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Home Blood Glucose Test

How To Prepare

Equipment

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 glucose include:

  • A blood glucose meter.
  • Testing strips. These are made to be used with a specific model of meter.
  • Sugar control solution. Each meter requires a specific solution. Many new meters are made to operate without a control solution.
  • Short needles called lancets for pricking your skin.
  • 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 testing site.

General instructions

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 exactly.
  • 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 out the 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 after testing.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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