How Does a Glucometer Work? #Step-by-Step Guide#Images

We have already known a few best glucometers for home use in India. However, there might be several questions on its usage. Indeed, these glucometers are a need for every home like many other important home appliances. A quick access to glucometers helps you measure your blood sugar levels within no time. You need not rush to the doctors in case of high or low blood sugar levels.


Well in this post, we shall show you the right way of using a glucometer, what are the kinds of glucometers, and much more information about them.

How to Use a Glucometer? #Step-by-Step Images

Well, if you are a first time user of a glucometer, you definitely need a step-by-step guide to use the same. We shall take you through the entire process below:

Step 1 - Things You Need to Check Blood Glucose Level

Firstly, you need the following things which usually come with your glucometer in the form of a kit:

    1. Lancet Device
    2. Needle for Lancet
    3. Glucose meter
    4. Test Strip
    5. Alcohol Swab
Step 2 - Check Code key Number on Package

You should ensure that the meter has the correct type of battery, the insulin and test strips have not expired. Also, ensure that the code key number displayed on the test strips bottle is the same as that test strips.

check code key number of glucometer

Step 3 - Insert Test Strip in Glucometer

Insert the test strip in the glucose monitoring meter. It shall display the same code as that on the bottle of test strips. Note: You will have to calibrate the glucometer every time you use a new bottle of test strips.

Step 4 - Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water.

wash your hands thoroughly

Step 5 - Dry Your Hands

Ensure that you dry your hands completely before performing the test.dry your hands thoroughly

Step 6 - Insert Needle in the Lancet

Now, insert the needle in the lancet device and remove the cap of the needle by slightly twisting it. Cover the lancet and adjust the depth of lancet as per the thickness of your skin. Note: Do not touch the needle.insert needle in lancet

Step 7 - Insert Test Strip in Device

Take a test strip from the bottle and insert it into the test strip slot. The device shall automatically turn on.

insert test strip in glucometer

Step 8 - Wipe Off the Finger

Now, wipe off the finger (possibly index, middle, or ring) and ensure it is completely dried. Place the lancet on the side of the tip of your finger firmly. Push the button on the lancet to release the needle and prick your finger.

prick your finger

Step 9 - Insert Drop of Blood in Test Strip

Squeeze the finger, to remove a drop of blood and touch the end of the strip to the drop of blood.

add the drop of blood in test strip

Step 10 - Display Results on Device

The result shall be on the glucose monitoring machine within 6-8 seconds. Record the results regularly.

Types of Glucometer

Glucometers are the blood glucose-level monitoring machines. They come in different types. We shall give a short description of each type of glucometer. The various types of glucose-level measuring machines are:

  • Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)
  • Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)
  • Non-Invasive Glucose Meters

Here is the short description of each type of glucometer:

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)
SMBG monitors helps you trace your blood sugar levels within seconds using a test strip and drop of your blood.
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)
CGM has to be implanted under the abdominal skin so as to take readings at regular intervals of your glucose levels.
Non-invasive Glucose Meters
The idea behind the non-invasive glucose meters is they don’t require blood samples. A low-power radio waves pass through blood-rich areas of the body to sense glucose levels.

Well, you can also check the detailed description on each type of glucometer.

Glucometer Uses

A glucometer is a small device that is basically used to measure your blood glucose levels. Following is the list of uses of this device which can be given a thought as to why you need a glucometer:

  • As the name of the device suggests, a glucometer can be used for measuring blood sugar levels.
  • The diabetic patients generally are advised to keep good track of their sugar levels by their physicians which are easily doable with a glucometer.
  • The glucometer is a small, portable, and handy device that can be kept in your house or even carry it while traveling.
  • You can keep track of the sugar level without visiting the hospitals every time.
  • At times, it is not even easy to travel to hospitals. Rather, it is really helpful to measure your sugar levels from home and take the right advice from your doctors for immediate reaction.

Glucometer Working Principle

The test strips used in the glucometer have the capillary that gasps the blood drop. This blood drop goes to the enzyme electrode where an electric current is generated. This charge passing through electrode is in proportion to the blood sample you have used for testing.

Now suppose, your glucometer shows a reading of 95mg/dl, this means there are 95 milligrams of glucose in a decilitre of the blood.

Few FAQs on Glucometer

What is the maximum reading on glucometer?

A glucometer shows maximum reading of 600 mg/dl.

What does Hi or Lo mean on glucometer?

Hi means “High” and Lo means “Low” on the glucometer. In this case, your blood sugar level is not in the range of your device. You need to opt for lab glucose testing. 

What is the normal glucometer reading?

For people without diabetes normal glucometer reading is –

  • When fasting – 4.0-5.4 mmol/L (72 to 99 mg/dl)
  • 2 Hours After Meals – 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl) 

What is the normal glucometer reading for people with diabetes?

For people with diabetes normal glucometer reading is –

  • When fasting – 4.0-7.0 mmol/L (Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes)
  • After Meals –
    • under 9 mmol/L (For Type 1 Diabetes)
    • under 8.5 mmol/L (For Type 2 Diabetes)

Can I use expired glucometer strips?

A test strip which has expired might show normal blood sugar levels. At the same time, you need to be prepared for the inaccurate results due to expired strips. Thus, practically we can conclude that the using expired strips might show incorrect results and this may be risky when you manage your diabetes based on that result.  

How many times glucometer needle can be used?

Well, a new lancet is sterile and hygiene. Thus, it is the best practice to use a new needle every time you prick your finger with a lancet. In case you are using the same needle twice, the needle might not be sharp and may become dull. This might make it slightly difficult to prick the finger. And of course, in all this, the most important thing is the use of the hygienic and sterilized needle. 


Well, that was all the information to share on the best glucometers for home use in India. Now, with this information and step by step guide, one can easily measure the blood sugar levels wherever he is. One simply needs with this small and portable device to do the same.

If you have any suggestions on how to use glucometers, please write to us in the comments section below.

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