Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Guidelines for Buying and Using Diabetes Supplies

Diabetes is a lifelong condition. Because it is, you can have major health problems if you don't keep blood glucose under control. That's why fully understanding how to buy and properly use diabetes testing supplies as well as diabetes medications is so important.

Learning to regularly test your blood glucose level with a glucose monitor and to take diabetes medications when you are supposed to will make living with the condition much easier. With a little practice, you can self-manage diabetes just as you manage other aspects of your life. When you do, your quality of life and ability to be active and do the things you want to do will greatly improve.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Find the Right Shoes for Diabetes

For most people, a bad shoe day means a blistered heel or painful arch that goes away quickly. But for people with diabetes, poor footwear can trigger serious problems, such as foot ulcers, infections, and even amputation. Foot problems aren't inevitable, though. Ralph Guanci learned the hard way to pick his shoes with care and to stick with wearing them because they're good medicine for his feet. Guanci, 57, a businessman in Carlisle, Massachusetts, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 25 years...

Read the Find the Right Shoes for Diabetes article > >

Why is home blood glucose testing important?

Home blood sugar (glucose) testing is an essential part of controlling your blood sugar and self-managing diabetes. Your diabetes educator can guide you in terms of how often to check your blood glucose and how to do it properly. Make sure the diabetes educator watches you use the glucose meter several times. That way, you can be sure you're doing it correctly. At a minimum, you'll be checking your blood sugar every morning before you eat. It's also advisable to check it before lunch and dinner and at bedtime. Your doctor may also ask that you test your blood one hour after eating.

Blood glucose levels checked with blood taken from the fingertips will show important changes faster than glucose levels checked with blood taken from other sites on the body. The usual way to check blood sugar levels is by:

  1. Pricking the fingertip with a lancing tool -- a small, sharp needle
  2. Putting the blood drop on a test strip
  3. Placing the test strip into a glucose meter
  4. Reading the blood glucose level displayed on the meter

If you take insulin, you might change the dose, depending on the reading.

Checking blood glucose frequently allows you to avoid the dangerous consequences of extremely high spikes or dangerously low drops in blood sugar. Managing these spikes and drops quickly -- when treatment is most effective -- can save your life.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner