Blood Glucose Test: Tips for Accurate Results
Even simple things can affect the accuracy of finger-prick blood glucose testing. Learn more about what can affect your results.
Whether you’re experienced at using the finger-prick method for blood glucose testing or just getting started, it never hurts to have a little refresher on how to test properly so that you get the most accurate results for healthy diabetes management. Ask your doctor for a blood glucose test results chart so that you can quickly refer to it and ensure you are in a healthy range.
Note: Be sure to check your meter’s manual, as the correct testing procedure varies from one meter to another.
Your blood glucose meter is designed to read your blood sample when it’s applied in a certain way to the test strip, which includes: how much you apply, and how you apply it. Certain occurrences can result in inaccurate readings, such as smearing the blood sample on the blood glucose test strip, or not applying blood properly.
Tip: Try placing your finger on a table or hard surface to help keep your finger still.
- Applying blood to the side of the test strip
Note: Some test strips do require top application, so first check how to properly apply a sample.
- Not completely filling the test strip with blood (e.g., if you push the test strip against your fingertip).
- Moving the test strip in the meter during the test.
- Adding more blood to the test strip after you’ve moved the drop of blood away (this only applies to some meters, including OneTouch®).
- Having food residue on your fingertips.
Even a small amount of sugar on your fingers can impact your results (for example, if you ate something sweet like a bowl of cherries and didn’t wash your hands). Tip: Remember to wash your hands with soap and water, even if your hands look clean. Dry them well and then test.
- If your meter or test strips were exposed to extreme heat or cold.
Your meter and test strips have a range of temperatures in which they should be used (check your manual to see their range). For the most accurate results, test at room temperature.