What can I do to ease discomfort when I check my blood glucose in public?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
I’m sorry that you feel uncomfortable checking your blood sugar in public, but the sad (or happy) truth is that most people simply do not pay any attention to their surroundings. I personally look for opportunities to talk diabetes with anyone who will listen. But you know what? I’ve never once gotten into a conversation with anyone after checking my blood sugar or taking a shot in public. Darn!

Everyone has so many small, sexy electronic devices nowadays that a blood sugar meter looks much like a cell phone or MP3 player.

All of that said, any public place has private nooks and crannies. If you are at a restaurant you can keep your hands in your lap beneath the table and have near utter privacy.

But of course, your discomfort is internal, not external. It has more to do about you than other people.

The question you need to ask yourself is why do you feel discomfort?

Your feelings are natural. Your diabetes is your business and it should not be anyone else's unless you want it to be. However, finding a private place to check your glucose can be difficult. Look for a quiet corner, or even a restroom stall if that is the only private place you can find. However, you may be surprised how few people even notice when you check your blood in public.

Some of the new blood glucose monitors are smaller, quicker, and quieter, and that can help make the process less stressful. Finally, if there is no place at all where you would be comfortable checking your glucose while you are out, check just before you leave the house, and check again as soon as you get home. That way you'll have at least some information for making decisions while you are out.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.