Finger or Palm

have a question to the more knowledgable diabetics, unlike myself. I have been taking care of my Diabetes since April of this year. I have been very conscientious abut my eating and thought I was doing a great job. My last A1c was 6.7. I get my new A1c number next week and I am concerned of the outcome. Reason being is that I check my blood from my palm. The past few days I have used my finger and seem to come out with much higher numbers than using my palm. When I used both to see the difference, it usually is 20 to 30 points higher with my finger. Is using my palm the wrong thing to do or does it even make a difference where you get the blood? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

It doesn’t really matter where you get your sample but when you get it from a particular place. The following is from the meter booklet:

Do Not Use AST (alternate site testing)

  1. If you think your blood glucose is low
  2. When blood glucose is changing rapidly (after a meal, insulin dose, exercise). Use only if it has been more than 2 hours following one of these.
  3. If you have hypoglycemic unawareness
  4. If your AST results do not agree with how you feel
  5. During illness or stress
  6. If you will be driving a car or operating machinery

It is my understanding that BGs are reflected more quickly in the fingertip than other sites.
I always use my fingertip. Once I found the right lancet setting for me and after literally hundreds (probably more like thousands) of finger pokes, I hardly feel it anymore.

I don’t know if this answered your question but I hope it helps.

Finger sticks give the most accurate reading. Other sites, like using your arm, can be about 15 minutes behind.

In case no one told you this (no one told me), wipe away the first drop of blood & use the second drop to test.

Gerri, I never heard this one either. hmmm seems we learn more from our counterparts than from the pros in a lot of cases. how much of a difference have you noticed this way if you remember?

I found this on I guess the palm is fine, just not the rest of the body. They tend to be 30 minutes behind.

Alternative site refers to testing blood glucose on parts of the body other than the fingertip: most commonly the forearm, palm or thigh.

Testing somewhere other than the finger may bring a sigh of relief to many people with diabetes.

However, alternative test sites are not all the same.

With all meters, routine testing on an unrubbed forearm, upper arm, thigh or calf gives a test result that is 20 to 30 minutes old.

We will call these sites ‘lagging’ alternative test sites.

The fingertips and the palm hold the most recent ‘memories’ of your blood glucose. Fingertip and palm testing tell you what your blood glucose level is right now.

On the other hand, lagging test sites such as the forearm or thigh tell you what your blood glucose was around 20 to 35 minutes ago - not what it is right now. That difference can be crucial if your blood glucose is dropping fast — a forearm test might tell you that the level is fine, because the forearm is a lagging test site, while a fingertip test correctly alerts you to a low number. Because of this, lagging test sites cannot replace the fingertip or palm completely for any person.

Several monitoring companies give people the choice to test their blood glucose using alternative sites. However, lagging test sites such as the forearm or thigh are only reliable when your blood glucose levels are relatively stable, such as fasting blood glucose.

So when is alternative site testing not recommended? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives these guidelines:

  1. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should not use alternative site testing at all.

  2. Don’t use alternative sites when a seriously low blood glucose might go undetected:

When you have just taken insulin, or any time during or after exercise.

When there are unknown variables occurring in your day, such as illness.

Any time you just feel “low”.

Whenever you are about to drive.

Talk to your doctor to see if alternative site testing is right for you. With a little bit of education, you can give your fingertips a rest and maybe test more often than you do now. For people with diabetes, more frequent testing is a good thing. Just remember: any time you want to be sure of an accurate, up-to-date blood glucose reading, test on your fingertip or palm.

I use my ring finger and pinke finger and only use the sides because you get the best blood draw there and there is very little chance of it being contaminated with food. I’ve read that other sites beside your finger may have other fluids in them which give you a false reading. A good site to go to is