My favorite thing about my Freestyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitor is not the size of the monitor itself, or the fact that it requires such a tiny sample of blood. I favor this meter because it allows me to test on places other than my fingertips. (I usually use my forearm.) This is important to me because as a mother of three little boys, my hands are always working, preparing meals and snacks, and cleaning. And fingertips with food or water on them can interfere with a blood glucose result. Another reason: I’m not a big fan of lancets and needles, and sometimes just thinking about having to test my blood sugar makes me nervous, which means my hands begin to sweat- one more thing that can interfere with a reading.
But here’s the catch – while alternate testing sites are generally okay, if you’re concerned about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or you suffer from hypoglycemia unawareness, it’s important to test on your fingertips only. According to Abbott Diabetes Care, “Because blood flow to the finger is three to five times faster than other alternate sites, blood samples from the finger may show changes in your glucose sooner than the forearm, upper arm, thigh, calf, and other parts of the hand. The possible difference in glucose readings between the finger and other alternate sites could delay your detection of hypoglycemia.”
If you are using an alternate testing site, Abbott recommends you vigorously rub the area until it’s warm to increase blood flow to the surface. And, as always, you should check with your doctor or health care provider about acceptable sites for your testing needs.