A blood sugar monitor is an important tool for managing diabetes. But it can be tricky to use at first. Here are some tips to make blood sugar monitoring easier.
How to use a blood sugar monitor: A step by step guide
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to using blood sugar monitors. Different monitors might have different instructions, and even if you have been using the same monitor for years, always refer to the official guidelines produced by the manufacturer. It’s essential to follow these guidelines to ensure accurate test results.
Aside from following the guidelines, there are a few other things to keep in mind when using blood sugar monitors:
- First and foremost, always test in a clean space with clean hands. Dirt and oils can affect your results.
- Make sure you use a new lancet for each prick of your finger – old lancets can harbor bacteria and lead to inaccurate results.
- Be sure to cap your lancet after use to prevent it from drying out.
Step 1: Thoroughly wash your hands in warm water and dry them. This may seem like an obvious step, but it's important to remember that you want to clean your hands before you start testing. Washing your hands encourages better bloodflow and will help to produce a more accurate reading.
Step 2 is to make sure your blood sugar monitor is clean, positioned on a stable surface and ready to use. Just like any other medical device, it's important to keep your blood sugar monitor clean to prevent the spread of infection. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before each use and dry them completely. Next, choose a spot on your body that's easy to access and won't cause you pain when the needle pierces your skin. Finally, make sure the monitor is in a stable position so that you get an accurate reading.
Step 3: Remove a new testing strip from the vial. The strip should be removed by gently pushing down on one end and pulling it straight out. Do not cut the strip off, as this will cause it to become damaged.
Using the lancing device included with your meter, prick your finger. If you need to, you can squeeze at the base of your finger and massage the blood down so that it flows better. Place a drop of blood on the test strip.
After you have placed the blood glucose meter strip in the meter, it's time to add your blood. This is done by using a lancet (a small, sharp needle) to prick your finger. Place a small drop of blood onto the test strip. The amount of blood you need will vary depending on the type of meter you are using. Refer to your owner's manual for guidance.
Insert the test strip into the meter. The meter will automatically turn on and start a countdown. Be sure to wait until the countdown is complete before inserting the blood sample.
So you've finally got yourself a blood sugar monitor! Here's how to start using it:
1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you start.
2. Gently insert the lancet into the Lancet Device.
3. Prick your fingertip with the lancet.
4. Squeeze the handle of the Lancet Device until the blood sample appears on the strip.
5. Wait for 5 seconds, then release the handle. The strip will automatically start sucking up your blood sample.
6. Closely follow the instructions that come with your monitor on how to insert and remove the test strip.
7. Record your results once a reading appears, which is usually after around five seconds. Some devices digitally record the reading for you (smart meters do so via an app).
After you've obtained a blood sugar reading, it's important to record it in some way. If your device has a notes function, consider adding notes to the reading, such as what you ate or what exercise you did prior to the reading. This will help you track your blood sugar patterns over time and see how different activities affect your levels. It can also help you identify trends and provide clues about how to better manage your diabetes.
Once you're finished testing, it's important to properly dispose of the lancet and test strip. Simply throw both items away in a sharps container—you can usually find these at your local pharmacy. It's also crucial to keep your readings and notes in a safe place, so you can share them with your doctor or healthcare professional the next time you see them. Looking through past readings can help you establish your average levels, as well as pinpoint potential causes for spikes and crashes. Doing this allows you and your doctor to work together to better manage your diabetes.
Blood sugar monitors can be a life-saving device for people with diabetes, but they can also be a little daunting to use at first. By following these simple tips, you'll be able to use your blood sugar monitor easily and efficiently every time.
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