Dr. Steven Waldman describes one thing anyone can do at home to make their blood glucose testing more accurate.
by Dr. Steven Waldman
Everyone with diabetes should know how to accurately test their blood sugar. Knowing your levels can help you manage them with greater precision. Better management can result in fewer complications from your diabetes. Follow these easy tips to improve the quality of your test results.
1. Wash your hands! Residue on your hands from food or cosmetics can affect the accuracy of your test results. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol swab or hand sanitizer. However you clean them, dry your hands carefully. Excess moisture can dillute your sample.
2. If it is not possible for you to clean your hands, then prick your finger and wipe away the first drop of blood with something clean, like a tissue. Use the second drop of blood to test – it is less likely to be contaminated. Don’t squeeze or rub your finger after you have pricked it – this can also affect the sample.
3. Your finger is the best spot to get an accurate reading of yoru current blood glucose level. Blood circulates most quickly to the fingertips than it does to the palm or arm – your fingertips have the most “up to date” information regarding your blood sugar levels. Other sites may be less sensitive, but a finger test is the best way to know if your glucose level is rising or falling rapidly.
4. Check your supplies – if your meter requires coding, make sure that your meter has the correct code that matches your test strip bottle. Use a control solution to test that your meter is reading accurately, and make sure that solution is not expired. Use the correct strips for your meter, and throw away expired strips.
5. Store your testing supplies properly. Don’t carry strips loose in your purse or pocket – they are damaged by light and air. Carry them in the vial that is provided. Don’t keep your meter and strips anywhere that gets too hot, cold, or humid. Keep them in an insulated container. A simple ziploc-type plastic bag can be used to keep your supplies dry.
While our offices are conveniently located in Wauwatosa, New Berlin, Fox Point, and Oak Creek, we offer services to patients in and around Milwaukee, including Franklin, Brookfield, Mequon, Hales Corner, Waukesha, West Allis, Menomonee Falls, and South Milwaukee.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.