The number of diabetic patients in the U.S. has increased at an alarming rate over the last couple of years.  Checking blood sugar levels with a glucose meter is the best way to make sure your glucose tolerance is under control.  Knowing what the reading that you get means is very important.  The numbers show you what range your blood sugar level is at and if you have it completely under control or if something is wrong and you need to see your doctor immediately.

One of the most prevalent diseases nowadays is diabetes.  The number of diabetic patients in the United States has increased at an alarming rate over the last couple of years.  If you are one them, it is extremely important to keep your diabetes under control if you are to avoid diabetic complications.  Checking blood sugar levels on a regular basis will let you know if your lifestyle, meal plans, level of physical activity, and prescriptions are keeping your diabetes under control.

There are two main ways of testing your blood sugar level on your own.  Both methods will require less than two minutes of your time.

  1. Checking blood sugar levels by Finger-Stick Testing
  2. Checking blood sugar levels by Non-Invasive Testing

Checking Blood Sugar Levels With Finger-Stick Testing

Most of the testing supplies that are available to you will require sticking your finger with a little needle, also known as a lancet.  This is used to draw a tiny drop of blood.  There are some testing supplies that will allow you to test your blood sugar on your forearm.  When trying to read your blood sugar level, utilization of a glucose meter with a digital display is the easier way to make sure there are no mistakes in your interpretaion of the reading.

There are various kinds of meters on the market today.  Your physician can assist you in choosing the best one for you and helping you to use it the correct way.  If you still have questions regarding your meter, read the instructions that came with it or you can always call your physician if you don’t get the answers your require from the instructions.  Currently new to the market are the new models of the glucose meter that require testing on less sensitive spots on the body instead of the fingertip.

Using your Glucose Meter for Finger-Stick Testing

  1. Make sure that you wash and dry your hands thoroughly prior to checking blood sugar levels.  You can also utilize an alcohol wipe if you prefer to swipe the tip of your finger where you will be doing the test.  Move your arm so that your hand is facing down and your hand is below your waist.  This assists in getting the blood into the fingertip.
  2. Once you have prepared the glucose meter and the needle, or lancet, make sure you have a clean, sterile test strip ready.  Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle.
  3. Place a drop of blood onto the test strip that you had ready.
  4. Your result time can vary depending on your meter.  Follow your instructions that came with your meter.  Many will give you results in a matter of minutes.
  5. Once you have your results; record them on your paper and include the time of day that you performed the test.

**Your physician will most likely want to see your results to find out how well you are managing your blood sugar level.

Non-Invasive Blood Sugar Testing

All of the non-invasive testing supplies do not require you to draw blood.  The most popular product is worn on the wrist as you would a watch.  It tests your blood sugar through your skin.  It utilizes a tiny electrical current to draw fluid through the skin and into the meter and then it will read your sugar level.

Keep in mind that this method of testing should not be your only method of testing.  It will not replace your regular finger-stick glucose meter.  This glucose watch will allow you to watch the rise and fall of your blood sugar through various times of the day.  When utilizing this method, there are some details you need to know.

Using your Glucose Watch for Non-Invasive Testing

  1. You are required to wear the watch for at least 3 hours prior to taking a reading.  During this 3 hour period, do not get it wet.
  2. Input the last reading you received from the finger-test into your glucose watch.  This is called adjusting your device.
  3. The watch is then automatically programmed to give you a reading every 20 minutes for the next 12 hours.  It will have an option to have an alarm go off when your blood sugar level is dangerously low or dangerously high.

Checking blood sugar levels is very important, but it is more crucial to know what your readings mean.

Below is a guide on what your blood sugar reading indicates:



What it means



Very low, You face the danger of becoming unconscious.



Low, You can have a minor insulin response.



Marginally low, You can begin to have signs of exhaustion.



Common Reading.



Normal Reading for prior to eating. – This is a normal reading for someone without diabetes



Normal Reading for after eating. – This is a normal reading for someone without diabetes.



This is the maximum normal reading for someone without diabetes immediately after eating.



This is normally classed as ‘very high’ – it would not be normal for a non-diabetic to have this reading even after a meal.



Extremely high. If you regularly see readings like this, you need to consult your doctor.

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