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How To Use A Glucometer? Monitor Your Sugar Levels At Home

Has your healthcare provider advised you to track your blood sugar level every day? Are you confused about which one is the best glucometer in India 2023 ? Don’t know where to begin? We got your back!

According to WHO, 422 million people worldwide have diabetes!  It is a very prevalent disease, the cure for which is still not available. However, the good news is that you can control the symptoms by managing your blood sugar level!

How can you manage something if you don’t know about it? Say hello to your new best friend: Glucometer. It is a portable device that can enable you to self-monitor your blood glucose!

We will walk you through the working principle of this remarkable technology in this article. In addition, we have put together a step-by-step guide for self-checking your blood glucose! We have also included a complete result analysis to make sense of the information you receive via the machine!


Let’s Talk Science

Digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates that a person consumes through their diet into simpler molecules like glucose. Glucose enters the bloodstream through the intestinal openings. It’s a key component in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the cell’s energy currency.

However, to accomplish it, glucose must enter the cell. However, glucose can only enter cells if specific hormones are present. Insulin and glucagon are two hormones that play essential roles in glucose metabolism produced in the pancreas. Insulin is released when the blood sugar level is high, whereas; glucagon is released when the glucose level is low.

Naturally, post food, the blood sugar level will be high. It triggers the release of insulin. The cells take in the glucose reducing the glucose level in the blood, eventually.

When you are starving, this glycogen is broken down by glucagon to release glucose and maintain the body’s homeostasis.


Types of Diabetes

Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have heard about Diabetes Mellitus. In this situation, either your body stops making insulin, or your cells cannot respond to the insulin produced. In either condition, the sugar level spikes because the glucose cannot enter the cell, so it remains in the bloodstream.

It can be classified into three types:

Type 1

Type 1 Diabetes

It is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Since there are no beta cells, enough insulin is not produced, and hence the person has to take artificial insulin to control the blood sugar levels. Because the damage is irreversible, there is no way to cure it. Furthermore, there is no method to avoid the condition because it is primarily inherited.


Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes

It is because of insulin resistance. Since the cell does not respond to insulin, over time, the pancreas stops producing them. The good news is that this type can be prevented by maintaining an active lifestyle, shedding kilos and eating fewer carbohydrate-rich meals.



Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, if you develop diabetes, it is called gestational diabetes. The good news is that your blood sugar returns to normal once the baby is born because insulin production also drops. However, it increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Why Should You Measure Blood Glucose Levels?

Blood sugar levels that are too high or too low can cause serious complications, some of which are life-threatening.

You and your healthcare practitioner will be able to decide on your medicine and insulin dosages based on the results obtained from regular glucose monitoring. It will also assist you in determining your medication regimen.

Furthermore, if a particular diet or exercise isn’t working for you, you can make modifications that will help you manage your blood glucose level. According to an article, 42 factors can affect blood glucose levels! There is no cure for diabetes; thus, you can avoid the associated health complications by keeping track of your blood sugar.

Working of Glucometer

Having learned about the three types of diabetes and the importance of tracking them, let’s turn our attention to the device used for this purpose. A glucometer is a device that is used to monitor blood glucose levels by employing the electrochemical principle.

The strip used for testing has two proteins: Glucose Oxidase and Ferricyanide. The electrochemical reaction can be broken down into two steps:

1. Chemical Step: Reaction with Glucose Oxidase:

Glucose Oxidase reacts with the glucose in the blood to form gluconic acid. Since acid is produced, the pH decreases.


2. Electrical Step: Reaction with Ferricyanide:

Gluconic acid formed in the previous step reacts with ferricyanide to form ferrocyanide. Ferrocyanide send an electronic signal is passed, and the amount of glucose is calculated. The amount of ferrocyanide created correlated with the level of glucose present in the blood.


How To Use A Glucometer?


