Keeping track of how much glucose (sugar) is in your blood is an important part of self-care when you have diabetes. This is also called self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). To make sure your blood sugar and insulin are in balance, check your blood sugar as instructed by your healthcare provider. You may need to check your blood sugar at certain times every day or only a few times a week. It all depends on the type of diabetes you have, how long you’ve had it, the medications you’re taking, and your doctor’s recommendations.
What You Need
To check your blood sugar, make sure you have the following:
- A Livongo lancing device
- Livongo test strips
- Livongo blood glucose meter
Using the Livongo Meter
You can check your blood sugar at home, at work, and anywhere you are comfortable. The Livongo meter measures the amount of glucose in a tiny drop of blood. You’ll use a device called a lancet to draw that drop of blood. Put the strip in the meter first. Prick the tip of your finger with the lancing device. Then, touch the tip of the test strip to the drop of blood. The meter then gives you a number (reading) — this is your blood sugar level.
Aim for Your Target Range
Your blood sugar should be in your target range — not too high and not too low. A target range is where your blood sugar level is healthiest. Staying in this range as much as possible will help lower your risk for health problems (complications). Your diabetes team will help you figure out the best target range for you. That range depends on many things. They include your age, other health problems, how well your diabetes is managed, and how long you have had diabetes. In general, target ranges are:
- Before a meal (preprandial glucose): Between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- 2 hours after a meal (postprandial glucose): Less than 180 mg/dL.
Step 1. Get ready
- Wash your hands with soap and warm (not hot) water.
- Follow all of the instructions that came with your Livongo meter. Be sure you are using the Livongo test strips. Make sure that your test strips are not expired.
Step 2. Draw a drop of blood
- Prick the side of your finger with the lancet. Squeeze gently until you get a drop of blood. Squeezing too hard can cause an inaccurate reading.
- If you are unable to get enough blood, hold your hand at your side and gently shake it.
Step 3. Place the drop on a strip
- Wait for the meter to show a message that says Ready to check.
- Touch the tip of the test strip to the drop of blood.
- Your reading will display in 3-5 seconds.
Step 4. Read and record your results
- Wait for your meter to show the result.
- If you see an error message, recheck using a fresh strip and a fresh drop of blood.
- Your Livongo meter will automatically store your results and upload them to your Livongo account.
Step 5. Disposing of sharps
- Sharps are considered your needles and lancets and need to be disposed of properly.
- Ask for a sharps container from your doctor or pharmacy.
- If you don’t have a sharps container, use a hard plastic container like an empty laundry soap container or a plastic milk jug.
- Find out what your state requires by calling the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal at 1-800-643-1643, or visiting their site at www.safeneedledisposal.org.