Monitoring Blood Glucose and Ketones

Ketone monitoring

Ketones are an acid. They are present in the blood or urine when sugar is not available for energy and the body has used stored fat. This occurs when there is not enough insulin available to allow the sugar to be used as energy, or when you have not eaten enough.

Blood glucose monitoring

It is extremely important to keep track of your blood glucose information. Great organization of your diabetes can help control the risk of complications in the future, and keep you happy! Blood glucose meters come with a diary to write down your blood glucose values as well as your insulin doses. Computer programs can also download the information from your glucose meter. It is important to look at this information on a regular basis as you learn to adjust your insulin. Remember, the goal is to keep your glucose in the "target" range, and not to feel bad when your glucose is out of the target range. By keeping track of your information, you can make changes to meet your goals.

Use this Daily Record Sheet (PDF) to make organization quick and easy! (Courtesy of Understanding Diabetes by Dr. H. Peter Chase.)

You should follow the directions included with your meter when you monitor your blood. Remember, a machine is only as accurate as its user. It is important that the meter is coded properly and the procedure is done correctly. Use the following chart for your target areas, being mindful of your age for the target level.

Blood sugar
levels in mg/dl



A1C test results


Very high

Stomachache, difficulty breathing




Low energy



Goal, under 5 years


< 8.5%


Goal, 5 to 11 years


< 8.0%


Goal, 12 years and up







Below 70


Sweating, hunger, shakiness


You should discuss what your individual target ranges are with your health care provider.

Transcribed from Understanding Diabetes by Dr. H. Peter Chase.