Getting an accurate blood sugar (blood glucose) reading is important.  The information from your blood glucose meter can tell you if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) and need to eat, or too high (hyperglycemia) and you need to call your doctor.

Testing your blood sugar for the first time can be scary — especially if you have an aversion to needles or blood, but even young children are able to test their own blood sugars.  Testing is not difficult — you can do it!  Remind yourself that you are in control and can do this for yourself.  If you are having a hard time call your doctor or find someone who can help you learn to master testing your blood sugar.

The good news is that with pre-diabetes you won’t need to test nearly as often as if you had diabetes and the information you get from monitoring your blood glucose levels can help you prevent diabetes from happening to you.

Step 1. Prick Your Finger - make sure your hands are clean. Warm hands are easier to get a blood sample from.
Step 1. Prick Your Finger – make sure your hands are clean. Warm hands are easier to get a blood sample from.

Step 2. Get a blood droplet big enough to feed into the test strip. Different meters require different sizes of blood drops.
Step 2. Get a blood droplet big enough to feed into the test strip. Different meters require different sizes of blood drops.
Step 3. Apply droplet of blood directly to test strip and wait for meter to show results.
Step 3. Apply droplet of blood directly to test strip and wait for meter to show results.

Get Started Now – You Can Do This!

Here are seven tips to help you get the most accurate readings possible with a home diabetes blood glucose test kit:

  1. Make sure fingertips (or alternate site) are clean and dry.
  2. Make sure you supply enough blood to the test strip area (not enough blood can cause the meter to return an error code.)
  3. Make sure the meter is calibrated (some meters do not require calibration) whenever you use a new vial of test strips.  This involves matching the test strip vial number to the meter settings.
  4. Make sure your meter settings are correctly set for ml/dL or mol. Whatever setting you use make sure you know which setting the meter is on otherwise you will misinterpret the results.
  5. If you use alternate sites be aware that this will never give you the most accurate blood glucose reading. The body is dynamic and there is a delay in blood glucose between fingertip and forearm. Forearms are not a reliable test site (nor other areas including toes) which may register blood glucose higher than from a  fingertip blood sample. If your alternative site reading is low, repeat on the finger tips. If your alternate site is normal or high but you still feel like you could be low, or have any of the symptoms of low blood glucose, repeat the test on the finger tip.
  6. Take good care of your meter and test strips. Do not expose them to heat, moisture or direct sunlight. This can damage the equipment and produce false readings. If you ever suspect that your meter is not performing properly throw it away and get a new one!
  7. Always have a backup meter handy, and never, ever go anywhere without a meter, plenty of test strips, lancing supplies, fast-acting sugars, medical identification bracelet and information card for your wallet or purse, and, if you are on insulin or an oral medication that can cause your blood sugar to go too low, always carry a glucagon kit.

Understanding pre-diabetes is the first step in beating it!More Help With Testing Your Blood Glucose Levels