Glucose meters are devices used to measure the concentration of glucose in the blood. It is a battery operated-handheld device that uses test strips to check the amount of glucose in the blood at any time.
Testing your glucose levels is essential for diabetes patients: It monitors the effects of your sugar levels, tracks your progress, and helps you understand the different factors that can affect your blood sugar levels.
To properly test your blood sugar levels, you must first prepare all the necessary equipment.
1. Prepare all the necessary equipment. Bring out all the contents from your glucose meter kit – this includes the meter, lancet, and blood test strips.
2. Thoroughly wash your hands using soap and water before testing your blood sugar levels. A study conducted in Japan tested participants who washed their hands with soap and water after peeling fruit and participants who didn’t wash their hands after peeling fruit. The results of the study showed that the blood sugar levels of those who didn’t wash their hands doubled than those who washed their hands.
3. Turn on the glucose meter and insert a test strip in the device. Warming your hands before a blood test helps since it makes the blood flow easier.
4. Pierce your fingertip using a lancet, on the side of your finger in between the tips of your nail and the bottom of your fingernail. Different types of blood test strips will determine the kind of blood drop you will need. Make sure you are aware of the kind of test strip you are using to use the right kind of blood drop.
5. Place the blood sample on the side of the testing strip. Testing strips can only be used once. Always have extra testing strips on hand. Doctors will tell you the number of times you have to get your blood checked depending on the type of your diabetes.
6. Use band-aids or an alcohol pad to blot the spot you drew your blood.
7. The glucose meter will take a couple of seconds to read your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will give you orders on what to do depending on the result of your blood test.
8. Lastly, write your results down. Keep track of your blood sugar levels by writing them down. It will make it easier for you and your doctor to create a good diabetes treatment plan.
Testing your blood sugar levels need to be precise and careful. Even a single mistake can affect the results of the test. Here are some of the common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.
1. Piercing the wrong side of the finger As discussed above, you must pierce the side of the finger in between the tips of your nail and the bottom of your fingernail. Piercing the side of the finger ensures less pain and will give a suitable amount of blood for the sample.
2. Not washing / sanitizing your hand before testing your blood Not washing your hands can affect the accuracy of the test leading to inaccurate readings.
3. Using expired test strips Yes, blood test strips do expire! They are an essential part of the testing process and should be carefully observed before use. Always check the expiration date of your test strips on the box. Using expired test strips will cause inaccurate test results.
Importance of Testing your Glucose Levels
Testing your blood sugar is beneficial mainly for diabetes patients since it can help them monitor it and help them to adjust their lifestyle.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can result in seizures or other more severe complication such as a coma if left untreated. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can lead to a life-threatening condition like ketoacidosis. High blood sugar can increase the risk of nerve damage along with other diseases.
The importance of testing and tracking your glucose levels can help you better manage your diabetes. It can help you better understand the best lifestyle for your body – leading to a healthier life.