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The Question
Sat Jun 02 22:10:04 UTC 2012

I just found out that I am diabetic and I would like to know Why do we have to stick our fingers? Can't we test from anywhere?
Asked By: tabathakevin  

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Expert Answers (1)
2012-06-06 11:50:47.0

Most meters allow you to test at alternative sites. Read the manual that came with your meter to see if your meter has been approved for "alternative site" testing. Alternative sites include the palm areas of your hand and the top of the forearm and the outer upper arm.

However, there are differences in testing on fingers versus other alternative sites. Blood samples taken from fingers usually reflect what your sugar level is at that moment. Samples from the arms reflect what your blood sugar was running up to 30 minutes before the stick. So, most companies recommend that you test on your fingers if you are testing for a low blood sugar reaction or if you do not experience symptoms when your blood sugar is low. Other companies recommend that you stick to the fingers if you are testing within one hour after taking a fast acting insulin or eating a full meal.

If you don't have your meter manual, call the phone number on the back of your meter for more information on available test sites approved for blood sampling for your particular meter.

Answered By: Donna Yuscavage
Accreditations: RN, BSN, CDE
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Community Answers (4)
2012-06-10 13:37:10.0

Two comments if you are having a lot of discomfort testing. One is the lancet device has various setting and perhaps yours is turned up higher than necessary-check with your pharmacist or health care provider if your device can't be adjusted. Two, are you using the side of your finger rather than the tip? I find testing closer to the side much more comfortable. Good Luck!
Answered By: peacecat

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2012-06-08 13:54:04.0

PS BTW, that was a great answer by Donna. While the instructions that come with these meters may or may not explain the differences between testing on the finger and arm, it's buried in so much legalese that few people read it or understand it. It's important information and Donna did a great job of explaining it.
Answered By: wah0205

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2012-06-08 13:49:45.0

I have a CGM with my pump (Continuous Glucose Monitor) which samples from tissue fluid rather than blood. I have to calibrate it twice a day so I test from the arm because it's closer to what the CGM will experience than the finger, but I'm also very experience with the FBM (Felt Better Method) and when the CGM goes off saying I'm low when I feel fine, I test on my finger, or if I'm feeling low and the CGM shows a normal blood sugar, I test on the finger, or I'll test on the arm first, because it doesn't hurt, and if low, treat accordingly, but if it doesn't show a result that confirms how I feel, I'll then test on the finger. It all depends on how I feel. Since the arm rarely hurts at all, you'll be willing to test more often if you use the arm, but you've got to have a meter that uses a small blood sample. The one-touch, while it does allow arm tests, requires such a large flood sample, you'll likely incur a lot of errors because you didn't get enough blood, and that gets expensive. I like either the freestyle meter or the Accu-chek Aviva plus because they use such a small sample I rarely get an error message.
Answered By: wah0205

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2012-06-08 09:56:42.0

You might try the Delica lancing device from OneTouch. It uses a VERY small needle. I recently switched back from forearm to finger testing because my arms tended to bruise and mark, and I was self-conscious about it, preventing me from wearing short-sleeve shirts. Summer in Georgia in long-sleeves? No thanks!
Answered By: dogmeister

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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