Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Measuring Your Blood Sugar
Gather the things you need to test your blood sugar.
This usually includes the meter, needle (lancet) and lancet holder, test
strips, and cotton balls.
Read the information from the manufacturer and your
doctor to be sure you know how to use the blood sugar meter, lancet holder, and
Check the expiration date on your test strips. If you
use expired test strips, your test results might not be accurate.
Many meters don't need a code from the test strips, but some will. If your meter does, make sure the code number on the bottle of test strips
matches the number on your meter. If the numbers don't match, follow the
directions that come with your meter for changing the code
Wash your hands with warm, soapy water, and dry them
well with a clean towel.
The lancet device is a pen-sized holder for the lancet.
It holds the lancet in place and controls how deeply the lancet goes into your
Take one strip from the bottle of test strips. Follow
the directions to prepare your meter to receive the blood sample. Don't forget
to put the lid back on the bottle right after removing the strip.
Use the lancet device to prick the side of your
fingertip with the lancet.
Put a drop of blood on the correct spot of the test
strip, covering the test area well.
If your finger continues to bleed, use a clean cotton ball to apply pressure to your
fingertip to stop the bleeding.
Wait for the results. Most meters take only a few
seconds to give you the results. Recording your blood sugar results is very
important. Your doctor will use your record to see how often your blood sugar
levels are in your target range.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.