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Health Journey Support | Checking Your Blood Sugar Level

Learning how to check your blood sugar level can help you make good daily decisions about managing your diabetes. This brochure will teach you how to check your blood sugar level.

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This information is intended for US Consumers

Checking Your Blood Sugar Level

Checking your blood sugar level can help you make good daily decisions about managing your diabetes. It requires you to stick your finger with a lancet and test your blood with a glucose meter.

Your health care provider will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar. They will also give you a blood sugar target range.

Try to keep your blood sugar within your target range.

Things You Will Need:

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  • Alcohol wipes or soap and water
  • A lancet (a small needle that fits into the lancet device)
  • Test strips
  • A blood glucose meter
  • A logbook

Getting Ready

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Step 1 Wash your hands with soap and water, and then dry them; or use an alcohol wipe to clean the finger you will use for the testing site, and let it dry.

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Step 2 Remove a test strip from the container and put the cap back on to protect the strips.

Be sure to use a new test strip each time you check your blood sugar.

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Step 3 Insert the test strip into your glucose meter.

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Step 4 Place a new lancet in your lancet device.

Always use a new lancet every time you check your blood sugar.

Sticking Your Finger

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Step 5

  • Stick the side of your finger with the lancet to get a drop of blood. Sticking the side of your finger rather than the tip hurts less
  • Use a different finger for each test to help prevent sore spots
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  • You may need to gently massage or squeeze the blood out of your finger

Squeezing your finger too hard may give an inaccurate reading.

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  • Most lancet devices have a dial that lets you select how deep the lancet goes into the skin
  • If you get more blood than you need, dial the number down so the lancet does not go as deep
  • If you do not get enough blood, dial the number up so the lancet goes in deeper

Testing Your Blood

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Step 6

  • Touch the correct part of the test strip to the drop of blood but not your skin
  • The meter will display your blood sugar level on a screen

Recording Your Numbers

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Step 7 Write the number into your logbook.

Be sure to record:

  • Your blood sugar level every time you check it
  • Things that may affect your blood sugar, such as illness, exercise, stress and eating food at a party

Follow Up With Your Doctor

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Make sure to follow up with your doctor regularly and bring your logbook to all of your doctor appointments.

You and your doctor may need to discuss:

  • Changes to your meal plan
  • Physical activity
  • Diabetes medications