Blood glucose testing is essential for effective diabetes management, and knowing what to do can empower us to feel in control and comfortable with our diabetes routine. Here are our 10 key tips to help you have a successful blood glucose testing experience.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your blood glucose meter
- Check the expiry date on all diabetes testing supplies including your blood glucose test strips and lancets
- Clean your hands thoroughly with nonalcoholic finger wipes (if you are on the go) or warm soapy water and dry carefully before glucose testing. This will help get rid of any contaminants (e.g. sugar on your fingers from the food you have been eating). Using warm water will also ensure a good blood flow.
- Use the sides of your fingers, as these are less sensitive than the fingertips. Try to avoid the thumb and index fingers and vary the sites to avoid the risk of infection or callous build up
- If you struggle to obtain enough blood, hold your hand down as this will help the blood flow to the fingers
- Although we acknowledge that most of us don’t do it, it is very important to change the lancet in your lancing device every time you perform a blood glucose test. This will reduce discomfort, the risk of infection and ensure that enough blood is obtained
- Used lancets, pen needles, and syringes are considered biohazards. They all need to be disposed of properly in a sharps container. You can find large sharp containers that can be placed in your home and pocket-sized sharp bins that can be placed in your bag. If you typically collect sharps in a plastic jug or jar, don't dispose of that in the garbage can or recycle bin. Used needles can't go in the regular garbage because they carry the risk of transmitting serious diseases. Recapping needles or lancets is not good enough
- Record the results in your glucose testing app or diary
- Make a note of anything unusual alongside the results and whether they were taken before or after meals. Later on, it is not always easy to remember what else might have been happening at the time of the blood glucose test
- Check in with your diabetes educator or doctor to talk about your results and what they mean.
Testing consistently can seem overwhelming in general. However, the takeaway is this: think of testing as a way to discover how your body responds to changes in medication, diet, activity, and sleep, rather than just a routine you're required to follow.
Please remember, it is important to consult with a doctor or diabetes healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance on how to manage diabetes.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.