How To Do A Blood Sugar Test On Yourself At Home? 7 Easy Tips

What Is Type 2 Diabetes


If you have diabetes you can get serious complications if your blood sugar is too high.

It is therefore wise to keep a close eye on your blood sugar level and to keep track of any changes.

In this article I will give you 7 tips to check your blood sugar level correctly.


This is the best way to measure your blood sugar level


If you have diabetes, you cannot get away with neglecting your blood sugar levels.

You will have to take action to manage or cure your illness. In case of type I diabetes, not much can be done about it. You can take your medication, inject insulin and try not to eat too many sugars. You can do a lot more with type II diabetes. With the right diet you can even cure it.

Or you can take expensive, dangerous and unpleasant medication for years, which will keep your blood sugar level artificially low. That is also an option, but it will not prevent complications in the long run.

What exactly goes wrong with diabetes patients?

The effect of insulin does not work as it should. This is hormone that ensures the removal of excess sugars from the bloodstream. If insulin cannot do its job properly, then the sugars pile up and this causes damage throughout your body.

That does not happen overnight. Sugars can do little harm in a few days. Of course, you can get uncomfortable symptoms and you may not feel good in your skin.

Unfortunately, most diabetic patients have problems for years without realizing it. Because type II diabetes does not come out of the blue.

The majority of patients were overweight and had an unhealthy lifestyle for years.

First they get pre-diabetes and then they get adult-onset diabetes.

blood sugar test diabetes

If they had measured their blood sugar level every now and then, they could have saved themselves a lot of misery.

Why do a (fasting) blood sugar test for your sugar level?

Because that way, you gain insight into how your body reacts to sugars. And as a result, you can make adjustments to maintain your blood sugar level.

There are of course other reasons. Juvenile sugar patients inject insulin. Some type 2 diabetes patients use medication. They must keep track of the extent to which their blood sugar level does not get too high or too low.

  • Because that is the main risk of certain medication and insulin: you might use take too much

But almost every person with diabetes and pre-diabetes would do well to keep a closer eye on their sugar levels. The benefits of regular testing outweigh the risks (which are very low) of this act.

Before I give you the blood sugar test guidelines, I want to briefly discuss the dangers:

Danger 1: Infection

If you take a blood sugar test, there is a risk that something will come with it, especially if you share a needle with someone. But if you follow the blood sugar test protocol below properly, you can reduce that risk to almost zero. You should never share a needle with anyone else. Suppose that person has an infectious disease which will be transmitted to you. So always use clean needles to puncture your skin when doing a  blood sugar test.

Danger 2: Persistent pain in your finger tips

Some people who often test their blood feel pain in their fingertip at the spot they always puncture. You can prevent this by puncturing on the side of the fingertip and alternating the fingers. In addition, the focus on hygiene prevents you from getting an infection that causes even more pain.

Danger 3: False alarm

The puncturing method is not perfect. Sometimes you make a mistake and you get a measurement that is incorrect. Fortunately, you can always do a second or third measurement to be sure. And if you practice the step-by-step plan below, you will see that you will quickly master the puncturing.

The advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages:

Advantage 1: You prevent long-term damage

If your blood sugar level is continuously high, this will cause damage. Among them, are your eyes, legs, kidneys, skin, heart and brain. The most important organs in your body get knocked around every time your sugar level is too high.

By measuring consistently, you can learn what causes an elevated blood sugar level. The purpose of blood sugar tests is therefore that you can avoid such situations from now on. Which will spare you many complications of type 2 diabetes.

Advantage 2: You can better inform doctors 

They know you have diabetes. But do they also know how your body reacts to medication and nutrition? This is information that is important for your treatment.​

By keeping track of how your blood sugar level changes you can give a report to your doctor during your annual check-up. He can use the measurements to paint a better picture of your situation and to give you better advice.

If you only have a few measurements that show that your blood sugar is not OK, is less good than having consistently kept track of it for a year and showing this data.

This method makes you more independent than when you go to the doctor once a year and hope for the best. The consequences of an increased blood sugar level are not something the take light, so pro-activity is therefore definitely recommended.

Below I will further discuss how you should test your blood sugar level.

The supplies for testing your blood sugar

This article can serve as a manual. Keep this at hand while testing.

  • A glucose meter. This is the blood sugar device which can determine the sugar level in your blood. It is usually not bigger than the palm of your hand and is therefore easy to carry
  • Lancing device. This is a device to make a small puncture in your fingertip. This causes a drop of blood to come out of your finger that you can use for the measurement
  • A clean lancet. A lancet is a needle that you put on the lancing device. By using a new needle for each measurement, you prevent infections. And you ensure that you get the most up-to-date information. Re-use causes interference.
  • A test strip. You put the drop of blood on the test strip. This should already be in the glucose meter and is needed to be able to measure the value of your blood sugar level.

