Testing blood sugar levels helps manage diabetes by giving the health care provider an idea about how a person's specific diabetes care plan is working, states the American Diabetes Association. Knowing how the body is handling treatment helps the doctor adjust the treatment plan, which decreases the likelihood of complications.
People whose doctors tell them to monitor their blood sugar levels should keep a blood glucose log, the American Diabetes Association suggests. Depending on the recommendations of a doctor, people who are pregnant, already taking insulin, have ketones or have trouble keeping their blood sugar at safe ranges need to monitor their blood sugar.
The specific range within which a person with diabetes should aim to keep her blood sugar depends on a number of factors, such as her age and how long she has had the condition, according to the American Diabetes Association. In general, however, it is best to keep blood glucose between 70 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before eating and no higher than 180 milligrams per deciliter one or two hours after beginning a meal.
If at any time a person with diabetes experiences several days where her blood sugar is too high or too low around the same time each day, she may need to change her diabetes management plan, states the American Diabetes Association. If this is the case, talking to the doctor first is the best course of action.