For people with diabetes, a glucometer is the most important device of all in daily life.
Technology surely has made checking glucose levels very easy. You can check your glucose levels anytime and anywhere you want.
Before this Article, I wrote an article on Is it worth to buy a Glucometer? and I concluded that it’s worth every Rupee you spend on it.
Different brands have different principals and using methods for their Glucometer.
Here is some basic knowledge about how to use a glucometer. And some things you should know before using a glucometer.
How to use a Blood Glucometer (BGM)
Blood Glucometer also is known as Self Monitoring Glucometer uses a lancet to take a drop of blood from your affluent blood areas, mostly fingertips.
If you don’t already have a Glucometer, you can check my article on The Best Glucometer available in India.
- Wash your hand correctly for about 20 seconds.
- Dry your hands, because water on your hands can alter the results.
- Get these things
- Lancing device
4. Calibrate the device if it needs it. To do this, see the codes in your glucometer’s user manual.
- Put the strip into the glucometer.
- Now put the lancet into the lancing device and prick your fingertip.
- Press your fingertip for enough blood.
- Put your finger on the strip.
- Now glucometer will measure the glucose in your blood give you the results.
After use instructions
- Always clean the device after use.
- Throw away the used strip.
- Used lancet should also be thrown away with caution.
- Don’t ever share your glucometer with anyone.
Taking care of Glucometer
- Use liquid solutions when you use a new batch of stips or when it doesn’t give you the right results.
- If it shows errors, find the solution in the user manual and fix it.
- Disinfect the device occasionally.
- Match your glucometer results with lab results.
- Always use glucometer’s brand strips to get accurate results.
- Store the meter and strips to the brand’s instructions.
What is the range of blood glucose
For an adult, it should be 80-130 mg/dl before a meal; and under 180 mg/dl after a meal.
You should consult your doctor about this because, for different people, it can be a diverse range. And if you have low or high blood sugar, you should see your doctor right away.
How to use a Continuous Glucometer(CGM)
Continuous Glucometer gives you real-time readings. It is used by the people who have type 1 diabetes and who need to check their blood glucose levels several times a day.
Inserting the sensor
- Clean the area that you want to insert the sensor in with alcohol or iv prep.
- Clean the transmitter with an alcohol wipe.
- Insert the sensor carefully and hold it for 30 seconds, then use the adhesive to stick it to your skin.
- Attach the transmitter to the sensor.
- Make sure they are both working correctly.
- You can now check the results on your receiver or on what your brand has for you.
- You can now connect the transmitter with your smartphone and get the results on your phone.
Taking care of the sensor
- Using the right adhesive(waterproof) so the sensor doesn’t peel off.
- Insert the sensor in a place that has the least chance for the sensor to fall off.
- Check the transmitter’s battery, charge or change it if it needs to be.
- Change the sensor from time to time, according to the brand’s instructions.
- Don’t use old sensors; they cant give results accurately.
Learn more about your Glucometer
How to keep records of Glucometer results
- Many of glucometers now have record-keeping features in them.
- You can transfer your results to your computer through USB support to keep a detailed record.
- Some of the glucometers have Bluetooth that you can connect with your smartphone. You can get daily charts and detect patterns.
- Most of the glucometer brands have their mobile apps that let you manage your records.
When to Use a Glucometer
Well, it is different for everyone. If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels many times a day;
Before and after a meal or after exercise.
If you take insulin shots more then one time in a day, then you may need to check glucose levels every time you make a shot.
Your doctor will tell you according to your condition how many times you should take the test.
Things to keep in mind while using a Glucometer
Glucometer should be used for diabetes management, not for the diagnosis of a patient. Its a monitoring device.
It gives you ±15% results.
Don’t change any of your routines based only on glucometer’s results always go to your doctor before making any decision.
There could be errors, so always make sure to check for them.
Things that could affect the accuracy of the Glucometer
Glucometer and its strip’s quality play the most crucial role in its accuracy. How well you take the results make an impact on glucose level results; I mean if you wash your hands before test etc.
Some other factors, like your red blood cells, uric acid, Tylenol, can make a change in glucose results.
Air humidity, temperature, and pH levels can also affect glucose results.
What is calibration
For a glucometer to work correctly, it needs to be calibrated. It’s the foundation of glucometer’s calculations.
Calibration removes chances of error.
Sometimes the new pack of strips needs to be adjusted according to the meter; so we calibrate it with the instructions written on the package of strips
In some of the glucometers, you have to put codes every time you use it.
Nowadays, most of the glucometers come with automatic coding.
How to clean and disinfect the Glucometer
Cleaning the easy part. You can clean the dirt of the meter with just a clean piece of moist free cloth.
Disinfecting the device is important. Use 70% isopropyl alcohol and home bleach.
Also, check for any brand’s recommendations for cleaners or disinfectants in the user guide.
A glucometer is an essential part of diabetes home self-monitoring management. Using it the right way is vital.
It’s a device that’s helping you to manage your diabetes carefully and comfortably, so you should also take good care of it too.
Not disinfecting the glucometer often can cause some severe damage to the machine and alter results. Use it right to keep it right, and it will continue giving you the satisfaction of checking your blood glucose accurately any-time, any-where.
If you have any doubts about how to use a glucometer, let me know in the comments section below.