By Diane Hwang
As someone with diabetes, it’s essential that you take an active role in monitoring your blood glucose ranges. Your doctor probably already spoke with you about what types of monitors you can buy and how to conduct the test yourself, but you might still be looking for a few more tips.
At OKRA Care, we’re here to help improve the self-management of diabetes and guide people towards better health. Even though you’re dealing with a lifelong, chronic condition, you can control diabetes with self-care measures, lifestyle changes, and medication.
Since checking your blood glucose ranges regularly is one of the best ways of determining if your treatment plan is working, you should get yourself a glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring device to keep track of your levels.
While instructions may vary between devices, there are general guidelines that can help to make self-testing easier. Find out more about routine self-monitoring of blood glucose levels in this article!
Keeping everything sterile and clean is one of the most important parts of checking your blood glucose ranges. Before you even get out your monitor and other accessories, wash your hands with soap and dry them with a clean towel. If you use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, you should wait at least a full minute for your hands to dry completely before testing.
Prepare your lancing device with a fresh lancet. If you use the same lancet more than once, you’ll find that it hurts more. Fresh lancets are sharper than reused pieces and cause less pain and damage to your skin. Your lancing device should come individually packaged to ensure sterility. Don’t open your lancet until you’re actually ready to prick your skin.
You may also want to check the expiration dates on your testing strips for the most accurate results of your blood glucose ranges.
When you’re ready to start testing your blood glucose ranges, place your hand slightly below your heart for up to a minute. This serves to increase blood flow to your fingers. After you’ve inserted a test strip into the device, prick your finger. We recommend taking a sample on the side of your finger because it’s much less sensitive than your fingertip. This area is also less likely to bruise.
If you have to self-monitor your blood glucose levels frequently, we recommend alternating the sides on which you prick your finger each time you perform the test. This will help to reduce repeated trauma to any one area. Your finger or your forearm are the best places to prick because they provide the most accurate results, even if it hurts a little more.
Applying the sample to the strip as soon as possible is crucial. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your device for the best method.
Because you use the same device multiple times, you will need to clean it after each use. You don’t want old samples contaminating future tests. Many monitors come with quality-control checks to guarantee that they give accurate blood glucose range results every time.
When it comes time to dispose of your used lancet, don’t just throw it in the trash. This is dangerous for anyone who takes out the trash in your household and can be a problem for trash collectors and plant workers as well. Instead, place the lancet in a container designed for sharp objects before disposal.
Monitors at OKRA Care
When it comes to self-monitoring blood glucose levels, OKA Care is on your side. We’re here with products to help you navigate your diabetes — from Type I to Type II and beyond. Regardless of whether you’re doing this for the first time or you’re an old hand at pricking, we offer the most up-to-date tools and guidance to ensure the best results.
If you want to learn more about what we can do for you, check out our About Us page. Ready to discover other guides to improve your blood sugar levels and testing methods? We can do that too! Browse our blog to find more posts that cover everything from the causes of diabetes to the best foods for managing your condition.