Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Finger or forearm blood tests?

While I was reading my iBGStar user guide, I was reminded that you could now use your forearm to do your blood glucose tests. To me, testing on my fingertips isn’t a big deal. I don’t find it hurts (anymore) and I’m wondering if doing the tests on my forearm would benefit me in any way. So I’m doing my own little research to find out what positive or negative points I could find in changing my method of testing my blood sugar.

I wish my insurance would cover the CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) but I can’t really afford the standard 50$ every 3 days. That way, I wouldn’t have to test so often during the day, just less as you still have to make sure the results are accurate. But that’s another issue.

Abbott Diabetes Care suggest that testing on the finger is reccommended when you think your blood sugar is low. So I’m guessing that finger tests are more accurate, but that’s just a theory. The only benefit to testing elsewhere on your body I’ve found while searching the net, was that it’s less painful. But other than that, I’m wondering if any other kinds of benefits could emerge by doing so.

Are you testing anywhere else than on your finger tips?



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10 thoughts on “Finger or forearm blood tests?

  1. Fingertip testing (or sides of the fingertip as many do) tests capillary blood and is very “real time”. The forearm or other “alternate sites” test interstitial fluid and are therefore up to 20 minutes behind. As an insulin dependent diabetic it’s critical that we know what our levels are now, not 20 minutes ago, so I’d stick with the fingers.

  2. I’ve never tested anywhere other than my fingertips. Quite honestly, the thought of doing it on my arm seems more painful! (I’ve also heard that it, like the CGM, has a time-delay. The small capillaries in your fingertips mean the entire supply of blood in there replenishes much faster than the larger vessels in your arm,which is why the arm-method has a delay. Or something like that…)

    Honestly, if I were to test on my arm, I’m not sure where or how to do it. How do I squeeze the blood out? What about body hair? Can I lick it clean, like I do with my fingers when I’m done without looking ridiculous? Unless I did something, like knit, play guitar, or read braille, where my fingertips couldn’t be abused, I can’t really see a reason to use anything else.

  3. I lick my fingers off too!
    I read in some diabetes magazine at a doctors office that testing in other places is never as accurate as in your fingers, the lag time aside. I’ve tried a couple of times testing on my forearm just to see what it’s like and I couldn’t actually get it to bleed there. Plus it hurt more then my already calloused fingers, so I don’t think I’ll personally ever be testing anywhere else.

  4. cchoate on said:

    I’ve tried to test on my forearm, and it hurt waaaay more than pricking my fingertips. I, too, couldn’t get any blood from that area. As long as I keep my fingers moisturized with some nice lotion that I have on hand, I can usually avoid calluses and then it doesn’t hurt as much. 🙂

  5. lovehatediabetes on said:

    OMgosh! I thought I was the only weirdo who licked my fingers after I tested!! haha, YES 🙂
    I’ve actually tested on the toe next to my big toe. I saw a picture of a parent testing their kid on their toe while sleeping. I had just showered so I thought, “hey, why not”. It didn’t really hurt much. I’m not a big foot person, so I’ve not done it since.

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