10 Common Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes
Good blood sugar control requires good blood sugar testing. Though that can be challenging, avoiding common mistakes can help you get the most consistent results. Thinkstock Blood glucose (sugar) testing is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes and staying on top of blood sugar control. Testing regularly shows you how food, exercise, and other factors affect your blood sugar. “[It] provides valuable information regarding how blood glucose is doing at a moment in time,” says certified diabetes educator Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “It gives people an idea of whether blood sugar is in a healthy or unhealthy place.” But blood sugar testing isn’t always easy — and an array of mistakes can affect your results. In fact, it can be hard to fully understand the guidelines on managing blood sugar testing, according to a study published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders. The good news: A little practice can help you get blood sugar testing right. Start by learning how to avoid these common mistakes. Mistake #1: Buying a blood sugar meter that doesn’t fit your daily life “You want to have the meter that’s most comfortable for you,” says certified diabetes educator Cher Pastore, RD, CDE, owner of Cher Nutrition in New York City and author of the upcoming book, The 28-Day Blood Sugar Miracle: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Get Your Diabetes Under Control in Under a Month. For example, for a younger person who’s on the go, it might be a device that fits right in your pocket. For someone older, it could be a meter with bigger numbers so it’s easier to read. Mistake #2: Selecting a device your insurance won’t cover “Insurance companies typical Continue reading >>
Can Rubbing Alcohol Affect A Blood Sugar Reading?
Can rubbing alcohol affect a blood sugar reading? If your finger is wet with rubbing alcohol and you test your blood sugar with blood from it, can the alcohol affect the reading? Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Best Answer: Years ago, the health community recommended the first drop of blood should be discarded, because it was believed impurities or contamination from rubbing alcohol could affect the test. If you use rubbing alcohol, there is still no good reason to remove the first drop of blood, because the difference between sample results is insignificant. The best thing is just to wash your hands well with soap and water and make sure your fingers are dry. Rubbing alcohol can dry out your fingers making it more painful to prick them. I would think and this is totally my theory...that the blood glucometer is specifically designed to just pick up SUGAR in the blood and nothing else...but if there are too many particles or contaminants..the reading may take longer or be off. I use alcohol wipes and make sure the area is totally dry before poking the finger. Hand washing a resident especially the elderly, getting them up and going to the bathroom is time consuming for a fingerstick.... Source(s): Destroy Diabetes Starting Today - Source(s): Reverse Any Diabetes Easily : I'm a 45 year old woman and was recently diagnosed as being a borderline diabetic. My doctor prescribed some medication, but before filling it I decided to do some research on the internet which led me to the methods. After reading this ebook and applying the methods, my scepticism turned to 100% belief. I noticed that my energy levels increased significantly and I felt more rested in the morning, my symptoms started going away. I am very happy to tell you that I have been feeling better th Continue reading >>
Finger Sticking Techniques
(This article appeared in the Voice of the Diabetic, Volume 16, Number 2, Spring 2001 Edition, published by the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind. Updated July 2004) We know blood glucose monitoring is important because it helps us keep our diabetes under control. You should test often. How you test matters too, as poor technique wastes strips and can give you inaccurate readings. Good testing techniques will also minimize the number of times we must stick our fingers. If you have not achieved good finger-sticking techniques, I recommend the old adage, Practice makes perfect. I am a type 1 diabetic, and I empathize with individuals whose fingertips are bruised and sore from testing, and with others who have trouble getting enough blood from the puncture site. Test strips are extremely expensive, and it is frustrating for people who must stick themselves over and over while trying to get enough blood for a good reading. Finger Sticking Locations You should generally use the sides of your fingers for sticking sites. More nerves are present in the center of fingers, so lancing in this location may bring more pain. Note several glucose monitors now allow "alternative site" testing - but their instructions specify that critical readings should be taken frm the fingers. I use all ten fingers for blood sugar testing, and on each finger I have four penetration sites. Some people occasionally use the middle of a finger if the sides have become too sore. Ann S. Williams, MSN, RN, CDE, herself a type 2 diabetic, chooses her test sites by day of the week and time of day. Her left index finger is for Monday, left middle finger for Tuesday, left ring finger for Wednesday, etc. On each finger, the side toward the thumb, opposite the base of the fingernail Continue reading >>
Little Things That Can Have A Big Impact On Your Blood Glucose Reading
