Understanding patterns can steer you in the right direction

Keeping records and downloading reports from your meter, pump or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help you see the big picture.  You can use these records or reports to see patterns in your blood glucose levels.  Sometimes it is not always easy to see a pattern so your healthcare provider can educate you on how to best analyze your particular readings.  It’s recommended that you check your blood glucose for 3 or more consecutive days, prior to each meal and before bedtime, so that you can gain a complete view of your particular patterns.

Breakfast            Lunch                    Dinner                   Bedtime

100                        88                         220                          160

But if you have several days of blood glucose numbers then you are able to see if there is a pattern.

Breakfast            Lunch                    Dinner                   Bedtime

100                         88                          220                         160

85                           220                         60                           260

98                           127                         140                         267

77                           130                         102                         202

It’s helpful to circle or color code the numbers that are out of your target range then ask yourself do you see a pattern?  If there is a non-desirable pattern you might want to figure out if there is a cause.  Write down everything you can that may have an influence on your blood glucose.  For example doses and times of your diabetes medicine, times of your blood sugar numbers and foods you ate.

Please talk to your diabetes educator or healthcare provider and ask for suggestions on changes to keep your blood glucose closer to your target range.

When using 3 or 4 days for pattern management it would be a good idea to not include blood glucose numbers collected during an illness or major emotional stress, at the start of a menstrual cycle or after a low blood sugar.

The American Diabetes Association suggest the following blood glucose targets for most non-pregnant adults with diabetes:

  • 80-130 mg/dl before a meal
  • <180 mg/dl 1-2 hours after a meal

Just remember this takes time.  It’s not a judgment of you as a person, but rather an adjustment in your diabetes treatment plan.

Hollie Breedlove, MS, RD, CDE

Cecelia Health Coach