Controlling your blood sugar is very important part of managing diabetes. Regularly testing your blood sugar helps measure the effectiveness of your meal plan, physical activity and medications is by testing your blood sugar regularly.
To self-test your blood sugar, you need a blood glucose meter, a test strip and a lancing device. Then, follow these steps:1
- Wash and dry your hands. Using warm water may help the blood flow.
- Prick your finger with the lancing device to obtain a drop of blood.
- Apply the drop to the test strip as directed.
- Wait a few seconds to view your results.
- Discard the lancet and test strip properly.
Follow the instructions included with your lancing device to get a drop of blood— which normally include shaking your hands below the wrist or gently squeezing your finger a few times to help. While testing from the tip of a finger is most common, it is possible to use alternate site testing (AST). Other methods of testing and monitoring look at your blood sugar in the long-term. An HbA1c (also known as glycated hemoglobin or A1c) test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months.
Dr. Madani instructs his patients on general diabetes education:
1Joslin Diabetes Center. Blood glucose monitoring: your tool for diabetes control. Available at: http://www.joslin.org/managing_your_diabetes_650.asp. Accessed October 16, 2008.