Q:

Can your doctor teach you how to interpret blood sugar levels on a chart?

A:

Quick Answer

A doctor can teach a patient how to interpret blood-sugar levels on a chart, according to Healthline. A chart is an important diabetes-management tool, because it helps patients track their blood sugar and identify the causes of fluctuations.

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Full Answer

Diabetes patients should check their levels several times each day and record the results, Healthline explains. In addition to tracking food consumption, individuals should use the chart to document activity levels, illnesses and infections, and changes in medication schedules. People can add additional details such as medication dosages and the specific types of physical activity undertaken, states WebMD.

Target blood-sugar levels for individuals age 20 and older range from 70 before meals to below 180 following meals, WebMD notes. The target fasting level is less than 100, and individuals who take insulin should have a level of at least 100 before engaging in physical activity. The target A1c level is about 7 percent or lower.

People have a number of tools available to help them chart their levels, according to Healthline. Some opt for a handwritten chart, while others keep charts on their computers or use chart forms offered by mobile apps.

Controlling blood sugar can help diabetes patients avoid complications such as kidney disease and nerve and eye damage, WebMD stresses. Good management can also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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