Many people can't see the point of testing. They often say that they know when their blood glucose levels are too high. Unfortunately this is often not true. Unless your blood glucose level is very high, the way you feel is not always a good or accurate guide to what is happening.
Home blood glucose testing gives an accurate picture of your blood glucose level at the time of the test. It involves pricking the side of your finger (as opposed to the pad) with a finger-pricking device and putting a drop of blood on a testing strip. A meter will read the result automatically. Your healthcare team can advise about which meter and how often to test is best for you. Keeping a diary of your results will help you and your healthcare team work out whether your treatment needs to be adjusted.
- Make sure your hands are clean before you begin. Use water rather than wet wipes (wet wipes contain glycerine that could alter the result).
- Prick the side of a finger – avoid the forefinger and thumb – not the middle, or too close to a nail, because this will really hurt.
- Use a different finger each time and a different part – this will hurt less.
- If you don't get much blood, hold your hand down towards the ground. This should make more blood flow to the fingers.
- Make sure your hands are warm – if they are really cold it's hard to draw blood, and finger-pricking will hurt more.