One of the most important things for people managing their diabetes to do is to check their blood glucose levels daily, sometimes multiple times a day as recommended by their doctor or diabetes educator.

Using a glucose meter is an easy process - it just needs to be done every day. Here are the important steps to remember when testing your blood glucose levels.

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands whenever your test your blood. It's safer and more sanitary, but it will also ensure more accurate readings.
  2. You will need a meter, test strips, a lancing device, and a lancet.
  3. Carefully place the lancet in the lancing device and remove the cap from the needle. Do not touch the needle. Set the spring on the lancing device so that it is ready to stick your finger, but don't set off the trigger yet.
  4. Get out a test strip and put it in the meter. (In most cases, this will turn the meter on.)
  5. If you are beginning with a new box of test strips and have a meter that needs to be coded, make sure that the meter matches the code on the box or bottle of strips you are using. Improperly coded meters give substantially inaccurate results.
  6. The test strip symbol should flash on the screen to let you know that the device is ready.
  7. Prick your finger with the lancet. Using the side of your finger rather than the tip will be less painful because there aren't as many nerves there.
  8. Squeeze your finger so that you get a big drop to fill the test area on the test strip. Wait a few seconds (time varies with meters)
  9. Make sure to record your reading. Take any necessary action according to your reading (take insulin, eat something, etc.) and throw away the test strip and the lancet, and put away the rest of your supplies for the next time you need to test.
Make sure that you work closely with your doctor or a diabetes educator to make a plan for safely managing your diabetes.