Alternative Spots Diabetics Can Use for Glucose Testing

Always follow the usage instructions in the manual for your blood glucose meter to get the best results.

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Pricking your finger up to four times a day can be a frustrating and painful process. Some long-term diabetics even develop calluses that make it difficult to draw blood.

So, what’s to be done about it?

We have done a little research and found a few alternative blood sugar testing sites that many people use every day.

Alternative Testing Sites

Doctors recommend that patients use their fingers, primarily because they provide the most accurate results. The fingers give you access to capillary blood, which provides you a better idea of your current glucose levels. However, it is possible to test almost anywhere else on the body. Your numbers will just be about 30 to 40 minutes out-of-date.

Why?

It takes longer for blood to spread through thicker layers of skin, and then return to the veins to be taken to the heart and lungs for oxygenation.

This can be an issue for diabetics who want the most current results, like if they are prone to hypoglycemia. However, if you are just tracking your sugar for your records or want to see how a meal affected your glucose levels, it’s okay to use an alternative site.

Let’s get down to business…




On the Hand

You can test multiple parts of the hand, which is good. It allows you to rotate testing sites and still get very accurate results. Consider testing these spots:

  • sides of fingers
  • thumb
  • palm of the hand

Some people report that using the palm is a little harder as the skin is thicker than on the fingers. But it is capillary blood, so your results will be current.

On the Body

There are also blood glucose meters designed to test the arms, both upper arm and forearm. These may be helpful for those with calluses or who test frequently and want to give their fingers a break.

Some patients are also able to test on their legs, but this isn’t as common. It’s not as easy to reach the leg, and it requires taking off a pair of pants. You can try out the calf or the thigh. Make sure to compare your first few attempts with results taken from your fingers to see how close they are in accuracy.

References

Beyond the Finger: Alternate Blood Sugar Testing Sites. URL Link. Accessed July 12, 2017.

How To Test Your Blood Sugar. URL Link. Accessed July 12, 2017.

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