How do lancing devices for blood glucose monitoring work?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Modern lancing devices work kind of like a sewing machine. They very, very, very quickly push a small needle called a lance outwards and then retract it nearly instantly. The goal is to prick your finger so fast your nerve cells won’t even know what happened.

Most lancing devices have a variable depth gauge that controls how far the needle shoots out (or put another way, how far it shoots into you). The number of levels varies depending on the model, with five and nine being the most common. Low numbers are for dainty Southern debutantes whose fingers live in silk gloves. Higher numbers are for calloused Canadian lumberjacks. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. The goal is to get blood with no pain. Or minimum pain, anyway. Now, the FDA has approved lots of meters for alternate site testing. That means you can test from the forearm or leg or palm rather than the finger

However, the fingertips are where the action is. They are at the cutting edge of changes in your blood sugar. Alternate sites are not as accurate in terms of up-to-the-moment information. Best to test the fingertips.
The Born-Again Diabetic: The handbook to help you get your diabetes in control (again)

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The Born-Again Diabetic: The handbook to help you get your diabetes in control (again)

Much has been written about the explosion of diabetes on the world stage the 4,000 new cases a day we all know about, the millions of people unaware they have diabetes. But another epidemic is...

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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.

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