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In order to test blood sugar from home, you need a small electronic device known as a Glucometer. This device reads the amount of sugar in a blood sample often from your fingertip. The blood sample is usually placed on a disposable test strip. You can ask your diabetes educator or doctor to show you how to measure blood sugar using a glucometer. It is very important to strictly adhere to the instructions that come with glucose meters.
How to measure blood sugar
- First of all, wash your hands properly and dry them.
- Insert a test strip into the glucose meter.
- Prick your fingertip using a lancet (small needle) that often comes with a glucometer kit.
- Gently massage or squeeze your fingertip until a round drop of blood appears.
- Apply the drop of blood on a test strip.
- The meter will display results in less than 10 seconds.
If you have a meter that can test blood taken from an alternate site such as the palm or forearm, then it is important to know that the readings from these sites may not be accurate as those from your fingertip. This is true especially during exercise or after a meal when glucose levels change more often.
Recording the results
It is very important to log your blood sugar results whenever you check your blood sugar level. Record the following information: test results, time, date, diet and exercise, and medication and dosage. Ensure that you take this record of results whenever you visit your doctor. Ask your doctor what you should do when you get results that are not within the normal range of your target goals.
How to avoid problems with Glucometer usage
It is good to ensure that you use and maintain your blood sugar meter properly. The tips below will help you know how to use your meter properly:
- Carefully read the user manual that comes with a glucose meter as procedures vary depending on the device.
- Only use test strips meant for your meter.
- Test strips should be stored as directed.
- Use a blood sample size as per the instruction manual.
- Avoid using expired test strips.
- Always clean your device and do quality control tests as directed.
- Take your meter with you whenever you visit your doctor. This will help your doctor address any questions and also show you how to use your glucose meter.