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Self monitoring of blood glucose at home

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Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is a modern technology which is introduced by doctors for diabetes patients as a part of their management plan. As the name suggests, the patient can conduct blood glucose test by self. We shall explain the details of the procedure in the content below:


Who needs SMBG at home?

The concerned diabetic individual performs the test to check his dynamic blood glucose profile. Therefore, it’s absolutely the patient’s discretion whether he/she wants to use the device. You can present the data to your doctor who will further study the readings to evaluate your improvement and might or might not suggest a change in treatment plan.


Frequency of SMBG test at home

The American Diabetic Association recommends that testing should be as frequent to achieve perfect blood glucose levels for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For example, diabetes patients taking insulin should conduct the test at least thrice a day.


Supplies needed for performing SMBG

Blood glucose meter

Basically your doctor will give you a blood glucose monitor as per your requirements. For example: if you have vision impairment then your doctor would recommend a device having large display. They are installed with voice reading parameters, automatic time control, computer adaptability technology and user friendly features.

The A1C (A-one-C) test helps in better tracking of your blood glucose. Therefore, your doctor might also give you a home kit for AC1 testing.

Test Strips

They are chemically treated strips that slide into the meter. Strip drums and discs are also available for easy use.

Lancet and lancet device

It’s nothing but a fine needle through which you will be collecting your blood sample. The lancing device pricks your finger whenever you press the button.

Control solution

Is a standard for measuring the accuracy of the strip


Alcohol, plain water, hand wash or simple soap is need for rinsing your hands before performing the test.


How to perform SMBG?

Your doctor will give you the instructions on how to withdraw blood, insert the strips and conduct the test with the glucose monitor. You need to learn every minute detail about performing the test with precision and accuracy.

Follow the steps below: 

  • Wash your hands with soap, alcohol or anything. Dry your hands
  • Prick your fingertip with the lancet or lancing device to collect blood
  • Place a drop of blood on the strip
  • Insert the strip in blood glucose meter
  • Take the readings and maintain a record


Points to remember before using SMBG

  • Always read and understand the user manual after opening the kit
  • Perform the first test before your doctor to learn it correctly
  • Understand the technical aspect of each supply
  • Learn how to troubleshoot problems like – inability to prick with lancet device, incorrect readings, technical glitches, etc. from your doctor
  • Always perform quality control check to determine the accuracy of the meter
  • Know the factors that affect accuracy of readings


Advantages of using SMBG at home

  • It’s indeed convenient to monitor their diabetes at home
  • You don’t need to step out every time to give your blood samples
  • The test is simple, easy and effective
  • The readings are accurate if you conduct the test appropriately


Disadvantages of using SMBG at home

  • Lack of motivation and dedication to use the kit on time
  • Fear of bearing the pain of pricking self
  • Improper use of the glucose meter and other supplies
  • Some find it an expensive strategy

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 21, 2014

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