Blood sugar testing sites and when to test

When testing, I try to use the second drop of blood rather than the first. This avoids the chance of contamination. The better blood supply is going to give you the best picture of what your numbers actually are at the moment of testing. Some people wash their hands in warm water each time to aid in the circulation Do not use soap, or if you do, rinse thoroughly. Chemicals, such as alcohol or any type of germicide may give a false reading. This includes hand lotions. I try not to ever use my pinky finger because I have noticed that I do get different readings from it and the other fingers. Middle or ring finger on the left side will probably give the most accurate reading. Also, some people use the skin on their forearm, but I have found that can be very inaccurate. The best sites for pricking fingers is the back or dorsum of the finger. Prick your finger between the first joint and the nail, or between the first and second joints of the knuckles as shown by shaded areas (see below).  Pricking these sites should be less likely to cause pain and more likely to produce a drop of blood than will pricking your fingers on the palmar side of the hand. You will also be free from the calluses that occur after repeated punctures on the palmar surface of the fingers.   When using this technique, I press the tip of the lancing device very gently against the finger, as the skin is thinner there than on the palmar surface. If you find it distasteful to prick the dorsum (knuckle side) of your fingers, use the sites on the palmar surface (see below).  The sides of this area are less painful due to there not being as many nerves. The bottom areas are very sensitive and that is why they hurt so much when being pricked. I actually use all of the sites shown in both diagrams. No need to change lancets unless they become dull. You will know when. It is a good idea to discard them once a week, as they do eventually become dull.

Many insurance companies don’t like to pay for more testing than once a day. And yet, for many of us, once a day is not often enough to give the true picture of where our numbers are. Everyone seems to have a different take on what your numbers should be. Here is mine. Keep your numbers below 140 at all times. Research shows that Blood Glucose (BG) above 140 is toxic enough to cause organ damage. Your numbers will fluctuate on a normal basis; raising when you eat and digest your food, drop when you start to run out of fuel, even go up if you go too long from not eating. If your body thinks you are in danger of staving it will do what is called a glucose dump. This is where reserve glucose that has been stored in your liver is released and enters your bloodstream. To counteract either highs or lows, besides the type of food we eat, we can benefit by what I call the law of small portions. Instead of missing meals or eating three large meals which overwhelms the digestive system, it makes more sense to eat 4-6 smaller portion meals. This will help to keep you fueled longer and since the volume is less it will be less apt to overwhelm and spike your sugars. An acceptable reading is 80-120. After meals, especially with new foods, it is a good idea to test before eating (to get a baseline), one hour after eating (highest point), and 2 hours after (close or back to normal). A food journal is great to have so that you can log what foods and amounts you are able to eat. That way, once you have tested a certain food, you won’t need to test as much. Good Luck!

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