January 28, 2013

Tips To Make Testing Less Painful

When I wrote the series on testing, I completely forgot that I had this tucked back for use. So rather than leave this for another blog on testing I will complete it now. There are other tips people should make use of when blood glucose testing to make the experience a little less painful and possibly help in setting the lancet device to a less deep setting.

Pain is caused when the lancet device is triggered and the lancet is released and it penetrates the skin. The deeper the lancet penetrates, the more pain it will generally cause. Also, this is necessary to produce enough blood for the test strip. The following tips may help reduce the pain and possibly provide enough blood for testing. I have covered this before, but it is still worth repeating. Always, if you are able, wash your hands with soap and warm water. This cleans the testing site and helps dilate (make larger) the blood vessels in the finger to increase blood flow. Always dry your hands and fingers carefully to not handle test strips with wet fingers.

The next step is to massage the finger downwards to the tip of your finger. The purpose for this is helping the blood move toward the fingertip and making more blood available when the area is pricked. While doing this, if possible have the hand pointing downwards below your waist. This helps gravity keep the blood in the hand and more importantly your fingertip.

If you use the tips to this point, try resetting the lancing device to a lower setting that you have been using or maybe set to the lightest setting. When you have enough blood, this should be your setting if you follow the above tips.

Many people say to find the correct meter that does not require much blood, but I will only say that you should contact you medical insurance company to find out which meters and test strips they cover. A free meter and only ten test strips does not go very far if the insurance company will not reimburse for the strips. If you are given a list of strips and meters that will be covered, then research the meters for the one you want to use.

Alternate the areas on your fingers and thumbs. Please do not use the same finger over and over. Using your fingers and thumbs, this will give you 20 areas to use, your fingers will recover rapidly, and blood flow will not diminish like it will when you use one finger over and over. Now if you have missing fingers from an accident, you will have less for testing. If you are a person with type 2 diabetes and your diabetes management if great, then you may wish to read the next blog about using alternative sites as well.

This tip is one I do use quite religiously. In the wintertime especially, my fingers can become harder on the surface and blood flow can be reduced. Therefore, I try to use a skin moisturizer on both hands at night and the hand I will not be using during the day. This softens the skin and creates better blood flow.

I have covered using the sides of your fingers near the fingernail (see this blog) so I will move on to the suggestion of using a new lancet each time. Many people do suggest this and this is generally less painful that doing like I do and change maybe three or four times per year. Fact is, I am changing to once a week just to see how it affects me.

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