Amit Gupta | accucheck

Diabetes Testing From Alternative Sites – How And When?

May 19th 2013 at 10:04 PM

With the advancement in medical science, there have been many changes in devices used for diabetes test called blood glucometer. Nowadays Glucometer allow users to perform blood test for sugar not only from finger tips but from different parts of the body such as the palm, upper arm, forearm, thigh and even calf. Testing from these parts is much more comfortable because the skin of these parts contain fewer nerves. This process is known as Alternative Site Testing (AST).

But while testing from alternate sites one needs to keep in mind that while blood test from fingertips can be conducted at anytime, you cannot do the same for AST. This is the reason why it is important to gather complete information about alternative site testing and gather suggestions and recommendations from your doctor before conducting the testing process.

Here are some important details:

The blood sugar results from alternative sites such as your forearm, palm, thigh, etc. will be different in comparison to results taken from blood test from fingertips.

Blood sample gathered from fingertip show faster changes in terms of blood sugar levels as compared to samples taken from alternative sites of human body.

The difference in blood sugar level is because of the fact that fingertips have a greater number of blood vessels in comparison to alternative sites. This is the reason why alternative site testing must be conducted when blood sugar levels are stable. These timings include:

Just before consuming a meal.

When fasting.

Near bedtime

Timings when alternative site testing shouldn’t be conducted:

2 hours after a meal because blood sugar values at this time are rising quickly.

After exercise or workout.

When a person is ill because blood sugar values are quite high at this time.

When blood sugar levels are incredibly low or are reducing quickly (hypoglycemia).

If a person has past record of not knowing when his blood sugar levels reduced (hypoglycemia).

Maximum of 2 hours after rapid-acting insulin has been injected into the body.

If you conduct a blood sugar test and you feel that the test doesn't match the results you feel are correct then you must conduct a diabetes test from your fingertip to crosscheck the result. Even then if you feel that the results are inappropriate then you must consult your doctor. But make sure that your final judgment is based on not one but many results.

Being successful in collecting an appropriate drop of blood sample from alternate sites might vary. Keep on trying different sites until and unless you find a testing site that gives appropriate results. The choice of AST will also depend on the type of meter you choose. After finding a suitable site make sure to stick with it. Don’t keep changing sites as this might result in improper results. For instance, don’t keep trying on your calf first and then your forearm and then some other part and so on.


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