For Consumers

Your Glucose Meter

Print and Share (PDF 2512KB)

En Español

Glucose meters test and record how much sugar (called glucose) is in your blood. They help you track your blood sugar level at different times during the day and night.

Woman holding a glucose meter with test trip

Meters can help you know how well your diabetes medicines are working. They can also help you learn how the food you eat and your physical activity can change your blood sugar level.

Most meters come with three parts:

  • Lancet - A needle that is used to get a drop of blood from your finger or another part of your body.
  • Test Strip - The strip where you put the blood you are testing.
  • Control Solutions - Liquid used to make sure your meter is working properly.

Meters come in different sizes. Meters also come with different features. Some meters let you track and print out your test results. Others have audio and larger screens to help people who have problems seeing. The meter you choose should fit your lifestyle and your needs.

7 Helpful Tips for Testing Your Blood Sugar and Caring for Your Meter

  • Read the directions for the meter and the test strips before you start using them.

  • Wash your hands before you check your blood sugar. Food or juice on your fingers may affect your blood sugar result.

  • Use the right test strip for your meter. The meter may give you the wrong results if you use the wrong test strip.

  • Write down your results and the date and time you tested. Do this even if your meter tracks your numbers. Take the results with you when you go to your doctor.

  • Clean your meter as directed. Glass cleaners, ammonia and other cleaning products may damage your meter.

  • Talk to your health care provider about how your medicines will affect your blood sugar. Your other medicines and dialysis solution may affect your blood sugar reading.

  • Take your meter with you when you go to your doctor. This way you can test your blood sugar in front of the doctor or nurse to make sure you are doing it the right way. Your health care provider may be able to print out your blood sugar results from your meter.

Bonus Tip: Report serious problems with your meter. FDA monitors the safety and accuracy of glucose meters. Find out which type of problems you should report. 

Page Last Updated: 12/06/2018
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English