Table of Contents
Glucometers are also known as glucose meters. These devices are highly sophisticated and require only a single drop of blood. The devices are conveniently sized and portable. Glucometers are small enough to carry and, based on the comfort level of an individual, can be used anywhere and at any time.
If you are suffering from diabetes or if you need to closely monitor your sugar levels, then using a sugar test machine is very important for you. But before you use that machine, it is vital to learn more about a sugar test machine. We’ll help you with that today.
Who Should Use a Glucometer?
If you are an individual who is suffering from type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), or you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, then you should regularly use a glucometer. For these individuals, it is vital for the success of the treatment plan to regularly test their blood sugar levels.
Frequent using a glucometer can help an individual achieve the following objectives.
- Check the control that an individual has over his or her blood sugar level. Identify whether the blood sugar level is high or low
- Recognize the patterns of your body when you are more likely to have a spike or crash in glucose
- Check how the glucose levels respond after exercise or during times of stress
- Monitor the effects of diabetes medications and other therapies
- Assess how well you have been able to meet your specific treatment goals
When Should I Use a Glucometer?
A healthcare provider can help you identify the number of times and at what times of the day you should use a glucometer. Your healthcare provider will also be able to help you in regards to what you need to do if your results are low or high.
It should be noted that the testing frequency will depend on the specific types of diabetes an individual has and the personal treatment plan of the patient. Some general guidelines in regards to this are mentioned below.
Type 1 Diabetes
If an individual has type 1 diabetes, then he or she needs to test his or her glucose levels four to ten times a day. One should test the glucose level before consuming any food, before exercising, after exercising, before going to bed, and during the night.
The reason one should check the sugar level so frequently is that this condition is marked by the inability of the body to produce insulin. Because of this, an individual will have to check that he or she has enough insulin in the body to keep the blood sugar stable. If one changes his or her routine or becomes sick, then the patient will have to check the blood sugar level several times throughout the day and night.
Type 2 Diabetes
If an individual is suffering from type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, then checking the blood sugar level two to four times per day should suffice. The exact number of how many times one should check the blood sugar level will depend on whether one has taken insulin or not.
Generally, it is a good idea to check for insulin before meals and at bedtime. Once you have learned your typical pattern, then you might only have to check your blood sugar level once throughout the day.
How to Use a Glucometer?
Most instruction manuals of glucometers are quite user-friendly. This means that you can easily go through the manual and know how to use a glucometer. However, if you are still not sure, then you can follow the guidelines mentioned before to safely test your blood sugar levels.
- You will need an alcohol prep pad, lancet, test strip, glucometer, a notebook to record results, and glucometer usage instructions
- Begin by washing your hands to prevent infection. You can use an alcohol swab or wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap
- It can help to warm your hands so that the blood flow is easier. For this, you can rub your hands together briskly or run them under warm water. If your hands are wet, then make sure that you dry your hards as the water can dilute the blood sample
- Turn on the glucometer and place a test strip in the machine. Watch the indicator for placing the blood on the strip
- Make sure your hands are dry and wipe the area that has been selected with an alcohol prep pad and wait until the alcohol evaporates
- Pierce your fingertip on the side of your finger or between the bottom of your fingernail to the tip of your nail
- Place the drop of blood on or at the side of the strip
- The glucometer will take a few moments to calculate the blood sugar reading. Follow the orders provided by your healthcare expert for whatever blood sugar reading you will get
- You can use the alcohol prep pad to blood the site where you drew blood if it is still bleeding
- Write down your results and maintain a record so that it is easier for you and your healthcare provider to establish a good treatment plan
The Common Problems That You Should Avoid
As mentioned above, it is vital to regularly check your blood sugar levels. This can only happen if you are taking good care of your glucose meter. Some tips that you can follow to ensure the proper functioning of your glucose meter are mentioned below.
- Make sure you are keeping the batteries that fit your glucometer in stock
- Make sure that the test strips are not expired. This is because expired test strips can provide inaccurate results
- After taking a test strip out, always close the lid lightly. This is because too much light or moisture can damage the test strip
- Do not forget to clean your device at regular intervals. Make sure to run quality-control checks whenever you are prompted by your device
- Wash your hands properly before testing as any food residues can affect the blood glucose level you can get on the device
- Let the alcohol, if you are using any, dry as it can lead to false lows
If you follow all of these tips, then you can rest assured that your glucometer will serve you for a long time to come. Beyond all this, you should also remember that if you are traveling, then you should take extra supplies and use extra care to make sure that your glucose meter is functioning properly.
Ideally, when you are traveling, then having twice as many test strips and lancets can be of good use. Do not forget to keep your glucometer and test strips in a clean and dry place. Avoid extreme temperatures at all costs.