Prevention is the best option

Guidelines for self-testing blood sugar levels

Autoanàlisi de la glucosa a la sang a Vall d'Hebron

Self-testing for glucose consists of getting patients with diabetes and their families to conduct tests and note down the results in the capillary blood glucose log book. That way, the patient can find out and assess their blood sugar level in real time. 


What do you need to bear in mind if you have to self-test for glucose or you need to measure the blood sugar level of someone in your care?

To find out if blood glucose levels are correct, too high or too low, writing them down in your log book allows you to get to know the trends at different times of day, in order to adjust the doses of insulin in the best way possible.

To measure capillary blood glucose it is very important to keep all your equipment in perfect condition and follow the instructions for each piece of equipment to measure blood glucose and prick yourself correctly.


What do I need?

  • Lancing device and lancets
  • Measuring equipment
  • Cotton or paper handkerchiefs
  • Water and soap
  • Log book to note down results


Hygiene measures

  • Wash your hands and the area you are going to prick with water and soap (if possible hot water, as it makes it easier to get a drop of blood).
  • It is preferable to wash your hands rather than use alcohol, as frequent alcohol use hardens the skin.
  • If you do not have water and soap, you can use alcohol. Always make sure you have allowed the alcohol to evaporate before pricking.


Pricking areas and pricks

  • Preferably, choose the sides of the fingers; if possible, thumb or ring finger as they have a greater density of blood vessels.
  • Avoid the middle of the finger tip, as it is more sensitive to pain.
  • To encourage a drop of blood to come out, gently massage the finger. Put your hand face down and place it below heart height.  
  • Sometimes, you can use an ear lobe, toe or heel (as long as you do not have any kind of foot illness).


Capillary blood glucose test

  1. The measuring equipment and test strips must be in perfect condition.
  2. Place the lancing device on the chosen area and press according to the guidelines of each device.
  3. Place the blood drop onto a test strip. In some cases, the drop should be put on top; in others, it must be placed on the side (suction system).
  4. Follow the instructions of the particular device you are using.
  5. Note down the blood glucose result in your log book and, next to it, factors that affected the results (changes in carbohydrate levels, physical activity, time, etc.)


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