How do I test my blood glucose?

Blood Glucose Meter
Blood glucose meters can be purchased at any pharmacy and stores like Target and Wal-Mart. You do not need a prescription to purchase blood glucose kits or testing supplies.

Easy Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Make sure hands are clean and dry.
  • Have everything ready to go. Prepare meter to receive blood droplet and then perform the finger stick.
  • Hold hands down to let blood flow into fingers – keeping hands below heart level.
  • You can trying rubbing, massaging, or gently milking fingers prior to finger sticks for better results.
  • Running hands under warm water helps increase blood circulation to the fingers — just make sure fingers are dry before you prick them.
  • Stick fingers towards the sides, not in the middle of the pads. If using alternative sites pinch or slap the area first.
  • Do not immediately attempt to “milk” or apply pressure to increase blood flow as this will actually have the opposite effect of decreasing blood flow. As soon as the body senses the skin has been punctured it seeks to stop the blood flow with clotting factors. Wait just a second before gently milking or squeezing and you will find that the fingertip will produce blood more easily.
  • Saturate the test strip area with blood. If you do not, you will get an error message and have to start all over again. Sometimes, if the finger is wet or contaminated you will also get an error message.
  • Read the meter and take any corresponding action necessary.

Illustrated Guide to Testing Your Blood Sugars at Home


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Important Information About When to Carry a Meter with You

If you need to test your blood glucose (also referred to as blood sugar) because you have diabetes and take insulin or medications to lower your blood glucose levels, always have a backup meter handy.  If your doctor has told you to test occasionally to simply monitor your pre-diabetes, you probably do not need to have a backup meter unless you have problems with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar.)

If the reason you test your blood sugar is for your safety (to know when to treat high or low blood sugars) never go anywhere without a meter, plenty of test strips, lancing supplies, fast-acting sugars, medical identification bracelet or an information card tucked into your wallet or purse, and, if you take insulin, always carry a glucagon kit.