Johns Hopkins Diabetes GuideClinical TestsGlucose Monitoring

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Susan M. Porter, CRNP, CDE, Christopher Saudek, M.D.
Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Guide.

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  • With self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), the patient measures his or her own blood glucose level using a drop of blood applied to a reagent stick.
  • A meter displays the blood glucose level at the moment it is tested.
  • Wide variety of different meters and strips, each with strengths and weaknesses.
  • Usually, a small drop of blood is taken from a finger prick, although some meters can use blood from alternate sites such as forearm.
  • Results are usually stored in meter by date, time and result, and can be downloaded with simple software packages; some meters display their results on an external insulin pump ("smart pumps").

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Last updated: November 5, 2015