You must know how and when to check your blood glucose levels. The key to accurate diabetes management is TESTING blood sugar levels with your meter, RECORDING your results to monitor daily self-care, and CONTROLLING through your diet, exercise, medication, and regular healthcare professional check-ups.
Now that you have your blood glucose meter and other diabetic supplies, you are ready to start taking control of diabetes. Many patients at first are unsure how often they need to be testing. Testing frequency varies for each individual but is largely determined by you and your doctor based on your target goals. As a general rule of thumb, individuals with type 1 diabetes may test up to four to six times in the day, those with type 2 may test between one and three.
Monitoring your blood sugar levels at various times during the day plots you an accurate picture of how close to the norm your levels are. You can then make the necessary changes to your management plan to ensure quality care and treatment.
– Using glucose testing strips that are expired or not stored correctly – Incorrectly applying the blood to the glucose test strip – Failure to perform routine maintenance of the medical instruments – Lack of adequate sample size taken
Proper storage of your blood glucose meter and testing strips
Avoid test strip and meter exposure to areas of humidity or extreme temperatures. Test strips have been specially packaged in vials to protect it from environmental factors. When not in use you want to store instruments in their carry case, always close your vial after removing a strip and make sure to keep them on you at all times.
Do not use expired test strips
Make sure to check the expiry date on the side of your vial. Most expire in a reasonably short time span – between 60 to 90 days. Using outdated blood glucose test strips will give you inaccurate results. To keep track, write the date it was opened on the top of your vial.
Always thoroughly wash your hands, drying them before you Check
Lukewarm water will help to stimulate the flow of blood to your fingertips ensuring you obtain an adequate sample size and avoid common testing errors.
Learn about your testing instruments
This is important not only for your meter but also for the lancing device used. Knowing your instruments will allow an adequate sample size to be drawn at the same time minimising overall discomfort and application technique issues.
Try to never re-use a lancet
Lancets are designed for single use only and must be discarded after being used once. Doing so will prevent the occurrence of any sore finger trauma and infections.
The three point test can be used when testing your blood sugar levels,
1. READ the user manual or instructions that come with your meter
2. Make sure you understand how to PERFORM a quality test using your equipment
3. UNDERSTAND the right way to maintain and store your products
The more thorough and proactive you are at keeping close to target ranges, the lower your risk of developing associated complications and further health problems.