This is a HealthLine Online content page created by Healthwise. HealthLine Online helps you make better decisions about your health.

Testing Tips From a Certified Diabetes Educator

Hear From an Expert

Taking charge of your type 2 diabetes means managing your blood sugar. But to manage your blood sugar, you have to test it, says Rhonda O'Brien, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.

A big part of O'Brien's work is teaching people how to check their blood sugar, find their target blood sugar range, and create an eating plan that helps keep sugar levels stable.

"A lot of people who find out that they have type 2 diabetes think, 'Well, at least it's not the "bad kind" of diabetes [type 1].' But they still need to test. Type 2 diabetes is just as serious as type 1," O'Brien says.

The need to test your blood sugar never goes away, she says. "You need to keep up with it every day."

Look for patterns in test results

It's important to know what your test results mean and how to use them, O'Brien says. Testing helps you learn what things affect your blood sugar—like your activity level, your stress, and what, when, and how much you eat.

"Look for patterns," O'Brien says. "If your blood sugar is always high before lunch, take a look at what you had for breakfast. Maybe you need to make some changes."

You can work with your doctor, a certified diabetes educator, or a dietitian to create a plan that works for you.

Healthy eating and activity help you manage blood sugar

"You don't have to follow a strict diet. Focus on healthy eating," O'Brien says. "There's no 'good food' or 'bad food' for diabetes. Learn about the amount of carbohydrate in different foods. Then test your blood sugar to see how different foods and amounts of foods affect your blood sugar."

"Activity plays a part too. Even taking a walk after a meal can help you keep your blood sugar stable," O'Brien says.

"Some people get overwhelmed by the idea of having to start a vigorous exercise program. But you don't have to do that," O'Brien says. "Walking can work, but like everything else with diabetes, you need to monitor it and how it affects your blood sugar."

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: October 2, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Contact Information

Contact the SHA

Contact us with General Inquiries or Feedback About Your Care, the SHA is here to help.

Help Information

Emergency

If you believe you have an emergency, dial 911.

Questions?

If you have questions about your health, dial 811 on your phone or visit HealthLine Online.