Follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions that come with the glucose meter. In general, you will follow the steps below. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you.
For someone who has severe diabetes, continuous blood sugar monitoring may be a viable option. With these systems, blood sugar is measured constantly through a sensor placed beneath the skin that transmits information. Some insurance programs are beginning to cover these monitors.
The following are some suggestions on when to do SMBG testing and how to use the results to improve your blood sugar control.
- Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
- Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that you’re going to prick.
- For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh or the fleshy part of your hand.
- Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
- Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood. (If you prick your fingertip, it may be easier and less painful to prick it on one side, not on the pad.)
- Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
- Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
- The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.