10 Tips for Testing Your Blood Sugar at Home

Regular testing throughout the day can help you improve control of your blood sugar levels.

Monitoring your blood sugar at home is important for many reasons when you have diabetes. It will help you keep your numbers manageable; it will help your doctor gauge if their medical plans are working, and it will give you the feedback that you need about specific foods. If something that you eat during dinner time spikes your blood sugar, you need to figure out what it is so you can avoid that specific item at all costs. Be sure to follow the 10 tips below to help test your blood sugar levels.

10 Tips for Testing Your Blood Sugar at Home
To get a reading, prick your fingertip and place a drop of blood on a plastic test strip inserted into the glucometer. Image/Shutterstock

Use the Right Equipment: Unless you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are likely familiar with the devices designed to ease the task of taking your blood sugar every day. You need to make sure that your equipment is made by a familiar name brand. If you are not sure what the brand is, be sure to look it up. Most companies test their devices to ensure that they work correctly, even when in constant use. Make sure that the unit is made by one of the companies that take the extra steps necessary to ensure that their devices function properly.

Educate Yourself: You need to educate yourself, either through research on your own or by talking to your doctor. Figure out what numbers you need to meet, what your highs and lows can be, and what the danger levels are. You will also want to know what the blood sugars mean, and why they are so important to keep within your specific ranges.

Know Your Machine: Every brand of the machine will be a little different, and some of them will have more features than others. You need to read the instruction booklet that comes with it. You need to know what the machine can do, and how it can do it. If you have a
basic model, it will be fairly simple, but read through the manual anyway.

All Machines Are Different: As we push into the future new technology comes out onto the market. This means that even if you buy the exact same model that you had before it does not mean that it is the same as before. Make sure you take the time to read through the booklet that comes with the device to make sure that you are taking your blood sugar correctly.

Use Strips Made for Your Device: Make sure that when you are buying a supply of test strips that you stick with the brand name of the machine. You may get lucky and find an off brand that will fit into your machine, but when you have diabetes there is no room for guesswork. You will want to buy the strips that are made for your device. You should check out this company that offers home delivery for Contour Next Products. They offer quality products for a reasonable price.

Don’t Use the Same Finger: You never want to use the same finger every time when you use the lancets to pierce your skin. You need to let your fingers heal before you stick them again. It may seem like it is not beneficial because instead of one hurt finger you will have five, but it allows the finger the time to heal so it does not hurt as bad, as long.

Proper Amount of Blood: When you stick yourself and prepare to squeeze some drops of blood onto the test strip you will want to make sure that you have enough blood. Do not be afraid to use a higher setting on your tool when the lancet is going to poke your finger. It is always better to have a little more blood than what you need.

Don’t Prick Your Fingertip: The most common place to use the lancet on your finger is the tip. The tip of the finger is where all the nerve endings are. You should never poke yourself in the tip of the finger. Use the side where there are less nerves for you to stab into. You should already know that when you hurt nerves, you hurt yourself. This even applies to those of us that have neuropathy along with the disease.

Different Times of the Day: When you are checking your blood sugar it is never a good idea to do it at the same time every day. You want to change things up a bit and switch the times that you check it. The blood sugar in your body will go up and down all day long, depending on what you have eaten, and what you have had to drink.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Clean Your Hands: Cleaning your hands thoroughly before you try and test your blood is one of the most important steps in the process, but it is one that most of us skip over. When you do not clean your hands and use fresh lancets and strips, you have a good chance of getting an infection. It can also make the reading come out wrong. Bottom line, wash your hands with soap, under hot water, and dry them thoroughly.

Keeping track of your blood sugar at home is an important step in getting diabetes under control. You need to know what foods spike your levels, and which ones seem to be better for you. Once you have a working diet, you will feel better and have lower A1C numbers when you go see your doctor every six months or so.

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You should always test your blood at least once a day. Twice a day, at random times, is the best way to keep ahead of any fluctuations, unless your health care provider has instructed you to poke more often. Some people may need to take readings up to seven times a day until it is at a manageable level.

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Implementing these tips, it will make the process easier, and less painful, and it will provide you with more accurate readings.

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