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    Blood glucose self-monitoring

    Presently, on the market there is a significant amount of choices in monitors. The choice has to be personal, depending on the characteristics you are looking for in a monitor.

    It is very important to know how to use your monitor properly. Your blood drop must be big enough and correctly put on your strip. Depending on your monitor, you may have to code your new strips in your monitor. It is better to get explanations from your pharmacist to avoid problems.

    The monitor can be a great source of motivation. It may help gain confidence and keep a close eye on your treatment, since you can see the results of the actions you are taking quickly. Doing your own tests will give you a sense of power in controlling your diabetes.

    When to take a blood glucose test

    Tests may be done before each meal, 2 hours after you started eating and in the evening before a snack.

    In the period following diagnosis and until the treatment has been adjusted, it is advisable to measure your blood glucose level more often. People who take insulin must take their tests more often than others.

    Test frequency depends also on your diabetes control. It is recommended to keep a watchful eye on your blood glucose, when you have hypoglycemia symptoms, hyperglycemia symptoms or when you exercise, experience stress or illness (infections).

    Your doctor will determine your blood test schedule and frequency. Generally it is recommended to take 1 or 2 tests per day, alternating the time when the test is performed from one day to another. It’s important to vary the moments of your test every day, especially if there are only a few tests done. It gives a better insight on the variations of your blood glucose throughout the day.

    How to take a blood glucose test

    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. 
    • Dry them well. Warm water activates the blood circulation in the fingers, making it easier to get a blood drop.
    • Choose a different finger every time you take a test.
    • Place firmly the end of the lancing device on the side of the fingertip and press the release button.
    • Put the blood drop at the end of the test strip.
    • Follow the instructions according to the type of monitor you own.

      Never use alcohol because in the long term the skin becomes thick and hard.

    Writng the results in your logbook

    It is recommended to write down your results in your logbook. The interpretation of the results will help you understand the impact of your food and exercise on your blood glucose.

    It is also recommended to take note of all factors that could have influenced your blood glucose level, for example: more or less food, unusual exercise, stress, illness. This will make it easier to understand the fluctuations in the results.

    The next time you see your doctor, your logbook will also help him make his assessment and make the proper adjustments.

    Other tests

    • Dip a strip in the urine (ex.: Ketostix)
    • Wait the required time
    • Compare the reactive zone of the strip with the color chart on the container
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store the strips and check the expiring date