Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels
Self-monitoring of blood glucose is a beneficial part of diabetes management. As part of the day-to-day routine it can inform of necessary lifestyle and treatment choices as well as help to monitor for symptoms of hypo- or hyperglycaemia, or signs of long-term complications.
Self-monitoring supported by education is therefore one of the key tools available to people with diabetes to enable them to self-manage effectively. Essential to this is the person being able to discuss the purpose of self-monitoring, and knowing how to interpret and act upon results.
It is important that the blood glucose levels being aimed for are as near normal as possible (that is in the range of those of a person who does not have diabetes).
- 3.5–5.5mmol/l* before meals
- less than 8mmol/l, 2 hours after meals.
There are many different opinions about the ideal range to aim for. As this is so individual to each person, the target levels must be agreed between the person and their diabetes team.
The target blood glucose ranges below are indicated as a guide.
Children with Type 1 diabetes (NICE 2004)
- Before meals: 4-8mmol/l
- Two hours after meals: less than 10mmol/l
Adults with Type 1 diabetes (NICE 2004)
- Before meals: 4- 7mmol/l
- 2 hours after meals: less than 9mmol/l
Type 2 diabetes (NICE 2008)
- Before meals: 4-7mmol/l
- Two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
*millimoles per litre: a measurement of the concentration of a substance in a given amount of liquid