Blood glucose levels testing is a very useful tool in the treatment of diabetes, which can be used to get information on how much different factors affect your glucose levels.

Also referred to as self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), blood glucose testing is a relatively straight forward process.

We detail the steps which are involved in blood glucose testing.

What equipment is required?

The main piece of equipment you need is a blood glucose testing kit, which will usually provide all the basic equipment to get you started, including:

  • A blood glucose meter
  • Test strips
  • A lancing device
  • Lancets
  • Cotton wool or a new tissue to wipe away any excess blood
  • Medical sharps container

If you don’t have a sharps container, ask your health provider about getting hold of one.

Testing your blood glucose

  • Step 1: Wash your hands – this is important as traces of food on your hands can affect the accuracy of the test
  • Step 2: Load a new lancet into the lancing device
  • Step 3: Put a test strip into the meter –this will usually switch the meter on
  • Step 4: Prime the lancing device and prick your finger
  • Step 5: Check the meter is ready to receive blood and apply blood to the top or end of the test strips
    – Check the meter’s manual if you’re not certain where the blood needs applying
    – If your meter has switched off, you’ll need to switch it back on before applying the blood
  • Step 6: Wipe any excess blood off your finger with some cotton wool or a new tissue
  • Step 7: Record the result in a blood glucose monitoring diary
    – Most meters will produce a result after a few seconds
  • Step 8: Dispose of the test strip and carefully dispose of the used lancet into a medical sharps container

If the test is not successful

Occasionally an error message can appear instead of a blood glucose result. If this happens, refer to the meter’s manual to see what you need to do to prevent the error message re-occurring.

If the reason for the error can be remedied, you can re-test to obtain a result.