Below you can follow the instruction video from YouTube to test your blood sugar level at home. This largely shows how it should be done.

Want to measure your blood sugar level without having to puncture with a needle? That is possible.

Then you need this:

  • Freestyle libre

An ideal solution would be if you never had to puncture yourself again and could open an app on your Apple iPhone once in a while to see what the stats are on your blood sugar level.

Unfortunately we are not there yet. That piece of technology has yet to be made. But there is something that comes very close.

I am talking about the Freestyle Libre.

This is a blood glucose meter where you do not need to puncture yourself.

You put a kind of patch on your skin that records what your blood sugar level is with a sensor. With a special blood glucose meter you can check your current blood sugar level. All data is stored in that device so that you have all the information in one place.

blood sugar test meter

No blood is involved with this method. You install a new sensor once every two weeks and you are ready to go.

Unfortunately you cannot order/buy this device at most pharmacies as you can with a normal blood glucose meter.

You can order the Freestyle Libre online

Now that you know exactly what you need to take a blood sugar test, you will receive an exact step-by-step plan below on how you can work best.

#1: Wash your hands

When you eat something you generally consume sugars. It's that simple.

Even if you eat something healthy, such as an apple or a celery stick, sugar molecules can get on your hands.

If you then take a blood sample, there is a chance that it will ruin your measurement. Which makes you think that your blood sugar level is too high while this is not the case at all.

That's why you should always start by washing your hands thoroughly:

  • Turn on the tap (preferably lukewarm)
  • Rinse your hands
  • Apply soap and let it soak for ten seconds
  • Wash the soap off your hands
  • Grab kitchen paper and pat your hands dry
  • Now shut the water off with the kitchen paper
  • Throw the kitchen paper in a bin

This is the ritual with the least chance of infection.

Not only do you remove sugars with this, you also ensure that there are no more harmful germs on your hands.

This is important because you will puncture a wound in your finger. It is small but germs can still enter your bloodstream if they happen to be on your fingers.

Also, always wash your hands after you go to the toilet, enter your house from outside or prepare food.

wash hands blood sugar test

This way you prevent contamination. But washing your hands before blood sampling is an absolute must.

After you have washed your hands it is better to complete the measurement as quickly as possible.

For bonus points you can prepare all the necessities in advance.

Do I have to use alcohol to disinfect the finger?

In some countries it is normal to use a tissue and alcohol to swipe over the spot where the needle goes. This is done to properly disinfect the area.

I do not recommend this. It is unnecessary work (and unnecessarily expensive) and as long as you wash your hands well there is no reason to do this.

#2: Set the lancing device

The lancing device is the device with which you make a small puncture in your finger. After this a drop of blood will come out which you will measure with the glucose meter.

But to get a good drop of blood you have to set the lancing device correctly. This device has several depths.

The deeper you go, the more likely it is that it will hurt a little. But if you don't go deep enough, no drop of blood will come out.

If this is the first time you will puncture, it is best to choose a value in the middle.

If no drop of blood comes out, then you know you have to set it higher. If a drop comes out but it hurts a little, you can set the value lower in the future.

The setting is usually done by turning the top of the blood lancet. This is often indicated with a number from 1 to 6 or from 1 to 10. You can turn it to the correct position and then it is ready for use.

#3: Put a new lancet in it

The lancing device must contain a new needle every time.

This is necessary so that you do not contaminate the measurement.

Because if you have already used the lancet once, sugar molecules can stick to it. As a result, the new measurement is higher or is disturbed in a way.

Changing the lancet also reduces the risk of infection. This is also something you must take into consideration.

Finally, the needle is sharper if you've never used it before. As a result, you do not need to puncture that deep.

The most important thing is that the data you get is not influenced by the lancet. You can only prevent this by using a new one every time.

Many glucose meters nowadays have a rotation system so you do not have to replace the lancet every time. You put a container on it with five or six lancets and just turn the container every time after you use it. If you have done this six times, replace the container with lancets again.

Often a number is shown that shows you at which lancet you are.

#4: This is how you grab the test strip the right way

If you make a mistake when opening the package of the test strip, this can also ruin your measurement.

  • For example, if you grab the test strip at the sensor, it may get dirty due to the sugars that are still on your hands. But even if your fingers are completely clean, you can break the test strip by grabbing it incorrectly.
  • How to hold the test strip differs per brand. In most cases, grab it in the middle or better, on the sides (between your thumb and index finger).

In any case, you do not grab the strip at the part where the drop of blood goes or the part that goes in the glucose meter.

#5: This is how you put the strip in the blood glucose meter

You have grabbed the strip on the sides between your thumb and index finger. Now gently insert it - the sensor first - into the glucose meter.

