Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Home Blood Glucose Test

How It Is Done continued...

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 meter.
  • 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 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 forearm. But the finger is usually the most accurate place to test blood sugar.
  • 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 you.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2014
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.

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