Reading through tips for using a blood glucose monitor can improve the accuracy of your system and your life.
These nine tips can help you control your blood glucose by using monitors in an effective manner.
This is the most important step in getting a good reading on your blood glucose test. There is always the possibility of residue on your fingers, whether you have eaten a piece of fruit or put lotion on your hands, and those things can affect the outcome of the test, giving you an inaccurate reading. Make it a habit to wash your hands before you administer the test so you can actually trust what the blood glucose meters tell you in the form of a reading. The more controlled you are about the testing, the better your results will be in the form of accuracy.
You may not always be around a sink with soap and water when you need to use a free glucose meter. In those cases, you have no choice but to administer the test without washing your hands first. Instead of washing, you can use rubbing alcohol that you keep on hand. Rub the hand sanitizer or swabs on the finger you need to test so you get the area clean of residue from whatever you have been doing. If you have already washed your hands thoroughly, you don’t need to use the alcohol, but if you are not around a sink, it’s a good substitute and an important part of the tips for using a blood glucose monitor.
Whether you wash your hands or use the alcohol on the finger you are going to test, you need to dry them thoroughly before you take the test. The extra water or rubbing alcohol can dilute your blood sample and affect your reading. You want to get the best read from the blood glucose test as possible every time you take it. After you wash your hands, dry them with a paper towel or simply wait for a minute or two while they air dry so you can ensure you are getting the most accurate reading possible.
There are times when you do not have access to a sink or rubbing alcohol, but you still need to use blood glucose meters to test your levels. In those instances, the best tips for using a blood glucose monitor entail simply using the second drop of blood. Prick your finger and wipe the first drop away with a tissue or whatever else you have on hand that is clean. Then, test the second drop of blood, which is less likely to carry contaminants over into the test. Washing your hands is always best, but when you have no other option, the second drop of blood should carry less risk of contamination and give you a better, more accurate reading.
If you have to use a free glucose meter on a regular basis, you know your finger can get sore. There are some meters that let you use alternative sites, such as your palm or forearm, but the results from those areas are not as accurate because they don’t reflect your current blood glucose levels. Blood circulation takes longer in the arm than it does in the fingertips, so there is a lag in the blood sugar reading when you use your arm instead of your finger. Most of the time, it’s okay to act on alternate site tests, but only the finger test will show you if your blood glucose is changing at a rapid pace. If you think you’re hitting a low, prick the finger for the most accurate reading.
You have to get a large enough blood sample in order for the meter to display a reading. You don’t want to have to prick yourself more often than necessary, but rubbing or squeezing your finger after you prick it can actually affect the sample of blood you are putting out. When you squeeze your finger, you could get more interstitial fluid, which is the fluid that sits just below the surface of the skin. When you get more of that fluid than blood, it can throw the test off. Wash your hands with warm water just before the test as this can increase the blood flow to your fingers so you don’t feel as if you have to squeeze the blood out.
If your reading seems strange, like extremely high at a point in the day when it is usually low, test the meter itself using the strip and the control solution on the meter. It is good to keep the right brand of solution on hand so you can test the meter whenever you feel it might be acting up. You will need a control solution that isn’t expired. Place a sample of the solution instead of blood on the test strip and test its glucose level. The right range of glucose in the solution will be listed on the control solution box itself. If your meter is working right, the number will fall within a certain range. It is always good to know if your meter isn’t working properly.
When it comes to old or expired test strips, the only thing you can do is throw them away. They won’t necessarily give you a reliable result. You need to use the correct strips and store them properly so they maintain their viability for as long as possible. Using strips that don’t go with your meter can lead to incorrect readings. Even if you have the right strips, if you aren’t storing them properly, they might also give you bad readings. It might be a pain to store strips correctly, but if they give you the right readings, it is worth the effort.
You need your meter to work at all times. It is a good idea to protect the meter and all of the supplies that go with it. Store the items where it’s not too hot, cold, or humid. You can use the items in hot or cold environments if you need to, but always store them in a neutral location that keeps things normal. When you carry them outside of that environment, keep them in a resealable bag so they remain dry. Insulated containers can also help you store the items when you are traveling and need to have them nearby. These tips for using a blood glucose monitor should set you on the right track.
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