weight, and eating healthy foods can help keep blood pressure under control.


It is important to watch your cholesterol when you have diabetes.

  • Total cholesterol should be below 200.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol should be below 100.
  • HDL (good) cholesterol should be higher than 40 for men and 50 for women

Avoid saturated fats and fried foods to keep your cholesterol levels at a healthy range.

Waistline and Weight

People who are heavier and carry more fat around the waist are more likely to develop heart disease. Losing even just a little weight can help you reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.