Monitoring blood glucose:
Home testing machines are a convenient way to monitor blood glucose at school, work or on the road. The test results can be used to help the doctor and patient better manage diabetes.
Here are seven things every person with diabetes should know:
1. Blood glucose is monitored at home using a machine called a glucometer.
2. People with type 1 diabetes should measure their blood glucose levels at least four times a day. People with type 2 diabetes who take insulin should measure their glucose levels regularly, as recommended by their doctor.
3. Most machines require a drop of blood from a pinprick on the person’s finger, though some machines allow people to get blood from their palm or forearm.
4. The blood glucose value is displayed on the screen. The home glucose test is useful because it can be performed anywhere and anytime.
5. The date, time and blood glucose reading are all stored in the machine’s memory. These results can be downloaded onto the computer and used by patients and their doctors to make dosing adjustments.
6. The test strips that come with the machine can give inaccurate readings if they’re stored in locations that are too hot, cold or damp. It’s important to store the test strips as carefully you would any medication.
7. The test strips can give inaccurate readings if the person’s blood glucose is very high or low. People with diabetes should call their doctor right away if they receive a reading that is far outside the normal range.