You will often find pictures of this in the manual of your glucose meter. This is useful because you can see what the front and back is of your strip.

It is important to put the strip in your glucose meter before you puncture your finger.

The glucose meter starts and you can now puncture peacefully. This way you don't have to jiggle with test strips if you already had punctured your finger.

#6: This is the best place to puncture

If you go to a laboratory to test your blood sugar level (your HbA1c), this usually comes from the veins in your arm. The laboratory worker looks for a beautiful vein, inserts a needle and takes blood. This is then analyzed in the laboratory to determine what the sugar value is.

Unfortunately it is not wise to puncture your arm with your own blood glucose meter. Your skin is way too thick for that. But which place is the best place to puncture for your blood sugar test?

Your fingertip.

I know this is not your favorite spot. A lot of nerves run through your fingertip, so it hurts. Many people can get away with puncturing the side of their fingertips. There are less nerves there, so it hurts less.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. Some people do not have suitable blood vessels running there so they really have to puncture the tip of their finger. This can be painful but is necessary.

Important information

Change your finger regularly because otherwise you can get less feeling in a fingertip. If you puncture it every time, that is of course not so good and you will get small scars.

If you have punctured your finger for the blood sugar test, use the first drop of blood that comes out. This must be large enough to measure. If this is not the case, your glucose meter will display an error message. Then you have to start all over again.

Not enough blood getting released? Then you can press the bottom of your finger after puncturing it for the blood sugar test.

This way you provide your finger with a blood flow and therefore more blood will be released.

Do not do this near your puncture point, as this may result in wound fluids and that is not what we want.

What we also do not want is that the blood drop gets smudged or flows enormously. Then the data is also not valid. You need a nice drop that is not too small and does not stain. You hold the strip (which is already in the glucose meter) against your finger. Within five seconds you will see the exact glucose value on the display.

What about other methods of measurement?

There are several research teams that work on ways of measuring blood sugar so that you do not need to puncture. The freestyle libre is an example of this.

But that's not the only way. There is another device that measures glucose through your earlobe (glucotrack). It is slightly less accurate than finger punctures but it is much more comfortable.

There are various techniques to get an idea of your blood sugar level, including an ultrasound.

You put a clamp on your ear and it gives you a measurement of your blood sugar level within a few seconds.

In addition, all data is neatly stored in the meter itself.

Although this meter is unfortunately not everywhere available, you can find more information on this website. Hopefully in the future there will be more means to measure your blood sugar level painless and faster. But for now that is still in the future.

#7: This is how you interpret the results

Now you have a measurement. What do you do with it?

In this article you can read all about the correct blood glucose values. Based on this, you can determine whether your blood sugar level is too high, too low or just right. In this article I will also explain what the different values mean throughout the day.

If you looked at the value I would immediately write it down. Together with the date and time. If you do this consistently you can build up a diary of various measurements. You can show this report to your doctor later on.

The best time to take to test your blood sugar:

  • When you wake up (fasting)
  • After dinner. Experiment with half an hour, an hour, an hour and a half, and two hours after eating to see at what point your blood glucose peak exactly follows. If you know at what time this is, you can now always measure around this time. It will differ per meal when the largest peak comes
  • Before you go to sleep

If you want to get on the right track, you could keep track of everything you eat and drink. This is a lot of work and it is only for the people who really take their health seriously. Such a diabetes diary helps you to take conclusions about the changes you need to take in your lifestyle.

For example, if you reduce sugars, you should see that your blood sugar no longer peaks. If you have measurements from before you tried this, then you have comparison material.

If you apply my tips to cure type 2 diabetes, you can see for yourself that it works.

Not only that. If you receive medication, it is also nice to see what the effect is.

To know what it does exactly, you must have kept track of your sugar values before that time. Otherwise you will not have any comparison material and you will not get any further with it.

There are smartphone apps that can serve as a diabetes diaries. And of course you can always use a notebook. Learning this habit has many positive sides if you want the best for curing your diabetes and don't want sugar in your urine.

The Diabetes-Free Secret

Puncturing your finger for a blood sugar sample is a good way to estimate the state of your health. As a type 2 diabetes patient, this is absolutely necessary.

Do you no longer want to have to puncture your finger for a blood sugar sample? Then I have something nice for you below:

Recently it has been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.

You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call the"The Diabetes-Free Secret". I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:

  • Why you got type 2 diabetes
  • What mechanism you can use to reverse diabetes
  • The best tips to be diabetes-free within a few weeks

Enter your e-mail address below and I will send you the E-book for free.


Ben Kuiper

P.s: What are your best tips for a blood sugar test? Leave a comment below

About the Author

Ben Kuiper is a pharmacist and an expert in the field of type 2 diabetes.

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