Blood Glucose Monitors Usage & Common FAQ’s

Blood Glucose Monitors Usage & Common FAQ's
A glucose meter is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It can also be a strip of glucose paper dipped into a substance and measured to the glucose chart.

How to use it?

1. Wash your hands with soap and water, pat it dry with a towel. You can also use an alcohol swab before testing but ensure the fingertip is completely dry before you test.

2. Remove the diabetes test strip from the box of strips. Insert it into the slot on the glucometer just before you prick your finger. So it will be easy to add blood sample onto the strip and get the results. (However, in some glucometers, you have to put a blood sample first on the strip and then insert it into the machine. So read the instructions on the glucometer beforehand)

3. Use a clean lancet (a device that holds the needle) or insert a clean needle in the lancet, which can help you to prick the end of your finger.

4. Prick the side of your fingertip and wait till blood oozes out. Wipe off the first drop gently and then put a drop or two onto the designated place on a test strip attached to the glucometer. Ensure that your skin is not in contact with the test strip. This is because any residue of food or medicines left on the fingers can impact the test results.

5. Hold a clean cotton pad or gauze on the prick site to stop blood flow. Apply pressure on the area of the insertion until the bleeding stops.

Repeat this procedure every time you test your blood glucose level.

Some Basic FAQ’s

How do blood glucose monitors work?

The diabetes devices or glucometers test the amount of glucose in the blood. The test strips present in glucometers contain an enzyme glucose oxidase, which reacts with glucose in the blood and sends the result as an electronic signal, which is displayed on the monitor.

How often should you test your blood glucose with a glucometer?

If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels several times a day such as pre and post meals and before and after exercise or as adviced by your doctor. For people with type 2 diabetes, it might be based on the severity of the condition which can be several times a day, once a day or thrice a week. Hence, talk to your doctor about how often you should test your blood glucose.

What is a normal glucometer reading?

According to the American Diabetes Association, the fasting or preprandial blood glucose levels for diabetics should be between 80 – 130 mg/dl and postprandial (1-2 hours after meals) should be less than 180 mg/dl. However, the range mentioned in your glucose monitor may be a little different. So you need to speak to your doctor to calibrate the results with your lab reports.

How to choose a blood glucose monitor?

There are many blood glucose monitors available in the market and picking the right one that suits your budget and fits your needs is challenging. However, there are few basic features that you need to look in a glucometer such as the amount of the blood needed for testing, how simple it is to use, how it stores the results, and based on your requirements you can also look for devices that are portable or that sync the results with your smartphone.

If it is being handled by a senior citizen, buy one where the display is large enough to read easily.

If the cost is a factor, the check for the price of refills of lancets and strips. In the long run that may prove to be more expensive than the one-time fixed cost of the device itself

When in doubt, the best person to ask is your doctor who can guide you based on your requirements. Here are some of the blood glucose monitors you can choose from!