Blood sugar testing will help you control your blood sugar levels so you can live a healthy life. The glucometer or glucose blood sugar meter will give you results in less than five seconds. The glucometer consists of a meter, lancet for piercing the skin, and blood glucose test strips. The blood glucose test strips draw in the blood so the meter can calculate sugar levels and produce an immediate reading.
How to Take a Blood Sample
- Set up your glucometer. Some glucometers require you to enter a code number before use. Turn on the glucometer and insert a test strip. Some glucometers turn on when the test strip is inserted. The display screen will show a line or lines. Enter the number on the test strip vial onto the screen and press the ok button. Remove the test strip. You are now ready to test your blood sugar levels.
- Re-insert the test strip. Swab the finger tip with an alcohol swab. It is important to have clean hands or the readings may be affected. Prick the finger with the lancing device and squeeze so you have a drop of blood on your finger. You are now ready to apply the blood glucose test strip.
- Hold the test strip near the drop of blood so it is drawn into the channel located on the test strip. Once the channel is filled with blood, the meter begins a countdown from five to one second. Your blood glucose level appears on the display in milligrams per deciliter.
Allergic reactions range from annoying to deadly. If you notice an adverse reaction to food or something in the environment, a simple test administered by a health care professional can indicate the exact allergens that irritate you. Depending on your sensitivity to allergens and your medication regimen, you may take a skin test or blood test.
- Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to take an allergy test. Tell your doctor about any antihistamines you currently take — some prohibit skin testing. Also tell your doctor if you’ve ever had a life-threatening reaction to an allergen or a serious reaction to a previous test.
- Stop taking antihistamines one week before your test, or for a period of time specified by your doctor. Antihistamines include over-the-counter and prescription medications, nasal sprays or eye drops. If you are unsure whether you’re taking antihistamines, ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medications.
- Dress in a short-sleeved short or layers over a short-sleeved shirt on the day of your appointment. This will make it easier for your physician to administer the test.
- Go to your doctor’s office on the day of the appointment. You will be given a prick skin test on the forearm or back to detect allergens such as pollen, dust mites, molds and dander. You may alternatively be given an intradermal skin test (needle stick) or blood test, which is given to small children or people who can’t take a skin test due to medication. The test results take 15 to 20 minutes to develop, after which the doctor will discuss your results. The skin test site may flare up during this time, but effects usually fade after a few hours.
- Apply a cold compress or topical antihistamine to the irritated skin test site if necessary. Avoid scratching the site.