All you need to know about a glucometer

Do you have problems with blood sugar level monitoring? Do you need to monitor your sugar levels on the go? Use a handy glucometer. Can I use a glucometer at home? Yes, you can use a glucometer at home with easy-to-follow steps. Here’s a quick guide on how and when to use a glucometer.

What is a Glucometer?

Glucometers are portable devices used to measure your blood glucose(sugar) levels. The results are presented instantly on the glucometer screen. A small amount of blood is drawn from your fingertips, which is then analyzed by the glucometer to determine the amount of glucose in your blood at a given time. It tests both fasting and random blood glucose levels.

The various parts of the glucometer device include:

  • Main device
  • Lancet (needle)
  • Testing strip
  • Batteries

Benefits of a glucometer

  • Performing routine monitoring of blood sugar levels in individuals with prediabetes and diabetes.
  • Testing an individual’s fitness before going for surgery.
  • Your doctor can get handy information on your sugar levels throughout the day to monitor the progression of a treatment
  • Helping to analyze the efficacy of a treatment or medicine.
  • Monitoring the effect of an exercise program for possible risks in individuals with diabetes.
  • A glucometer is a useful and convenient device for blood sugar monitoring in infants, children and teenagers with type 1 diabetes.

Blood glucose testing with a glucometer

You can test your blood sugar levels at home or anywhere you go. Follow these simple steps:

  • Every glucometer is provided with an instruction manual as the make and brand may defer. Read the manual carefully before testing.
  • Most glucometers are designed to take blood from your fingertips but some may allow testing from your thigh, forearm and hand.
  • Wash your hands and the part from which blood is to be drawn with soap and water. Set out all the testing requirements like the device, blood absorbing strips, cotton swab, antiseptic solution, lancet(needle) and dustbin.
  • Blood should be encouraged to flow toward the part being tested through gentle rubbing, positioning in a gravity-dependent position etc.
  • Switch on the glucometer. Place the testing strip in the glucometer. Prick the fingertip or other part being tested with a lancet. 
  • Allow adequate blood to ooze out from the prick. Place your finger with the blood drop on the testing strip. Allow the testing strip to completely absorb all the blood till the mark.
  • Dip a cotton swab in an antiseptic solution and place it on the oozing blood on the body part pricked to stop blood flow.
  • The glucometer reading obtained is to be noted down. 
  • Dispose of the cotton swabs, testing strips and needles in a separate dustbin.

When to use a glucometer

A glucometer is used to test blood sugar levels in normal individuals as well as those with diabetes in the following situations:

  • Fasting blood sugar level
  • Post-prandial (2 hours after a meal)
  • Random sugar levels (anytime during the day or after a meal)
  • Type 1 diabetes: When you have type 1 diabetes, testing will be required before and after meals, before, during and after an activity or exercise and when prompted.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Individuals with type 2 diabetes need to check their blood sugar levels before and after meals and sometimes as random testing.
  • Before bedtime

Reporting of blood sugar levels with a glucometer

The results of your blood sugar level testing are presented on the glucometer screen. The values are available in two units of calculation:

  • mg/dL
  • mmol/l

How to convert glucometer readings

*If you have a glucometer with mmol/l readings, you can convert it to mg/dL by using the formula:

mg/dl = 18 × mmol/l

*If you have a glucometer with mg/dL readings, you can convert it to mmol/l by using the formula:

mmol/l = mg/dL / 18

Blood glucose ranges

Sr. no Glucometer reading Result
less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) Blood sugar normal range
more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) Diabetes
between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) Prediabetes


Read more about high blood sugar symptoms

Price of a glucometer

A glucometer price starts from Rs. 400/- and increases according to brand and device specifications. Some glucometers provide additional readings and also provide an active memory for a particular person’s blood glucose readings throughout the day.

Blood sugar testing at the convenience of your home!

A glucometer is a handy device to obtain blood sugar levels at any given time or before and after a meal or an activity. You can measure your blood sugar anywhere and at any time in easy-to-follow steps. Each glucometer comes with an instruction manual that you must read and understand thoroughly as every type of glucometer is unique in its use and specifications. Your doctor may be able to monitor your diabetes and treatment with the glucose readings taken at home as per instructions. If you are unable to use a glucometer to test your blood sugar level at home, visit your doctor for a thorough explanation or go for lab testing.

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