When you have diabetes, it's vital to make sure you're getting the most accurate reading when checking your blood glucose levels to ensure tight diabetes control. Emmy Suhl, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., at Joslin Diabetes Center, reviews different things that can impact your blood glucose reading and how to avoid them. Things that Can Affect your Blood Glucose Reading A dirty meter. Outdated test strips. If test strips are not compatible with the meter you're using, results may be inaccurate or no result will be obtained. If the wrong strip is used, it may not even fit into the slot or it may fit, but the meter won’t turn on, Suhl says. Substances left on your hands. For example, if there is a sugary substance on the finger used for lancing, even if it’s a small amount that can’t be seen, a high blood glucose reading can result. Temperature changes (heat/humidity/cold air). Not a big enough blood sample on the test strip. Wet fingers. Fluid mixes with blood and can cause an inaccurate reading. How to Avoid an Inaccurate Blood Glucose Reading Before using the meter for the first time and then again every few weeks, check your meter using the control solution, Suhl says. Control solution is only good for three months once opened. Label the control solution bottle with the date you open it. Check the date and shake control solution before using. The value the control solution gives should be in the target range printed on the strips container. Make sure strips are not expired. Check the date on the strip container. Make sure code on strip container matches the code on the meter. Wash hands in warm water and dry them off after. Massage hands before checking. Select site on one side of the center of a fingertip. Rotate sites for each check. Apply gentle pressure to lanced finge Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Testing: Questions And Answers
Everyday Solutions are created by Everyday Health on behalf of our partners. More Information Content in this special section was created or selected by the Everyday Health editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to Everyday Healths editorial standards for accuracy, objectivity, and balance. The sponsor does not edit or influence the content but may suggest the general topic area. Blood Sugar Testing: Questions and Answers Monitoring your blood sugar levels daily allows you and your doctor to know how well you're controlling your diabetes. These tips can make blood sugar testing more manageable. If you have diabetes , regularly testing your blood sugar levels will let you know how well youre controlling the condition and whether your doctor needs to make adjustments in your medications or treatment plan. Testing gives us an objective idea of how youre doing, says Sunshine Shahinian, RN, a diabetes educator at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif. If you dont test, we may not have the opportunity to intervene if youre not controlling your blood sugar well. As essential as glucose testing is to tracking your blood sugar levels, it can be a daunting and confusing habit to develop. Here are answers to common questions about blood sugar testing questions. Q: Whats the best time to check my blood sugar levels? A: Work with your doctor to determine when and how often you should test your blood sugar. Your testing schedule will depend on your medications, mealtimes, and how well you're controlling your condition. Shahinian recommends varying your daily testing times. One day check it after you get up and before lunch . The next day, do it after breakfast and after lunch. The following day, test before lunc Continue reading >>
Does Hand Sanitizer Impact Blood Glucose Readings?
A few weeks ago I had breakfast with Jessica Apple at a cafe near Bryant Park in New York City. I perused the menu and was tempted by the list of carby desserts masquerading as “brunch.” Nevertheless, I ordered the quiche. Jess did too. I was in good company. I was ready to test my blood sugar and bolus. But after riding the subway and handling menus, I was desperate to clean my hands before pricking my finger. I guess you could call me a germaphobic diabetic. Not the most charming description, but I’ll take it. Invisible germs scare me. That is why I avoid public restrooms. Of course, that’s where most restaurants keep the soap and water, but I always feel dirtier on my way out of the restroom than I did when I walked in. Even if the faucet has an automatic sensor, I still have to touch the door handle when I exit. I know the tricks. Hold it with a paper towel. Pry it open with your shoe. Wait for a fearless person who scoffs at germs to hold the door for you. But still. Thankfully I had packed hand sanitizer in my bag. No need to plan a restroom escape. I pulled it out and squirted a few drops onto my hands. I offered a squeeze to Jess and she happily cleaned her hands, too. I went on to test my blood sugar. It’s always a treat to dine with other people with diabetes (especially germ-conscious ones). You don’t have to prick your finger under the table, or even worse, in the dirty bathroom. And you don’t have to explain your food choices. After lathering up the hand sanitizer, Jess had an interesting thought: she wondered if the hand sanitizer could impact blood glucose readings. It was a great question that I never considered. I decided to find out. *** Over the course of a week, I completed ten back-to-back blood sugar tests to see if hand sanitizer aff Continue reading >>
