Individuals with diabetes know how important management and control are. You cannot let diabetes get the best of you. While proper diet and healthy lifestyle choices are part of that, you must make sure that you have the proper equipment. For diabetics, that equipment is the blood test monitor, the lance, and, of course, the blood glucose test strips. Typically, testing devices will come with everything that you need, but they will only last so long. If you want to make sure that you have everything, you need to make regular purchases and stay stocked on equipment. Diabetic test strips, lancets, and other vital pieces of diabetes testing must remain in stock so that you can perform regular testing.
If you have never used a blood sugar test strip before or if you are using a new brand, you might want to know more about using them. As with anything, you cannot jump right into this blindly. It is especially important here because your health is at stake. If you do not do this properly, you may not get accurate results. Inaccurate results can put your health at risk, causing hospitalization or even death. You must make sure that you understand the use of your chosen test strips completely. Make understanding the diabetic test strips a top priority when you first start and any time you switch.
Luckily, nearly every blood sugar test strip works in essentially the same way. While you might see some differences, there are few of them. This is because universal use of these important items and devices is critical for the health and safety of individuals.
Begin by making sure that your chosen strip is compatible with your device. Compatibility is key to using the blood sugar test strip with the device, obviously, so you want to choose one that is fully compatible. You can find lists available that list all compatible testing strips with each monitoring device. Use this when making your purchase. The same applies to lancets, as well.
When you finally purchase your blood glucose test strips, read the box. Read the instructions fully so that you can follow the directions exactly as written. Follow the directions on your monitor and lance, too, so that you do not make any mistakes along the way. If you follow the listed instructions, using them should be no problem. Generally, they are simple and straightforward, allowing anyone, including children, to use them with ease.
Typically, using a blood glucose monitor and test strip works as followed:
- Wash and dry hands completely. You do not want to perform this test until you have made sure that your hands are entirely clean.
- With clean hands, begin preparing the device by turning it on and putting in the lance.
- Choose where to lance, such as the tip of an index finger, and lance. Make sure the spot can produce enough blood so that some will appear after the lancing. This is why people typically choose the fingertips. You can massage the area some, but try not to press down on it too much.
- Have the blood sugar test strip ready in the monitor and, when enough blood has appeared, dip the end into it. Luckily, for testing blood sugar, you only need a small amount of blood. A tiny dot will typically suffice for this.
- When blood glucose test strips absorb enough blood, the system will automatically begin testing. You can see the screen on your monitor change, and you may hear a sound with it. Do keep in mind that this may change from device to device. If you have never used the device before, make sure that you read through the instructions.
- Upon reading the results, the monitor will display them for you. Check the results to see if they are good and whether there is something you must do.
- Clean everything up by removing and disposing of both lance and test strip.
- Store your monitor and extra lancets and diabetic test strips for another use.
Do keep in mind that time matters when testing. Diabetics usually have a routine set up for testing their blood sugar levels. Choose times around when you plan to eat and exercise, test when you feel your blood sugar changing, and test at night. Testing during these times will keep you fully informed so that you do not put your health in jeopardy.
Using diabetic test strips is not that difficult. Most people can manage it successfully, regardless of age or health concerns. Doing so is about knowing your chosen blood glucose test strips, blood glucose monitor, and lancets. Understand compatibility, basic usage, and the information shown. Along with using the test strips, make sure that you choose a good time for testing. If you can do all of this, you can keep up with good health as a diabetic.
Have anything to add or did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section below! We'd love to hear from you.