How to Use a Glucose meter: 7 Steps
For the diabetics, the single most important piece of equipment which they can have at home is a glucose meter. This device gives you instant information about your blood sugar level, so you don’t have to visit a doctor for this particular purpose.
Moreover, depending on the information which comes out of a glucose meter, as for whether your blood sugar level is too high, too low or even if it lies in moderate levels, it helps you decide your diet accordingly. This gadget will alert when a patient with high levels of blood sugar should start injecting insulin, or when one with low-level blood sugar might look to consume a sweet item.
Furthermore, it also gives you a clear picture of whether or not the medication, which your doctor has prescribed, is working properly.
Nowadays, a wide range of glucose meters are available in the healthcare marketplace. While all of them come with distinct features, their working mechanism is relatively common.
So for a diabetic who wants to take full care of his/her health, it is imperative to have a know-how of how to use a glucose meter in a proper way.
How to Use a Glucose meter
When it comes to checking your blood sugar levels with the help of a glucose meter, you need the following items:
- Lancing Device
- Alcohol Pad (You can also use water & soap in its place)
After purchasing a new glucometer, go through the instructional manual which comes along with this purpose. Familiarize yourself with how much blood sample is required for optimal testing, which is normally within the range of 0.5 – 0.7 microliter.
Have a look at where you’ve to insert the strips and make sure that you know about every single function of this device before using on the human body.
It is important that you test the glucometer accuracy before using for the very first time. When many manufacturers provide premade strips for this purpose, others might offer some kind of liquid.
In case your purchase comes with strips, you just have to insert them into the glucometer. Afterward, have a look at the reading which pops out on this unit’s display. The result should come within acceptable limits which are usually provided in the instructional manual of this device.
You should only use this glucometer for checking your blood sugar levels once you’ve made sure that it is working properly. Otherwise, consult the pharmacy from which you’ve made this purchase in the first place.
Wash your hands thoroughly with the help of water & soap. Use an alcohol swab to clean the finger which you’re going to prick with the lancet.
Never wash your finger after rubbing it with alcohol or otherwise, you might have to clean it again with an alcohol swab. Keep this thing in mind that alcohol tends to evaporate quickly which means that by the time of pricking, your finger will already be completely dried up.
Take out the strips and the glucometer. If you’re using a new bottle of test strips, make sure that the monitor is coded with the code on the test strips.
However, when there are some monitors which do not require manual coding, you can use them as such with any kind of settings.
While inserting the test strips into the glucometer, it is imperative that you should ensure inserting the proper end inside. For making it easy for the customers, all the strips, which you can purchase from today’s marketplace, comes with one top side and the other bottom side.
So insert it carefully inside the glucometer and it will turn on the monitor.
Nowadays, there are some glucometers which only turn on once you place a blood sample on their strips. So make sure what type of glucose measuring device you own before pricking your finger.
For preparing the lancet device, take off its protective cap. Then grab an unused lancet and insert it into this unit. Rotate it inside this device until you hear an audible click sound.
Afterward, put the cap back on and now you’ve to adjust the depth of this lancet device. With this depth, you basically have to select the length through which this lancet (needle) will pierce into your skin for drawing out a blood sample.
It usually varies from 1 -6 levels of height so depending on your skin condition, you can choose any one of them. When it comes to ladies, which usually have a soft skin, they should select the lower levels of depth and it will be enough to take out a suitable blood sample.
However, if you’ve hard hands, you might want to select level 4 or 5 for an optimal sample.
Once you’ve completely set up the lancing device and the glucometer, use the former for pricking any one of your fingers. For more often than not, it will cause the very little amount of pain. Once you’ve pricked, squeeze your fingers tightly until a drop of blood comes out of it.
Afterward, put this blood on one side of the strip which is inserted into the glucometer. Wait for a few seconds until you can read your results on the display of the glucometer.
Many such devices, which come from trusted manufacturers, take no more than 5 seconds to configure the results.
Once your results are ready to read, you’ll hear a beep from this glucose measuring device which indicates that it has a reading for you.
The blood sugar levels vary from person to person. It also depends on the time of the day on which you’re using the glucometer or what food you’ve consumed just before taking this test. So once the readings come out, take it to your doctor and act accordingly.
For this purpose, it might also be beneficial to keep a track of your blood sugar levels as they will help you achieve your health goals.