Blood sugar is something you need to take care of. You cannot let it increase above the designated level and vice versa. But how would you know what’s your present blood sugar level and what it should be actually? If you’re curious too, read on.
To know what’s your present blood sugar you can go to your nearest doctor. He’ll help you out. What if there’s no doctor or if it’s an emergency. Well, there’s another solution. And it’s known as a glucometer. Want to know what’s a glucometer, and what does it do? Find below.
What is a glucometer?
Also known as a glucose meter, a glucometer is a device used for checking blood sugar levels. It’s a compact device that uses a test strip to run a quick test. It uses a single drop of blood to measure the current blood sugar.
You need to put your fingertip on the strip. It’ll extract a drop of blood without you feeling anything. And when the blood touches chemicals within the strip, electric current does the work. After that, you can see the numerical results. The whole process takes just a few seconds.
Who should use a glucometer?
A glucometer is necessary for anyone who suffers from fluctuating blood sugar levels. You need a glucometer at home if you’re suffering from: –
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Latent Auto-Immune Diabetes in Adults
- Gestational Diabetes
The purpose of a glucometer is to help you determine the current blood sugar level. It acts as a warning in case your blood sugar level is abnormally high.
How to Use Glucometer?
This is where the real story starts. Here’ you’ll learn how you can use the glucometer to obtain correct sugar level readings. You’ll basically need sanitizer or soap water to clean the testing region, lancet, lancing device, test strips, and something to record the results.
Here are the steps to help you use the glucometer: –
1. Prepare the Lancing Device:
- You first need to remove the mounting cap of the lancing device to make it ready for lancet insertion
- Then pick the lancets and insert them in the lancet’s mounting part
- Twist the circular cover over the lancet gently
- Now reinsert the mounting cap in the lancing device
- You can set the needle penetration level ranging from 1-5, 5 being the deepest penetration.
- Cock or Tilt the lancing device by pulling the adjustable tip over the sliding barrel till the time you feel a click
- It’ll help you prepare the release button of the lancing device for puncturing the test site.
2. Clean the testing site before testing
- You should wash your hands thoroughly to disinfect the testing area. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer if there’s no soap water.
- Rub your hands(palms) together to warm up a little bit. Also, ensure that the testing region is entirely dry. Otherwise, you may end up diluting the sample resulting in the wrong reading.
3. Prepare the test strips and glucometer
- Check and ensure that glucometer is turned off before you prepare the test strips.
- Now place a test strip into the test strip port facing upwards.
- Wait till the meter reads the testing strip and makes a sound. After that, the glucometer will turn on.
- You’ll notice a ready to test signal indicating you’re ready to take the test.
4. Taking the blood sample and measurement
- Now place the lancing device against your middle finger
- Press the finger on the loaded trigger to puncture the skin for the blood sample
- You can now remove the device and allow a drop of blood to form
- Once formed, you can apply the blood on the narrow end of the strip
- You need to fill the blood in the strip until its full
- After a few seconds, you’ll notice the results
- You can record the results, and if its something way more than normal, you can contact your doctor
5. Dispose of the Lancet and uses strips
- After you’re done, clean the blood sample from your finger.
- Again, remove the cap of the lancing device where the lancet is inserted
- Insert the lancet back into its cover
- Tilt the device to remove the lancet
- Now slide the button to release the lancet
- You can now collect the cool strip and lancet and dispose of them in the dustbin.
First-Time Testing Tips
Here are some common yet important tips you need to follow if you’re using the glucometer for the first time: –
- Before using, make sure to read the instructions manual that comes with the glucometer. It will help you use the unit more effectively.
- In case you find this process painful, you can alter the lancet gauge thickness. Lancets are available in a variety of different gauges. More is the number thinner will be the lancet. And a 20guage lancet will be more painful as compared to a 30-gauge lancet.
- You can also change the penetration setting if it’s numbered. You can set it somewhere in the middle for a less painful yet effective experience.
- Make sure to use the strips compatible with your glucometer.
- Also, confirm what amount of blood sample your device requires. Some require more, while some require less.
Common Problems you should avoid while testing
You need to avoid certain problems for accurate results. Here are some: –
- Batteries: Make sure you have the batteries compatible with your glucometer
- Strip Expiry: Also, check the expiry date of your testing strips. Expired strips give wrong results.
- Light exposure: Once you take a strip for testing, close the box tightly. It’s because too much light can damage your testing strip.
- Cleaning: Clean and maintain your device after few days for best results.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some questions related to glucometer and their respective answers: –
Ans. When fasting, for healthy individuals, the blood sugar level is somewhere between 4.0-5.4 mmol/L or 72-99mg/dL. And for a healthy person, after two hours of eating food, it’s 7.8mmol/L or 140mg/dL.
Ans. Usually, it is accurate. However, if there is too much or too little blood for the sample, the glucometer readings can be wrong.
Ans.As recommended by the WHO, you can use middle or ring fingers for blood sugar testing.
Ans. Glucometers from an established brand last for up to 5 years and give accurate results. And common generic glucometers are accurate for a fairly less time. However, if you suspect wrong readings, you should buy a new one.
Ans. Yes. However, you need to buy a more specific one suited for cats and dogs. AlphaTrak is a fine example of a glucometer suited for dogs.
Ans. Well, it depends on which one you have bought. Some do not even work fine for a year, while some even function well for around ten years.
Ans. Yes. It’s not weird if you find different readings of blood sugar from different fingers. There’s a difference of around 15-20 percent when you switch fingers. However, this is not an issue to worry about. It’s because this is an industry-standard for glucose meters.
Ans. If you notice ‘HI’ or ‘LO,’ it means blood sugar level is either above or below the normal levels as per the ACCU-CHECK inform two systems, respectively.
|You can check blood sugar glucose at home||The results are sometimes not accurate|
|It’s a long-term investment. A good glucometer can be used for over 5 years||The device is hard to master|
|Unbiased & accurate results||One has to take to many precautions|
|Chances of any emergencies are reduced||Could be a painful experience if not taken care of|
A glucometer is an amazing gadget if you know how to use it. It reduces the need to visit a doctor every time you need your blood sugar examined. However, you should take some necessary precautions and avoid some problems with the best results. And fortunately, everything is given in this article.
So, read through the above info carefully and get accurate results. If you find the above info worthy, do share it with others in need. We’ll be coming with similar content. So, come back for more.