Diabetes Management
Published on: Mar 21, 2023
4 min Read

Everything You Need to Know About – How to Use a Glucometer

Everything You Need to Know About How to Use a Glucometer
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What is a Glucometer?

Self-monitoring blood sugar levels is an important part of diabetes management. Glucometers are the most widely used devices for home monitoring of blood sugar levels.

This self-monitoring device requires a small blood sample (from a pin prick), unlike laboratory tests in which a larger blood sample.

There will always be some difference between a laboratory test result and a glucometer reading due to the difference in the blood sample collected and laboratory tests being performed in more controlled conditions.

Capillary blood glucose level (collected in a glucometer reading) is often higher than a venous blood glucose level (measured in a lab test). 

Glucometers are available at a wide range of prices, ease of use, compact nature and length of testing time. Some glucometers have additional features for people who have vision problems.

How Does a Glucometer Work?

Today’s most widely used glucometers use test strips containing an enzyme called glucose oxidase. This enzyme reacts with glucose in the blood drop and the electrode interface inside the glucometer.

When the strip with the blood drop is inserted into the glucometer, a chemical reaction with glucose generates an electrical signal, which gives you a blood sugar reading on the glucometer. Based on the strength of the electrical signal, glucose levels appear digitally

Why Should One Use a Glucometer?

Glucometers are helpful for blood sugar monitoring in the following scenarios:

  • To check if blood sugar levels are under control
  • To assess the pattern of rise or fall in blood glucose levels
  • Understand how certain foods and exercising affect blood glucose levels
  • Monitor the effect of diabetic medications
  • Evaluate and assess your diabetes treatment goals
  • Enable dose adjustment of insulin and diabetic medication

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Glucometers are preferred for the following features:

  • They are convenient
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy-to-use

It is important to remember that glucometer readings should not be used to diagnose diabetes. When in doubt, the glucometer readings must always be cross-checked with laboratory blood sugar and HbA1c tests.

How to Use a Glucometer?

Using the glucometer is simple, and following the instructions, can help in the accurate measurement of blood glucose levels in an individual. We can divide the usage of a glucometer into three broad steps:

1) Preparing the lancet

  • Twist and remove the internal cap of the lancet.
  • Hold the lancet at its circulate tip and insert it into the mounting tool.
  • Rotate the protective cover of the lancet slowly and keep it ready for use.
  • Re-attach the internal cap over the mounting tool.
  • Select the penetration depth based on skin thickness (1 being the least and 5 being the deepest penetration level).
  • Hold the lancet by clasping the adjustable tip in one hand and pulling the sliding barrel till you feel a prick.
  • This causes the lancet to prick the test site to enable blood sample collection.

2) Preparing the glucometer and test strips

  • Insert the glucometer strip with the contact bar facing upwards into the device’s strip port.
  • Hold the strip till the meter detects it.
  • When the glucometer indicates it is ready for use, follow the steps to collect the blood sample.

3) Blood collection and measurement of glucose

  • Place the lancet against the finger pad of your ring finger (the prick is usually given on the side of the finger pad).
  • When you are ready, hit the trigger.
  • Remove the lancing device from the finger and allow a drop of blood to form.
  • Apply this blood drop on the narrow end of the test strip placed inside the glucometer. Till the confirmation window is filled, you must continue to apply the blood sample.
  • The glucometer will give a reading. Depending on your device’s type, it will store the same in a mobile app, or you may have to note the reading down manually.

Once the test is done, clean the finger with clean cotton and remove the internal cap of the lancing device. Remove the lancet from the mounting device by pressing the release button. Dispose of the needle and the test strip safely.

If the glucometer shows an error in the reading, you must replace the strip and redo the test.


Glucometers are essential for self-monitoring of blood glucose in people living with diabetes or other conditions that require them to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. Besides enabling better management of diabetes, glucometers also help prevent complications of diabetes.

They are a portable and handy way to check blood glucose levels at any time or any place, allowing individuals to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

If you have diabetes and are looking for guidance to manage the condition better, learn more about our Diabetes Management Program, which has helped hundreds of others. We understand diabetes and also your pain. We are here to help you 😇

- By Fitterfly Health-Team
No more stress while managing diabetes

Don’t struggle alone & get the expert care you deserve

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