Monitoring Diabetic Blood Glucose Levels

Your doctor will tell you how to monitor your blood glucose level and how often to do this. Monitoring your glucose level is an important tool in managing your diabetes.

Food, activity levels, stress, medications can all affect your glucose level in your blood. You can stay healthy if you monitor your blood glucose level when instructed.

In order to self-monitor your blood glucose level you will need a glucose meter, alcohol pads, sterile finger lancets and test strips. Check with your insurance plan to see if these supplies are covered.

Glucose Meter Systems

Today there are advances being made in glucose meter systems that are less painful and quicker. What follows is the basic information for a typical meter.

It is important to wash your hands and to dry them well before testing your blood.

Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that you will be pricking to draw the blood.

Most glucose meters require that you draw the blood from your fingertips.

Some meters will allow you to use your forearm, thigh or the fleshy part of your hand.

Prick your finger on the side not the pad (it will be less painful)

Use the sterile lancet to prick your finger.

Place the drop of blood on the test strip.

Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into the glucose meter.

The meter will give you a number for your blood glucose level. Record this number.

Warm water may help you to improve your blood flow if you are having trouble getting enough blood from your finger.

Keeping Track

Use a small notebook or a record book given to you by your doctor to record your results. Your doctor may also ask you to record the food you have eaten, and when you take your medication or insulin, and also to record your daily physical activity in order to see how these things affect your blood glucose level.

Your glucose level should be monitored on a regular basis. Your doctor will indicate how often you should check your glucose level and under what circumstances it should be checked such as during exercise, after exercise or when you are experiencing symptoms.

If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes your doctor may ask you to check your glucose level twice a day to start out with such as before breakfast and before dinner for the first few weeks. After a while you may only have to check it 2 or 3 times a week.