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7 Ways To Make Blood-sugar Testing Less Painful
No more sore fingers You need to prick your finger to obtain a drop of blood for home blood-glucose monitoring. Does it hurt? Some people say yes, but they've gotten used to it. Others say they find it virtually painless. Only you can decide. But here are 7 tried-and-true methods for making it less painful. Find out what works for you When Nancy Chiller Janow, age 54, was first diagnosed with type 2, her endocrinologist "punctured me so hard in the middle of the finger pad, that I never wanted to test again," she says. "It really hurt." Janow's internist recommended she experiment to find a more comfortable spot. "I did and finally found that testing on the side of the pad, close to the nail, is the most comfortable," she says. "I often use my thumb. Maybe because that's more callused, it's more comfortable and doesn't hurt when I stick it." Avoid pricking the finger’s tip This part of the finger is especially sensitive and can be more painful than other parts of your finger. Aim for the side of your finger. Fingertips are a poor choice because they tend to have more nerve endings, says Nadine Uplinger, director of the Gutman Diabetes Institute at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. "We teach people to monitor on the sides of their fingers, not down by the knuckle but up by the nail bed on the fleshy part and not on the tips," she says. "Another thing to do is pinch or put pressure on where you're going to test to seal it and that seems to minimize pain." Continue reading >>
The Effect Of An Instant Hand Sanitizer On Blood Glucose Monitoring Results
Go to: Abstract People with diabetes mellitus are instructed to clean their skin prior to self-monitoring of blood glucose to remove any dirt or food residue that might affect the reading. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have become popular when soap and water are not available. The aim of this study was to determine whether a hand sanitizer is compatible with glucose meter testing and effective for the removal of exogenous glucose. Methods We enrolled 34 nonfasting subjects [14 male/20 female, mean ages 45 (standard deviation, 9.4)] years, 2 with diagnosed diabetes/32 without known diabetes]. Laboratory personnel prepared four separate fingers on one hand of each subject by (1) cleaning the second finger with soap and water and towel drying (i.e., control finger), (2) cleaning the third finger with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, (3) coating the fourth finger with cola and allowing it to air dry, and (4) coating the fifth finger with cola and then cleaning it with the instant hand sanitizer after the cola had dried. Finger sticks were performed on each prepared finger and blood glucose was measured. Several in vitro studies were also performed to investigate the effectiveness of the hand sanitizer for removal of exogenous glucose.z Mean blood glucose values from fingers cleaned with instant hand sanitizer did not differ significantly from the control finger (p = .07 and .08, respectively) and resulted in 100% accurate results. Blood glucose data from the fourth (cola-coated) finger were substantially higher on average compared with the other finger conditions, but glucose data from the fifth finger (cola-coated then cleaned with hand sanitizer) was similar to the control finger. The data from in vitro experiments showed that the hand sanitizer did not adversely affect g Continue reading >>
An Important Step For Accurate Glucose Readings
Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of managing diabetes, but according to a new study in the journal Diabetes Care, failure to take the simple action of washing your hands with water before pricking your finger could result in falsely elevated readings. Cleaning the finger with an alcohol swab prior to taking a blood sample is commonly recommended as a way to make sure the test site is clean. To determine whether alcohol swabbing effectively removes fruit residue, researchers at the Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine in Tokyo measured the blood glucose levels of 10 volunteers without diabetes under a variety of conditions. As a control, the participants’ fingers were cleaned and a fingerprick check was conducted to determine their true blood glucose levels. The volunteers then peeled either oranges, grapes, or kiwis, and then had their blood glucose checked immediately, after swabbing with alcohol, and again after washing with tap water. The researchers found that when the volunteers’ hands were cleaned with tap water, their blood glucose readings matched their readings prior to peeling the fruit, generally around 90 mg/dl. However, when their glucose levels were measured immediately after peeling the fruit, on average their readings shot up to 170 mg/dl after peeling an orange, 180 mg/dl after peeling a kiwi, and 360 mg/dl after peeling a grape, respectively. And even when they had swabbed their fingers with alcohol — in some cases as many as five times — prior to the measurement being taken, the readings still remained elevated over their actual blood glucose level. In an interview with Reuters, Robert Cohen, MD, an endocrinologist who was not involved in the research, noted that “People are used to pricking the finger, drawing a bloo Continue reading >>
Some Helpful Hints When Monitoring Blood Sugar
FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Anyone who needs to monitor their blood sugar can take some simple steps to improve their test results. These include: Wash your hands before you test. It sounds simple enough, but it's a step many people skip or skimp on. "Tests strips are essentially little labs on a piece of plastic," explained Dr. David Simmons, chief medical officer at Bayer HealthCare's Diabetes Care in Tarrytown, N.Y. "If you have sugar on your hands, it will get into the blood sample. This is one of the predominant causes of a high blood sugar. So, wash your hands with soapy water, rinse well and dry thoroughly. If there's extra fluid on your finger, it will dilute the sample and give you a lower reading." Skip the alcohol swab or hand-sanitizing gel. Like having extra sugar on your hand, alcohol can affect your blood sugar reading, too. "If you use alcohol swabs, it's only OK if you guarantee you don't have residual alcohol, so make sure you dry it well and then wipe it with a clean cloth," Simmons said. "But, it's best not to use alcohol." Don't forget quality control. Do you check a test strip from each new batch with control solution to ensure that the results are in range? If not, you might not be getting accurate readings. Be sure to use the right control solution for your test strips and run a check every time you open a new container of strips, each time you get an unusual result, and any time you've dropped your meter, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To run the test, insert a test strip into your meter and then put a drop or two of control solution on the strip, like you would if you were doing a test with your blood. The results should be within the range listed on the test strip bottle. If they're not, call the manufacture Continue reading >>
Blood Glucose Monitoring: Tips To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Successfully
Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing and controlling diabetes. Knowing your blood sugar level quickly can help alert you to when your level has fallen or risen outside the target range. In some cases, this will help prevent an emergency situation. You’ll also be able to record and track your blood glucose readings over time. This will show you how exercise, food, and medicine affect your levels. Conveniently enough, testing your blood glucose level can be done just about anywhere and at any time. In as little as a minute or two, you can test your blood and have a reading using an at-home blood sugar meter or blood glucose monitor. Learn more: Choosing a glucose meter » Whether you test several times a day or only once, following a testing routine will help you prevent infection, return true results, and better monitor your blood sugar. Here’s a step-by-step routine you can follow: Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Then dry them well with a clean towel. If you use an alcohol swab, be sure to let the area dry completely before testing. Prepare a clean lancet device by inserting a clean needle. This spring-loaded device that holds the needle is what you will use to prick the end of your finger. Remove one test strip from your bottle or box of strips. Be sure to close the bottle or box completely to avoid contaminating the other strips with dirt or moisture. All modern meters now have you insert the strip into the meter before you collect blood, so you can add the blood sample to the strip when it is in the meter. With some older meters, you put the blood on the strip first, and then put the strip in the meter. Stick the side of your fingertip with the lancet. Some blood sugar machines allow for testing from different sites on your body, such as t Continue reading >>
9.2 Glucometer Use
People with diabetes require regular monitoring of their blood glucose to help them achieve as close to normal blood glucose levels as possible for as much of the time as possible. The benefits of maintaining a blood glucose level that is consistently within the range of 4-7 mmol/L will reduce the short-term, potentially life-threatening complications of hypoglycemia as well as the occurrence rate and severity of the long-term complications of hyperglycemia. Patients in the hospital setting are likely to have inconsistent blood glucose levels as they are affected by changes in diet and lifestyle, surgical procedures, and the stress of being in a hospital. The physician will prescribe how regularly the blood glucose should be monitored. In acute situations, a sliding-scale treatment for insulin will be individually prescribed per patient. The medication administration record (MAR) or sliding scale will provide directions for the amount of medication to be given based on the blood glucose reading. It is usually the responsibility of the nurse to perform blood glucose readings. As with any clinical procedure, ensure that you understand the patient’s condition, the reason for the test, and the possible outcomes of the procedure. Prior to performing a blood glucose test, ensure that you have read and understood the manufacturer’s instructions and your agency’s policy for the blood glucose monitoring machines (see Figure 9.1) used in your clinical setting, as these vary. It is also important that you determine the patient’s understanding of the procedure and the purpose for monitoring blood glucose level. Before you begin, you should also determine if there are any conditions present that could affect the reading. For example, is the patient fasting? Has the patient j Continue reading >>
6 Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Readings
