Beyond the Finger: Alternate Blood Sugar Testing Sites

diabetesAre you tired of testing on your finger for blood and sugar tests? If so, this article deals with various other alternative sites which can be used for the diabetes check.

The alternate site refers to testing of blood and glucose on parts of a body other than the fingertip. Fingertips are the most common site used during the testing process. Alternate test sites do not remain same always.

Trying out a different site can bring about a great relief from pain for the patients. Before you jump into the concept of testing on alternate sites, you should remember one of the important facts i.e. testing on a fingertip can be done at any time, but testing on an alternate site can be done only during particular times, in order to achieve the desired result.

According to a research published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, researchers carried out a comparative study on patient’s satisfaction while testing on the fingertip and while testing via an alternative site. The study revealed that the patients who test nearly 4-5 times a day, appreciate the concept of testing on an alternative site.

Alternative Sites

The above-mentioned body parts can be the best alternative testing sites for diabetes patients.

  • Upper arm
  • Forearm
  • Thigh
  • Fleshy side of the palm
  • Fleshy area between thumb and index finger
  • Calf
  • Hands

When is it okay to check from an alternative site?

Testing done on alternative site needs to be followed certain guidelines, unlike the testing done on the fingertips.

Alternative testing should be done:

  • Immediately before meals
  • While fasting
  • Near bedtime

When is it not okay to check from alternative sites?

There are certain situations when you should not go with the concept of alternative testing. For example, you should not opt for alternative testing:

  • Immediately after finishing the exercise
  • When you are ill
  • When you feel that your blood glucose level is low
  • When you have just finished your meals
  • If you are suffering from hypoglycemia
  • If you have just taken the insulin
  • If you are about to drive

How to obtain a sample?

In order to get a large amount of sample from the alternative testing site, you should follow and abide by the following guidelines.

  • Use an appropriate cap. Most of the testing devices come with a clear cap or alternate site testing.
  • Wash the area to be pricked with soap and warm water.
  • Rub the area gently to warm a bit and allow the blood to move to the surface of the skin.
  • Hold the device firmly to the skin until the blood is collected.
  • Press the button to release and pierce the skin.
  • Pump three times.
  • Once you have pumped three times, apply the drop of blood to the test strip.

Advantages of using an alternative site:

  • Less painful
  • Give fingers a rest
  • You will be willing to check blood and glucose more often as it is less painful
  • Alternative sites have less dirt and contaminants which may ruin the blood

Before taking a decision, talk to your doctor to find out if using the alternative site is useful for you. With a small bit of knowledge, you can give a rest to your fingertips.


Posted in Cure for Diabetes.

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