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Glucose Testing (via Finger Stick or Glucose Meter)


Overview:
Glucose testing is the main tool used by diabetics to control their disease. This is usually done with a blood glucose meter by the patients themselves using the finger stick method. It can also be performed in a physician's office.

Detailed Information:
Blood sugar monitoring is the main tool used by diabetics to control their disease. Doctors encourage patients to keep a log of results in order to monitor the body’s response to the patient’s diabetes care plan. Tracking results lets the doctor, dietician, and patient make required changes easily.

In order to test, the patient must prick his finger with a special needle called a lancet to get a drop of blood. Spring-loaded lancets are available that make sticking the finger less painful. The hands should always be cleaned with soap and water prior to testing.

Next, a small, computerized machine called a blood glucose meter reads the blood sugar level. Many different blood glucose meters are available, with features such as extra-large display for people with poor eyesight or memory so the test results can be stored. Discuss what meter is appropriate for you with your doctor.

Symptoms of high blood glucose include increased thirst and urination, tiredness, and blurred vision, while symptoms of low blood glucose include hunger, perspiration, dizziness, and feeling anxious or weak.

Last updated: 28-Jul-08


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