A diabetes diagnosis comes with many new daily activities, one of which is checking your blood sugar multiple times a day.
The process of taking your blood sugar isn’t always pleasant, but it’s one of the most important things you can do in order to self-manage your diabetes (besides taking your medications!). The number on your glucometer lets you know where you stand at the moment, and if you track these numbers over time, can give you a better sense of what your body needs.
What makes this important activity difficult? The number one barrier identified by our members is that it hurts! Here are some simple solutions you can try to make taking your blood sugar less painful:
First and foremost, make sure you are using your lancet and glucometer properly. Find the instructions for your model and read them! If you are more visual you can always search the Internet for videos to help. Using your glucometer properly is extremely important for decreasing pain and getting an accurate reading.
Find a thinner lancet! Many of our members have found that using a thinner lancet can make it overall less painful. Try to find lancets that are marked Super or Ultra-thin, or 26-30 Gauge, to help reduce pain. You do not want to use a lancet that is too thin which requires you to squeeze your finger to get an abundant blood sample. Try a few different brands to see what’s best for your fingers!
Fix the depth on the lancing device. If you feel like you’re getting pricked to hard, try changing the depth of your lancing device to find the depth that is right for you! Start by setting your lancing device to the lowest depth possible. You can see how to do this by using the User Guide for your individual lancing device. Usually, you just have to twist the device to the lowest marked setting. If at the lowest setting you are having a hard time drawing blood, move up to the next setting and continue this pattern until you have found the right setting for you.
Change up the location of your finger prick. If you put your hands together, palms touching, you will be able to see the areas of your fingers with fewer nerve-endings. Pricking the sides of your fingers can be less painful because there are fewer nerves there.
Prepare the spot for your blood sample. Before taking your blood sugar it is important to wash your hands with warm water. Having better circulation to your hands will help with getting an ample sample amount on the first try.
These simple steps are great solutions for you to try out in order to make that daily ritual of taking your blood sugar less of a chore. Tracking your blood sugar is a fundamental step to managing diabetes. Half the battle is getting into the routine of taking your blood sugar, but the other half is interpreting those numbers. Stay tuned for follow-up posts on how to interpret the numbers on your glucometer, and how tracking blood sugars can help you live a happier, healthier life.