Using a Glucose Monitor

Are you currently using a glucose monitor to track your blood sugar? If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, learning that you need to prick your finger daily and test your blood 3-4 times a day can seem a little intimidating. This article will provide you with some insight into what a blood glucose monitor does and how you can properly use it to test your blood sugar levels.
Two steps, 10 second results.

What is a glucose test for?

When you prick your finger and put it on the test strip, the blood glucose monitor will measure the amount of sugar that is in your blood. It will provide you with a number that you need to record. You will need to talk to your doctor about your test results if you continue to get readings that are LO or HI as this may indicate a problem with your blood sugar or you may have a faulty blood glucose monitor. Consider purchasing a quality blood glucose monitor .

What is glucose?

Why is it so important to know where your blood sugar levels are at? Your body uses glucose as a source of energy. You need glucose to function and for all of the organs in the body to work. When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose that is being sent into the bloodstream. You will need insulin injections that can help to regulate the amount of glucose that is being released into the bloodstream.

Why do I need to test myself?

Anyone that has been diagnosed with diabetes needs to use a blood glucose monitor to determine the dosage amount you need for insulin. If you load up a day with carbohydrates, your blood sugar will be out of whack and you will need to increase your dosage. On a day when you focus on your diet and you do well with protein and vegetables, you may not need a higher dosage. You need to test yourself to see if you have dangerously high or low glucose levels. Depending upon your treatment program you will most likely need to test yourself 3-4 times a day. This is to allow you to track the foods that are causing problems so you can adjust your diet and so you can also allow for exercise in your daily life.

Are glucose test’s reliable?

Since the ADA has started to do research studies and diabetic patients have been doing at-home glucose monitoring, they have reported that most patients are able to control their condition. These tests are reliable and they are extremely beneficial to you. If you think your test results are faulty, there are some troubleshooting points you may need to try out:
  • Check the expiration date on the test strips. This is usually one of the biggest reasons for bad readings.
  • Check the battery in your blood glucose monitor. You’d be surprised to see how many test results came back with errors because the battery on the glucose monitor was dying.
  • Reset your device. Use the control solution to reset your glucose monitor. Each monitor has different instructions for resetting the device so be sure to follow these directions as you may need to hold down a button and then sync your device with your computer (many of the new models provide this new feature to help you track your results easier)
  • Are you inserting the test strip in the device and waiting until it asks you for a sample of your blood? Do not use the lancet to cause bleeding to occur and then put it on the test strip before putting it in the device. You need to insert the test strip and wait for the device to ask you for a sample. Then you need to place your finger next to the “sponge” area of the test strip so it can soak it up. 
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