Testing blood glucose is the only way to be sure that it is within normal
range and allows you to adjust the insulin and eating plan if it is not. From
day to day, it helps prevent emergencies. Over a period of years, it helps
prevent or slow down long-term, serious complications of diabetes.
Follow your doctor's instructions for testing blood glucose every day -- even
when symptoms are not present.
How to do it
The current method for monitoring blood glucose requires a finger-stick blood
sample. Many people are squeamish about this at first, but most people quickly
become comfortable with it. So don't worry -- you will, too!
The equipment you need to perform the finger-stick test includes a lancet
(small blade or needle device for drawing blood from the finger), a blood glucose
meter, test strips, and a log book. Your doctor can help you choose the appropriate
Make sure your hands are washed. (Or, if you are testing your child's blood,
wash their hands.) Use a lancet to get a drop of blood from the SIDE of a finger.
The tip of the finger is more sensitive and should not be used. Place the blood
drop onto one of the special test strips. Insert the strip into the blood glucose
meter. The meter analyses the amount of glucose in the blood sample.
Keep a log book handy, and write down the glucose level, time, and date each
time you test. Bring this log book with you when you visit the doctor. Some
meters keep a log automatically.
You should take your glucose reading at least 4 times a day, before meals
and at bedtime. Aim for a range between 80 - 120 before meals and 100 - 140
at bedtime. It will go up and down over the course of the day. Ask your doctor
what the best time is for you to test, and what your levels should be during
different times of day.
Follow your meter's instructions for cleaning and calibration. This will help
ensure accurate readings. Write the expiration date on your vial of test strips.
Hemoglobin A1c test
Another test to see how well blood sugar is under control is the hemoglobin
A1c test. It measures blood sugar control over the last 3 months. This
is a simple blood test usually done at the doctor's office. A home test is
If you haven't had an A1c test in the past 3 - 4 months, call your doctor
to request one.
Review Date: 5/10/2007
Reviewed By: Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology, Department of Biology, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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