A blood glucose test is a very powerful and easy way to understand how is your diabetes control.

It allows you to better understand if the changes you embrace are impacting in your diabetes, if there is something more you can do and if you should or not adjust your medication and get specialized advice.

A blood glucose test might look like a straight forward task but there are some aspects of it that are really important to follow.

Making sure the finger (or other test area) is clean

This is very important. Make sure you wash the test area before doing pricking.

The test can easily suffer alterations and be unreliable if you have any remaining food, dust, water or any other substance on this area. Also, alcohol hand gel is not a good way to clean your testing area because it has sugar.

There is nothing better than a good wash with soap and water and a better rinse.

Using the test strips prior to their expiration date

Make sure you verify your test strips expiry date. Expired strips cannot provide a reliable blood glucose reading.

The expiry date must be always visible on the strips pot or make a note of it in your diary, in case the pot label gets damaged.

Keep the strips sealed in their pot…

…to prevent exposure to light and humidity and adverse temperatures.

Changes of temperature and light can change the strips’ performance. Do not remove the strips from your pot.

It’s understandable that the pot is usually big, but its characteristics provide the best storage conditions for your strips.

Get enough blood to fill the test strip completely

Meters nowadays are great and do not use a big amount of blood to be able to provide the blood glucose reading.

So make sure you apply the sufficient amount of blood into the strip and on the correct timing – usually when the machines shows a sign that is ready to receive the drop of blood.

Keep the error codes in a safe place so you can understand what is the problem with the meter and act on it.

Never expose the meter to extreme hot or cold temperatures

Meters can be sensitive to adverse temperatures and provide misreading of blood glucose control.

In case the meter is expose to high or low temperatures, leave it to cool down or warm slightly before using.

Change of meter

Majority of meter’s companies advice to change blood glucose meter every 2-3 years.

Consider to get a new meter if your current one is older than that. It is always a good time to get a better meter, a meter that suits you better.

These tips are very important to perform a reliable blood glucose test. This is a great start for a better improvement of your diabetes.

You can find more about blood glucose control here, here, here and here.