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how to use glucometer

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introduction

A valuable tool that a diabetic, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, can have at their home is an at-home sugar level monitoring device called a glucometer. Let us tell you what is glucometer!

what to use gluco-meter

Gluco meter is a hand-held device that allows a person to monitor the amount of glucose in their blood. It helps in sugar level check and monitoring and provides valuable information about whether the blood sugar is too high, or too low, or in a good range.

They are portable devices that offer instant feedback and let you know immediately about the blood sugar level. A glucometer enables people to take RBS test at their convenience. For those who don’t know what is RBS test, it is the testing of the blood glucose level at any time or random time of the day.

when to take test

The frequency and time of testing will depend on the specific type of diabetes a person is diagnosed with and their treatment plan. It is important to learn how to use glucometer to test your blood glucose level and discuss with the doctor how often and what times of the day should one be testing their blood sugar level.

If a person has type 1 diabetes, generally, they may need to test their sugar levels four to ten times per day. 

If a person has type 2 or gestational diabetes, they may generally need to test two to four times per day, depending on if they take insulin or not. 

why need to take test

If a person has type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes, or were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, their treatment plan will include regular monitoring and testing of the blood glucose levels using a blood glucose meter.

Frequent glucometer usage for monitoring glucose level can help a person in:

  • Checking how controlled the blood glucose level is and whether it is low or high
  • Recognizing the patterns when they are more likely to have a crash or spike in glucose
  • Seeing how the glucose levels respond in times of stress or after exercise
  • Monitoring the effect of diabetes medicines and other therapies
  • Assessing how well they are achieving specific treatment goals

Let us take you through how to check diabetes at home.

how to use

For using a glucometer and testing, you will need a sanitizer or soap and water or spirit to clean up the testing area, glucometer strips that will come along with the glucometer, a lancet, a lancing device, and a notebook to record results. The following steps explain how glucometer works.

  1. Before you start testing, set out the Glucometer, the test strip, lancet, lancing device, an alcohol pad.
  2. To prevent infection, wash your hands. It is okay to just use the alcohol swab if you are not by a sink. If you wash your hands thoroughly, usage of an alcohol swab is not required.
  3. To make the blood flow easier, it sometimes helps to warm your hands first. Run your hands under warm water or rub them together briskly to warm them up. You need to be sure to dry them well as wet hands can dilute the blood sample, resulting in a lower number and wrong results.
  4. Turn on the glucometer and when the machine is ready, place the blood on the strip.
  5. Make sure your hands are dry and wipe the selected area with an alcohol prep pad. Wait until the alcohol evaporates.
  6. Now, pierce your fingertips on the side of your finger, between the tip of your nail to the bottom of your fingernail. Avoid the pads as they can pinch more. The type of strip you are using determines the type of blood that is required. Some use a “hanging drop” of blood as opposed to a small drop for strips that draw blood with capillary action.
  7. Place the drop of blood at the side of or on the strip.
  8. A few moments will be taken by the glucometer to calculate the blood sugar reading. Follow your doctor’s order for whatever blood sugar reading you get.
  9. If the site where you drew the blood is still bleeding, use the alcohol prep pad to blot.
  10. Note down your results. Keeping a record helps you and your doctor in establishing a good treatment plan. For easier record keeping, some glucometers store your results in memory.

how to use one touch glucometer

One-Touch Glucometer and accessories are just what you need to help you in managing your diabetes. They are simple and easy to understand with ColourSure technology. It meets international standards and comes with 5 years of proven accuracy. The lancing device provides more precise and smooth lancing with Precision Guidance Technology and 13 depth settings.

Read the following steps to know how to check diabetes on a one touch glucometer.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly warm soapy water and rinse dry, before testing.
  2. Snap off the lancing device cap.
  3. Insert a sterile lancet by firmly pushing it into the holder.
  4. Twist off the protective cover and save it for later use.
  5. Adjust the depth setting by twisting the lancing device cap until the desired setting appears. Choose smaller numbers for shallower, less painful punctures.
  6. Slide the cocking control of the lancing device back until it clicks.
  7. Insert a test strip into the test strip port to turn the meter on. The contact bars should be facing you with the arrow pointing down.
  8. Now, lance your finger by holding the lancing device firmly against the side of your finger and press the release button.
  9. Gently squeeze your finger until you get a round drop of blood.
  10. Keep your finger extended and steady and move the test strip and meter towards the blood drop.
  11. Line up the test strip with the blood drop. Gently touch the narrow channel on the edge of the test strip to the edge of the blood drop.
  12. Wait for the blood to draw into the narrow channel and the confirmation window to fill.
  13. Once, the confirmation window is full, gently move the test strip away from the blood drop and wait for the meter to count down from 5 to 1.
  14. After the meter counts down, the blood glucose level will appear on the display along with the unit of measurement.
  15. The meter has two color dots below the display which corresponds to a pre-set “LOW”, “HIGH”, and “VERY HIGH” glucose range. An arrow will appear below the result, pointing to one of the color dots and the meter will also beep.

disposal of used glucometer

After getting the result, remove the test strip from the meter and the meter will turn off.

One also needs to remove the used lancet. For this, snap off the lancing device cap and remove it. Before removing the lancet, cover the exposed lancet tip and place the lancet protective cover on a hard surface. Push the lancet tip into the cover. Remove the lancet and place it in a container used for sharp objects. Replace the cap.

After each use, it is important to discard and dispose of the used lancet and test strip carefully. This will avoid any unintended lancet stick injuries. Used lancets and test strips may be considered biohazardous waste. Make sure you follow your local rules and regulations and your healthcare professional’s recommendations for proper disposal of the same.

what should be the range

There are established windows as to normal glucose levels for most people with diabetes. However, a person’s personalized target range may be slightly narrower and can differ depending on their age, activity level, gender, and type of diabetes. The established windows are:

  • 80 to 130 mg/dL for preprandial blood glucose or pre-meal blood glucose
  • Less than 180mg/dL for postprandial blood glucose or post-meal blood glucose
  • A1c less than 7%

The glucometer will indicate if the blood glucose level is too high or too low in the following ways.

  • LOW: The range of 20 to 69 mg/dL denotes low blood glucose levels. An arrow will point to the BLUE DOT. The arrow blinks for 15 seconds and the meter will beep twice each time the arrow blinks.
  • HIGH: The range of 180 to 239 mg/dL denotes a high blood glucose level. An arrow will point to the RED DOT but does not blink. The meter beeps once.
  • VERY HIGH: The range of 240 to 600 mg/dL denotes a very high blood glucose level. An arrow will point to the RED DOT and blink for 15 seconds. The meter beeps once every other time the arrow blinks.

A glucometer can be conveniently used on the go as well. However, one needs to make sure of the following:

  • Carry extra supplies of lancets and test strips than you think you’ll need
  • Keep your glucometer and test strips in a clean and dry place and avoid keeping them in extreme temperatures.
  • Dispose of your used lancets in a puncture proof container.
  • Make sure you always have a small stash of fast-acting carbohydrate snacks, additional medication, or extra insulin in case of emergency.

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Counsellor Mary Fathima’s explanation is excellent and the information shared is very useful, as most people do not know the test procedure (i.e. test timings and the difference) of the FBS, PPBS and RBS tests even though they are literate. I was also doing my FBS test at incorrect timings and didn’t know the difference between PPBS and RBS.” The inputs shared were very useful in helping me manage by diabetes better.

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