The essential equipment that one can use to determine their blood glucose levels is a glucometer. It is imperative that if someone has diabetes, they monitor their sugar levels to avoid any complications. Thus, it is crucial to know how to use a glucometer. Let us look at the requirement and steps of using this potable sugar testing machine.

Before you start using the machine, make sure you have the following requirements:

  • Spirit
  • Cotton Pads
  • New Lancet
  • Test Strip
  • Glucometer

Once you have all the requirements, you can follow the guidelines below for safe testing.

Step 1: First and foremost, place all of your products on a table.

Step 2: Use a sanitiser or wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It is a crucial step to ensure you don’t get any infection.

Step 3: Using a towel, dry your hands.

Step 4: Rub your palms together before using the lancet to help the blood flow.

Step 5: Turn on the Glucometer. When it is ready, insert a test strip into the machine. Make sure you are not touching the enzyme-linked pad of the test strip. It will alter your results.

Step 6: Clean the spot where you’ve selected to draw your blood with spirit and cotton. The best place to take your blood for the reading is your fingertips.

Step 7: To puncture your finger, press the lancet on the tip of your finger. You may experience some slight discomfort or pain; know that it is natural.

Step 8: In the Glucometer, place a drop of blood at the end of the test strip.

Step 9: The machine will analyse the signal and calculate the sugar level in the blood. Once done, it will be displayed on the screen.

Step 10: If your finger is still bleeding using a spirit swab, apply some pressure and wipe it.

Step 11: Remember to keep track of your reading by writing it down.

Step 12: Don’t forget about the disposal! Wrap the used strip and lancet in a piece of paper before throwing it away in the trash.


Some Additional Tips

These are some tips that you should be mindful of when using a glucometer for first-time users!

  • Before using the equipment, it is always a good idea to read through the user handbook. I know it is a long read, but it’s well worth it!
  • Every Glucometer has its own set of strips. Your machine strip must be in sync with the machine.
  • The strips should be kept in an airtight container to keep them safe from dust and sunlight. If the strip is damaged, the chances are that the result will be inaccurate.
  • Strips have an expiration date, so double-check them before using them. The strip usually expires after 180 days once the container is opened. Using an exposed strip will be less reactive, resulting in inaccurate results.
  • Some machines include a test solution for checking the machine’s accuracy. It is recommended to inspect the machine’s operation every six months and correct it if there is a problem with the reading. Quality Check is a must!


Result Analysis

Depending upon the time you are checking the blood, the result analysis can vary.


Fasting glucose level is when you check your blood before breakfast. According to WHO, the recommended value is between 70mg/dl to 100 mg/dl. A diet and exercise change is recommended if the fasting glucose level is above 100 mg/dl.

An individual with a low fasting glucose level may be diagnosed with hyperglycaemia, whereas a person with a high glucose level, i.e. above 125mg/dl, is probably diabetic.


2-Hour Postprandial Blood Sugar

A 2-hour postprandial blood sugar level is when glucose levels are measured two hours after a meal. This aids in determining whether the glucose produced after digestion is being used by the cell.

The recommended value is within 140 mg/dl for a non-diabetic individual, whereas it is within 180 mg/dl for a diabetic individual.


Random Blood Sugar

When blood sugar is tested randomly during the day, it is called random blood sugar. The recommended value is within 140 mg/dl for a non-diabetic individual, whereas 200 mg/dl or more for a diabetic individual.


You May Also Like To Read:

Factors That Affect Accuracy of Glucometer

CGM Vs BGM | Which Monitor is Best?

Important Factors To Consider When Choosing a Glucose Meter



It is essential to monitor blood glucose levels to sync your diet, medication, exercise, lifestyles, etc., by analysing the results obtained. Because diabetes cannot be cured, the next best thing is to avoid unnecessary complications.

If you follow the step by step guide mentioned in his article, you will be able to self-monitor and self-analyse your blood glucose.

Let us know if you found this article helpful. Don’t forget to mention in the comments below if you could perform the test at home.



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