Glucose meters come in a variety of sizes and with as many different features. Some let you track and print out your test results, while others have audio and larger screens to help people who have vision problems. Some require a smaller blood sample than others; some have spoken results. And though most can be purchased in your local drugstore, not all are covered by your insurance. Your meter should fit your lifestyle and your needs, so talk with your physician about the options.
Once you’ve chosen your meter, keep these seven tips in mind when testing your blood sugar:
- Read the directions for the meter and the test strips before using them.
- Wash your hands before testing your blood sugar. Food or juice on your fingers could affect the results of your blood sugar reading. Be sure to wash the area from where you’ll draw blood, too. Most diabetic glucose meters instruct you to prick your finger for a sample, but some meters let you draw your sample from your palm, arm, thigh or calf.
- Use the right test strip for your meter. The meter may give you the wrong results if you use the wrong test strip.
- Write down your results and the date and time you tested. Do this even if your meter keeps track of your numbers. Take the results with you when you go to your doctor.
- Clean your meter as directed. Glass cleaners, ammonia and other cleaning products may damage your meter.
- Talk to your health-care provider about how your medicines will affect your blood sugar. Your other medications and dialysis solution may affect your blood sugar reading.
- Take your meter with you when you go to your doctor. This way you can test your blood sugar in front of the doctor or nurse to make sure you are doing it the right way. Your health-care provider may be able to print out your blood sugar results from your meter.