Home Blood Glucose Test
How To Prepare
You can buy home blood glucose testing
equipment at a pharmacy and any grocery or discount store that has a pharmacy.
You also may be able to buy the testing equipment and supplies through the mail
or on the Internet.
The supplies you will need for testing blood
- A blood glucose meter.
strips. These are made to be used with a specific model of
- Sugar control solution. Each meter requires a specific
solution. Many new meters are made to operate without a control
- Short needles called lancets for pricking your
- A pen-sized holder for the lancet (lancet device), which
positions the lancet and controls how deeply it goes into your skin.
- Clean cotton balls. These are used to stop the bleeding from the
To make sure you get
accurate results when you test your blood sugar:
- Check the expiration date on the bottle of
testing strips. Do not use test strips that have expired. The test results may
not be accurate.
- Always store unused test strips in the container. Test strips that have been exposed to air may not give accurate results.
- Match the code number on the testing strips bottle
with the number on the meter. If the numbers do not match, follow the
directions with the meter for changing the code number.
- Follow the
instructions with the meter. All blood glucose meters have detailed
instructions for performing the test. Follow these directions
- Check the accuracy of the meter's results. Use the sugar
control solution made by the meter's manufacturer. Follow the directions that
came with the meter for proper use of the control solution or compare the
results with your latest lab values.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have
regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the
results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A home blood sugar test involves
pricking your finger, palm, or forearm with a small needle (lancet) to collect
a drop of blood and placing the blood on a special test strip, which you insert
into the blood glucose meter before you begin the test. The blood glucose meter
displays the results of a blood sugar test within a minute or less after
The instructions for testing are slightly different for
each model of home blood glucose meter. For accurate results, follow the
instructions for your meter carefully. When testing blood sugar using a home
blood glucose meter:
- Wash your hands with warm soapy water. Dry them
well with a clean towel.
- Insert a clean needle (lancet) into the lancet device. The
lancet device is a pen-sized holder for the lancet. It holds, positions, and
controls how deeply the lancet goes into the skin.
- Remove a test
strip from the bottle of testing strips. Replace the lid immediately after
removing the strip to prevent moisture from affecting the other strips. Testing
strips are sometimes stored inside the meter.
- Prepare the blood
sugar meter (glucose meter). Follow the instructions included with your
- Use the lancet device to stick the side of your fingertip
with the lancet. Do not stick the tip of your finger; the stick will be more
painful and you may not get enough blood to do the test accurately. Some new
blood sugar meters use lancet devices that can obtain a blood sample from sites
other than the fingers, such as the palm of the hand or the
- Put a drop of blood on the correct spot of the test strip.
- Using a clean cotton ball, apply pressure where you stuck your
finger (or other site) to stop the bleeding.
- Follow the directions
with your blood sugar meter to get the results. Some meters take only a few
seconds to give the results.
- You can write down the results and the
time that you tested your blood. But most meters will store results for many
days or weeks, so you can always go back later and retrieve them. You and your
doctor will use this record to see how often your blood sugar levels have been
within the recommended range. Your doctor also will use the results to decide
if a change in medicine (insulin or pills) for diabetes is needed.
Safely dispose of your lancets after using them. Do not
throw them into the household trash. A used lancet might accidentally stick
someone. Place used lancets into a plastic container, such as an empty
detergent bottle. Seal the container when it is about three-quarters full.
Check with your local trash disposal agency about the proper disposal of
lancets. Some agencies have specific instructions for the disposal of medical
waste. Sometimes your doctor's office will dispose of them for