6 Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Readings 6 Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Readings When testing your blood sugar, there are a host of issues that can affect the accuracy of the results. This is not only frustrating but also dangerousyou want to make sure youre giving yourself the right amount of insulin to regulate your blood sugar if youre taking insulin, and you want to make sure you know your real numbers to work with your doctor to control your blood sugar and avoid complications. Avoid these six common problems before you prick that finger: You may not be getting a big enough sample of blood on the test strip to precisely measure your blood sugar. You also may be using the same finger for every test . And there are other commonly performed missteps in testing. User error is a large contributor to inaccurate readings, so talk to your endocrinologist or CDE about how to properly perform all the steps involved in testing. Are your fingers a little sticky from just-eaten food? If you ate an orange and left residue on your fingers, your meter will add the high sugar content from the citrus to your blood sugar measurement, resulting in a much higher number than you actually have. Leftover food, lotion, or fluid (including water) on your hands can cause wrong readings. Wash your hands with warm water and soap (dont lick them or use rubbing alcohol), and thoroughly dry them before testing. Believe it or not, your surroundings can also affect your blood sugar readings. The altitude, humidity, and room temperature of your environment can affect either your body or the strips you use, or both. Some meters come with instructions on how to get accurate results when in extreme environments. If your meter doesnt include this information, ask your diabetes doctor about Continue reading >>
Why Is Blood Sugar Testing Important?
Measuring blood sugar (glucose) levels at home has become a cornerstone of diabetes care. Measuring blood sugar regularly can: Help you know if your blood sugar is within your target range. Staying in a healthy range can help prevent or delay the long-term complications of high blood sugar, such as heart, kidney, eye, nerve, and circulation problems Help you know if your blood sugar is too low or too high and treatment is needed Help you know how much and which type of medicine to use Prevent low blood sugar at night Help you manage illness at home Let you know if you need to do a ketone test (if you have type 1 diabetes) Help you understand the effects of certain foods, exercise, and stress on your blood sugar Help your healthcare provider know if changes in your treatment are needed What supplies are needed? Doing a blood test requires: Finger-pricking (lancing) device: A finger-pricking device (called a lancet) is used to get a drop of blood for the test. The lancet can often be set at different depths for different people. Adjustable lancets are good for young children and tender skin and for when you do not need the lancet to go deep. Remember to change the lancet every day. A sharp and clean lancet helps prevent injury and infection. Blood glucose meter (glucometer): Most people use blood glucose meters to test blood sugar. Not all meters measure in the same way, so the results from different meters are not always the same. It doesn't matter which type of meter you choose as long as you always use the same meter. Bring the meter to each clinic visit. Your healthcare provider can get a record of the test results from the meter. Some features to look for in a meter include: Accuracy: Make sure the meter is accurate in the environment where you live, for example, in Continue reading >>
Milking Your Finger To Get A Bigger Blood Drop
Milking your finger to get a bigger blood drop Milking your finger to get a bigger blood drop This came up yesterday on another thread. When I lance my finger, I need to massage and milk the spot to squeeze any blood out. Someone mentioned that this is not good because it will alter the readings. I am not a bleeder. In fact after I test my finger poke heals immediately without any pressure or bandaid. Should I be lancing deeper or is it ok to milk your finger. D.D. Family T1 for 54 years - on Pump since 03/2008 I don't know if that's true - but seeing as I get plenty of blood from my left hand & a teeny bit from my right, I stick it under a hottish tap first. That seems to work.. D.D. Family T2 dx 3/07, tx w/very lo carb D&E Met, bolus R Milking the finger (stroking along from the palm towards the puncture) is OK. Squeezing hard at the puncture site is what causes the interstitial fluid to leak out and isn't recommended. 'Veni, Vidi, Velcro' - I came, I saw, I stuck around. Hi Jeanne - I found the info between the quotes at another web site. The answer appears to be yes, it does, however, the effect on readings with a home glucometer are likely to be minimal, though those suffering from kidney related edema should be cautious about milking a test site. If enough tissue fluid is milked out, blood may be more like a plasma sample than like a whole blood sample. If you have a meter that reads "plasma" values, that is not going to make any difference, and if you have "whole blood" glucose monitor, the result in all likelihood will not be significant enough to alter any insulin dosage. Again, we should try to get an adequate blood sample by very gently milking the puncture site. . . . . Although such "zero-error" considerations are important for the research scientist in hi Continue reading >>
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