Home Blood Glucose Test
How It Feels
Your fingertips may get sore from
frequent pricking for blood sugar testing. To help prevent sore
- Always prick the side of your finger. Do not
prick the tip of your finger. This increases the pain, and you may not get
enough blood to do the test accurately. Also, do not prick your toes to get a
blood sample. This can increase your risk of getting an infection in your
- Don't squeeze the tip of your finger. If you have trouble
getting a drop of blood large enough to cover the test area of the strip, hang
your hand down below your waist and count to 5. Then squeeze your finger,
beginning close to your hand and moving outward toward the tip of your
- Use a different finger each time. Keep track of which
finger you stick so that you don't use some fingers more than others. If a
finger becomes sore, avoid using it to test your blood sugar for a few
- Use a different device. If you are having trouble with sore
fingers, you may want to try a meter that obtains a blood sample from sites
other than the fingers, such as the palm of the hand or the forearm.
There is very little risk of complications from
testing your blood with a home blood sugar monitor.
- You may get an infection in your finger if you
do not wash your hands before sticking your finger.
- You may get
hardened areas on your fingertips from frequent blood sugar testing. Use lotion
to help soften these areas.
A home blood glucose test measures the
amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood at the time of
testing. The test can be done at home or anywhere, using a small portable
machine called a blood glucose meter.
The American Diabetes
Association (ADA) recommends that you stay within the following blood sugar
level ranges. But, depending on your health, you and your doctor may set a
different range for you.
Recommended blood sugar level ranges
| For nonpregnant people with diabetes:
mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) to 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L) before
- Less than 180
mg/dL (10 mmol/L) 1–2 hours after the start of a meal
| For women who have diabetes related to pregnancy
- 95 mg/dL (5.3 mmol/L) or less, before breakfast
- 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) or less, 1 hour
after the start of a meal, or 120 mg/dL (6.7 mmol/L) or less 2 hours after the start of a meal
Many conditions can change blood
glucose levels. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with
you in relation to your symptoms and past health.