Millions of people around the planet are on specific diet plans and medication for high blood sugar or Diabetes control. This life threatening condition begs constant monitoring for one to have a proper risk perception and also to see the effect of the low-sugar diets and diabetes medications. In many cases, a diabetic patient will need to measure the blood glucose levels 4-5 times each day. One would literally have to live at a diagnostic centre for that to be done by professionals! But thanks to the technological revolution that has enabled millions of people around the world to keep a check on their sugar levels from the comfort of their homes through a glucometer.
This popularly available kit is especially a hit with patients of type 2 diabetes. A typical set contains:
-Lancets: Needles to draw blood
-Lancet holder: To firmly grip the needle
-Test strips: The strips are meant to collect the sample
-The glucometer: Strips with blood sample are entered in the meter to get the reading.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CHECKING BLOOD SUGAR AT HOME
The lancet is fitted in the holder and a finger-tip is poked to draw a drop of blood that is collected on the strip. It is fed in the glucometer to get the glucose levels within 5-45 seconds (depending on the type of glucometer you use).While it is a very easy procedure, many small mistakes can cause the readings to go haywire.
Here are some basics that you should stick to when performing the test at home:
1 . Seek Doctor’s Advice For Choosing A Glucometer
Just being diagnosed with Diabetes does not entail buying the test kit. If you need one, your doctor will certainly prescribe so. Get professional help from the clinic or a diagnostic centre for choosing the brand best suited for you.
2 . Seek Help To Get Started
Get your physician/physician’s assistant to show you the correct way to perform the test. If you get the test wrong, chances are that your results will be incorrect and that is a time-bomb ticking away speedily. Clear instructions on the frequency of the test are equally important from the doctor.
3 . Clean the Area To Be Tested
Now, the purpose is to measure the sugar levels in your blood, not the accumulated dirt on your finger. Wash the hand thoroughly with an antiseptic hand-wash before the test. Use the second drop of blood if you are not satisfied with the cleaning.
4 . Choose The Right Sample Drawing Site
While the newer kits let you draw blood samples from the thighs or even the upper arms, finger tips continue to be the most popular choice. Make sure that you use different fingers for drawing blood as a single finger would not like being poked over and over. Use the hand that you use less and even sides of the fingers are good places to try.
5 . Check Usability Of Lancets And Test-Strips
Lancets should be sharp enough to be able to poke your finger without causing hurt. Also, re-using the lancets can cause serious infection. Mind the expiry date of the strips. Outdated strips can give incorrect readings.
6 . Calibrate Your Glucometer
Once in 2-3 months calibrate your glucometer with that of a diagnostic centre. Also, the test strips come with a code that you may need to key into the glucometer before starting off with a new set.
7 . Record Your Results
Measurement is the purpose of the entire exercise and tracking the result is very important to ensure that you are on the right path. Costlier glucometers come with inbuilt result recorders or else maintain a logbook to record the readings.This will help you and your doctor to monitor your diabetes control in a more effective manner.
So, keep these simple and essential facts in mind while checking your blood sugar at home to keep a close eye on your diabetes control and also to assess the efficacy of medications and dietary changes.