If you have diabetes, you know the importance of taking accurate readings of your blood glucose level. Keeping a log of your results will help your doctor judge how well you’re responding to treatment; and how your medication, diet, exercise and other factors such as illness or stress affect your blood sugar levels. It also important to know at any point in time whether your blood glucose levels are dangerously high or low.
Monitoring your blood sugar normally involves pricking your finger with a lancet, putting a small drop of blood on a test strip, inserting the strip into a meter, and taking the reading. Your doctor will tell you how often you should take a blood test, though usually it depends on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and your individual treatment plan. Typically persons with type 1 diabetes will need to test more frequently through the day.
Because taking a blood sample involves pricking the finger, and thus a certain amount of pain, many patients do not look forward to this routine. Repeated pricking on the finger can lead to soreness over time, and even difficulty in using the fingers for normal daily tasks. To reduce discomfort from frequent sampling, the American Diabetes Association offers some suggestions:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh or fleshy part of your hand.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
Using a lancing device is often preferrable to using a bare lancet, as it can give you more control and accuracy–and therefore less pain. Some lancing devises have raised dots on the end which comes in contact with the finger. These dots stimulate nerve endings, thereby masking the sensation of pain from the needle puncture. Many lancing devices also have different settings to control needle or lancet pressure, allowing you to adjust for skin thickness and amount of blood taken.
Advanced Diabetes Supply carries a full range of the tools you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels–from meters and testing strips to lancing devises.