A home diabetes test kit allows diabetics to
test their blood glucose levels whenever necessary. A complete test kit should
include a blood glucose monitor (sometimes called a blood glucose meter,
test strips, a lancet (to prick the finger for blood), a blood pressure monitor,
and a log book to record blood glucose readings.
If you have been recently diagnosed with
diabetes, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with information and trying to choose
a test kit just adds to the information overload. Your doctor or diabetes educator
can help you find the right supplies and may even have demo units or samples at
the office so that you can try them out.
In a blood glucose monitor, look for: ease of use, readability, cost, how
easy it is to care for, and extra features. Extra features can include conveniences
like a memory function that stores your blood glucose readings, a light to improve
visibility of your reading, or the ability to have your test results read out loud
to you as well as displayed (especially helpful for people with vision problems). Some
will even allow a test site other than the fingertip. The
comes in various sizes and they don't all work with every blood glucose monitor, so be sure to check
before you buy.
Test Strips and Lancets
will be the biggest expense. The lancet is used to get a blood sample, which is then placed on the
strip. The strip is fed into the monitor where your blood glucose level is read.
Blood Pressure Monitor
Blood pressure monitor
are readily carried in stores. The blood pressure
cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and blood pressure read. People with
diabetes should regularly monitor their blood pressure in addition to blood
glucose, since chronic high blood pressure can lead to additional health
problems. If you have larger arms, look for a monitor with extended-length
cuffs in order to get more accurate readings.
Finally, the log book
is for keeping records. Record your blood glucose readings and highlight or notate
any unusual readings (either unusually high or unusually low). Add notes about
exercise, carbohydrate intake, and anything else that could have
impacted your blood sugar. These records can be very useful when looking for
patterns or just in case medications or insulin need to be adjusted.
A diabetes test kit is an important part of managing the disease. Ask
your doctor or diabetes education for suggestions or assistance on choosing
a kit that's right for you.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.