Reduce Pain When Measuring Your Blood Sugar
There are people all over the world that suffer from diabetes, which occurs when their blood sugar (blood glucose) levels are too high. The food that we eat is the main source of glucose. Our bodies, through insulin – that is a hormone created by the pancreas, absorb the glucose from foods into our cells, which in turn are used for energy. If our bodies are not able to produce enough insulin, or are unable to use the insulin properly, this can cause diabetes.
Measuring your blood sugar and pain
Suffering from diabetes though does not mean that you cannot lead a healthy and active life. Diabetes can be managed by measuring blood glucose levels.
A diabetic person will want to avoid both low (hypoglucaemia) and high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), so it is important that a good monitoring system be in place to check these levels on a regular basis.
The aim of treatment for diabetes is to control the blood sugar levels. This can only be done through systematic monitoring of the levels of blood sugar in a patient.
By managing the blood glucose levels, you can prevent them from either getting too high or too low, as well as preventing possible damage to tissue, which can be the result of too much sugar in the patients’ blood stream.
It is important to check your blood glucose levels throughout the day at different times. A good time to check is before and after a meal usually two hours after eating, as most glucose has been absorbed by then, but this depends on the medication you are on.
Different people will be required to monitor their levels different amounts of times each day, depending on their treatment plan.
How do you monitor blood sugar levels?
When measuring your levels you will use a glucose meter. These are devices that draw a drop of blood from your fingertip and then test the blood glucose levels of that droplet. They will consist of a lancing device, which is the part of the monitor that pricks the fingertip to obtain the drop of blood.
A lot of the time there is a little discomfort, and the process for many people is never a painless one. How can you reduce pain when measuring blood sugar levels?
Two types of lancet are found in monitors used for measuring levels of blood sugar. They are the traditional lancet and the pip lancet.
They are available in a variety of different sizes, and some are especially manufactured for use on children, which will draw a lower amount of blood for testing, than an adult one would.
The traditional lancets are, as the name suggests, the classic ones, which are essentially a piece of plastic with a needle that is protected underneath a rounded cap. To use the lancet to draw a blood sample, the plastic cap is simply twisted off.
Traditional lancets can be used on their own, though the majority of people will use them with a lancer, which is the device, similar in appearance to a syringe that is held by the sufferer to prick their finger and then draw the blood for testing.
Pip Lancets were previously only used in hospitals, but over the years, have been made available to everyone to use. These perform the same function as the traditional lancets, but are much more convenient to use. They also allow for better disposal once a test has been carried out.
One other very important factor with pip lancets is that in most cases, it eliminates the pain that can be caused by traditional lancets. These lancets are a single use only device, and the needle is never exposed, preventing any accidental pricking.
It is also easier to control the depth of the needle penetration with a pip lancet, meaning less pain and less damage to the skin tissue.
Which lancet will be less painful?
The purpose of the lancet is to break the skin to draw blood, so unfortunately, there will be some level of pain associated with this process.
Pip lancets are said to be less painful than traditional ones, and in most cases, they can completely eliminate the pain felt when testing your blood sugar levels.
However, everyone has a different threshold to pain, and what may be painful to one person, could be painless to another.
There is no perfect solution for everyone, so when it comes to deciding which type of lancet is better for less pain, it will be a case of trial and error for each individual.
Other ways to reduce the pain
In addition to using a pip lancet, there are a couple of things that a person could do when measuring their levels. One of them is to prick the side of the fingers, rather than the actual fingertips. The skin on the sides of the fingertips is usually a little tougher and this can reduce the prick pain.
Another method that a lot of people use is to avoid cleaning their hands with an alcoholic wipe before taking the test. The alcohol in the wipe can dry out the skin of the fingertips, and make the skin tighten up.
This in turn could lead to it being more difficult to break the skin with the lancet when drawing blood.
One thing that is advised that you avoid is to use the same lancet for another test, rather than change it each time. Though this might help you in terms of finances, each prick with the lancet will blunt the tip of the needle, so subsequent uses might need more than a single attempt at breaking the skin.
Knowing that each time you take a measurement could cause a little pain is not something everyone will look forward to, and any way that the pain could be reduced or even eliminated will always be welcome.
Pip lancets are a great option, and though they can’t promise to remove the pain for everyone when it comes to testing blood sugar levels, they are able to help the majority of users experience as little pain as possible.
There you have it, some ways to reduce pain when measuring your blood sugar.