First Month, First Week – Blood Glucose Meter

We are all here for one purpose: to manage our diabetes by managing our blood sugar. I posted the words of this image on my Timeline a few days ago, and someone was offended by it and unfriended me. So, for sure, I had to create this as a meme and share it widely! The source of this quote is Keto-Mojo, who sells instruments to measure ketones. And, no, I haven’t purchased one and certainly have no vested interest in their company. But the whole point of this quote is that if you are going to manage anything, you have to have a means of measuring progress and success.

So, before we talk in detail about anything else, we have to talk about blood glucose meters and how to use them. Here’s your plan:

  • Goal/Objective (Or, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH?): To establish a habit of using your blood glucose meter daily until you have reversed your blood sugar numbers to non-diabetic normal (70-99 mg/dL or 3.8-5.6 mmol/l).
  • Strategies (Or, WHAT CAN I DO TO ACCOMPLISH IT?):
    • Learn how to check your blood glucose in the most efficient and least painful way.
    • Ideally, you should check your blood glucose three (3) times a day, but always check your fasting blood glucose (FBG) first thing in the morning.
    • Be sure to record your blood glucose (in mg/dL or mmol/l) every time you test. You can use a pen and notebook, an Excel spreadsheet or Word table, or an app like mySugr or others.
    • If you are taking diabetes medications and/or insulin, write down the times and amounts taken.
    • If your fasting blood glucose is 100 mg/dL (5.1 mmol/l) or more, continue to test every day. If less than 100 mg/dL (5.1 mmol/l), test once or twice a week.

If you have not been in the habit of using your glucose meter, it may take a little time to get used to it. Especially if you haven’t used your meter for a long time. If it’s been more than two years, you probably should get a new meter. Meters should be replaced every two years.

Make sure your test strips have not expired! An expiration date is printed on every vial of test strips. Always keep the test strips in their original vial.

To assure accuracy in testing, always wash your hands with warm, soapy water before every test. This is to make sure you don’t have something on your hands (like food or sweat) that could interfere with the test. Do NOT use alcohol or hand sanitizer on your fingers before testing!

It is recommended that you use a new lancet for every test. Those of us who have been doing this awhile tend to use lancets for several tests or until they start to get dull (because a dull lancet hurts more than a new lancet). Lancets come in several gauges, from 28 gauge (the thickest) to 36 gauge (the thinnest). The thinnest ones hurt less but get dull faster than a thicker gauge, so you just have to experiment to figure out what is right for you.

If you need greater detail, please refer to the page, “How to Use Your Blood Glucose Meter.” I would recommend starting with the 4-minute video on that page.

If you’re a member of the Closed Facebook Group, “Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics,” please log on and ask any questions you might have and make comments about techniques that you have found useful in using your blood glucose meter.

These are cumulative activities for the month of January (or whatever month you decide to begin). Start with using your blood glucose meter daily as described in Week 1. Beginning with Week 2, continue to use your blood glucose meter daily and add the Water. In Week 3, continue with the blood glucose meter and water and add Whole Foods, primarily non-starchy vegetables. During Week 4, continue the blood glucose, water, and vegetables and add exercise, preferably outdoors with fresh air and 20 minutes of direct sunlight.

Activities for the next three (3) weeks were inspired by the “21-day Jumpstart Challenge” from Smart Diabetes Solutions, modified for Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics and aligned with the first three of The 8 Laws of Health, in this order: Water, Whole Foods (Nutrition), and Walking (Exercise).

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