A person with diabetes uses a home blood sugar (glucose) test to measure the level of glucose in his or her blood. The test can be done on a daily basis at home or anywhere, using a small portable machine (blood glucose meter).
A home blood sugar test involves pricking a finger with a small needle (lancet) to collect a drop of blood, placing the blood on a special test strip, and then putting the test strip into the blood glucose meter. The blood glucose meter gives the results of a blood sugar test from within seconds to 2 minutes after testing. The results are fairly accurate for the level of glucose in the blood at the time that the test is done.
Some newer devices allow collection of blood samples from other parts of the body, such as the forearm. And some meters allow the person to put the test strip in the machine before placing the drop of blood on it.
Testing blood sugar at home is often called home blood sugar monitoring or self-testing.
Last Revised: October 1, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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