Have you recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes? If so, you may want to consider getting a glucometer to test your blood sugar! Your doctor may have even already suggested you start testing your blood sugar. If that’s the case, then this blog is for you. We’re going to go step-by-step to show you how to correctly test your blood sugar.

First things first, you need to open up the box to your meter. This is what it will look like.

Next, wash and dry your hands. If you’re out and about, an alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer will work, but there is some research that this may affect the reading.

Turn on your meter. The first time you turn it on, it will ask you to set the preferred language, time, and date. Get out a test strip and place it in the meter.

Next, prepare the lancing device. Remove the cap and insert the lancet. Twist off the part covering the needle. Replace the cap. There is a dial at the bottom that allows you to choose how deeply the needle will puncture. Higher numbers will puncture more deeply. You will have to experiment to find the right number for you.

Choose a finger to prick. You should not prick the same finger each time. You can also prick the side of your finger, which is often less painful. Set the lancing device by pulling back on the “trigger”, place your finger against the device, and push the button. You can apply pressure to the pricked area to help the blood flow.

Once you have a drop of blood, hold the test strip to the blood until it has absorbed and filled the testing area of the strip. The meter will recognize the blood, and generate a reading.

So now what? Compare your numbers here:

Normal fasting blood glucose (before you’ve eaten anything in the morning) should be between 70 and 100 for those without diabetes, and between 70 and 130 for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

After you have eaten (1-2 hours after), your blood sugar should be less than 180 for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

If you test your blood sugar and it is below 70, consume 15 grams of glucose or simple carbohydrate (like glucose tabs or 4 oz fruit juice). Check your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. If still low, consume another 15 grams of glucose. Once your blood sugar is above 70, eat a small snack.

If your blood sugar is consistently over or under the above recommendations, schedule an appointment to see your doctor or registered dietitian to address your medications and diet.