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From Canada:

I have access to a blood glucose meter which reads blood glucose in mmol/dl. I am interested in testing myself and my wife, and need to know the proper procedure for when to take blood readings (after meals, etc.). Also need to know appropriate levels of blood sugar (normal, too high, too low) to determine whether I need to see a doctor.

Thank you in advance for your trouble. We aren't too concerned with diabetes ourselves and are testing ourselves for curiosity. Please be advised that any odd findings will prompt us to seek professional medical guidance.


This question was referred to several members of the Diabetes Team, who have each given an answer:

Answer from Dr. Robertson:

I accept that family members of patients often test themselves -- and even occasionally make a diagnosis -- but this is weird. It's like the "Do it Yourself Appendectomy" that appeared in a Monty Python book years ago. I think that it would be best not to play, but to seek medical advice about symptoms.


Answer from Dr. Lebinger:

It also should be pointed out that home meters are not accurate enough to differentiate mild increase or decrease in blood sugar from normal. These products can be purchased without a prescription; I think there should be more warnings on the box.

Also, I like to caution people to be careful not to use the same lancing device for more than one person as there may be cross contamination of blood (the same goes for the One Touch meter if you don't change the platform).


[Editor's comment: I'd suggest you donate the meter to a nearby diabetes program. The meter has "trade-in" value for indigent patients, who could use it to take advantage of various rebate and trade-in programs to get a new meter that would be of great use to them.

Information about normal values of blood sugar is widely available on the Internet (see a recent question from another reader), or from your personal physician. WWQ]

Original posting 8 Feb 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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