How to check blood sugar
Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important thing you can do to manage type 2 diabetes. You’ll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active. With this information, you can work with your health care team to make decisions about your best diabetes care plan. These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.
Most blood sugar meters allow you to save your results and you can use an app on your cell phone to track your levels. If you don’t have a smartphone, keep a written daily record like the one in the photo. You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider.
Make friends with your numbers
Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didn’t pass. But numbers are just numbers. Think of them instead as information. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.
How to use a blood sugar meter
There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case you’re sick and can’t check your blood sugar yourself.
Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.
- Make sure the meter is clean and ready to use.
- After removing a test strip, immediately close the test strip container tightly. Test strips can be damaged if they are exposed to moisture.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry well. Massage your hand to get blood into your finger. Don’t use alcohol because it dries the skin too much.
- Place the strip in the meter. Wait for the meter to prompt you to insert blood. Use a lancet to prick your finger. Squeezing from the base of the finger, gently place a small amount of blood onto the test strip.
- After a few seconds, the reading will appear. Track and record your results. Add notes about anything that might have made the reading out of your target range, such as food, activity, etc.
- Properly dispose of the lancet and strip in a trash container.
- Do not share blood sugar monitoring equipment, such as lancets, with anyone, even other family members.
- Store test strips in the container provided. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
Need a little more help? Watch this video tutorial on using a blood glucose meter!
This video was embedded here with permission from our friends at Diabetes – What to Know. Head to their website to check out more great educational diabetes content!