Finger Sticks vs. Other Sites

I haven't tried testing other sites since I was diagnosed and switched to one touch delica due to pain- after reviewing the post on Genteel again and going to their website and thinking about getting one I did a test.

I tried testing on my fore arm and the above knee area where as usual I couldn't get any blood to come out, lol, maybe this is due to my fine one touch delica lancets? Even with full strength no blood. Then I did palm of my hand and two finger sticks with these results:

Palm of hand post lunch reading: 117
Finger stick 1: 104
Finger stick 2: 116

(same finger so the last one was essentially like a second blood drop)

I just though wtf/huh when I saw the last finger stick???

What do you think? Which one is most accurate?

The finger stick in the recommend area since … that’s what been determined over time to be most accurate for the device you are using. The accuracy of the device itself is another question.

Thanks Kurt! I know finger sticks are considered more accurate but I was surprised that they were pretty close and within the error range for finger sticks I think. That is if they were all accurate because sometimes I have big differences in finger sticks which are obviously wrong- lately I do 2-3 to make sure if something seems off. I’m still wondering if I should buy this and give my fingers a break. Supposedly it’s less painful even on fingers although someone who reviewed it said it was painful for her daughter.

The meter you use has a big impact on the test-to-test consistency. I’ve used so many meters I can’t count. I’d say the one I’m using now, the Contour Next, has about the best consistency of any of my meter brands/models.

If you test the right hand and the left hand at the same time (finger sticks) during periods of fluctuating bg’s you’ll find a difference.

I don’t do alternative site testing (other than to try it twice and it HURT–my fingersticks don’t faze me).

I read somewhere recently, that the finger is better, the reason is the oxygen in the blood. when you do areas like your arm, the level is higher. your finger tips is lower, so the same blood is different. (silly sounding ain’t it) also as phoenix said, the meter has a lot to do with it. I also you the contour next and i checked the same time blood was taken from me, and it was really close. the test was 97 and the pro test was 99.

Thanks @pheonixbound & Scotty,

I use the IBG star, it’s my fav, it’s so small I can put it in a pocket with my lancing device and a bottle of test strips and be ready to test very quickly.

I think it is pretty accurate because I’ve had several venous tests done in a hospital lab where I get my blood work done and I had tested fingersticks around the same time and it was never off by more than 5-10 points, sometimes closer. Although, I wonder how things change once the blood is in a vial and how long they wait to do the bg testing.

That makes sense about the oxygen levels, I will have to read about it, but they do use your fingertips for pulse ox monitors so I’m not sure. Anyway, my fingers do hurt sometimes, and my palm hurts too, but not as much, that is the only place I can get blood out in other sites. I was surprised how close they were.

I think I have tested both hands/fingers also to see if there was a difference in the past but I can’t remember the results now. I have tested my cats too, I did the veins on their ears, not easy! :smile:

The best way to see things, is not exact numbers. just know that when you test, you do what is best, Anytime you think that isn’t right, test again (Sorry, I know it hurts) If you trust what your meter says, Great.
the other thing is that if it hurts, are you using the 33g lancets? They hurt a lot less.and also watch the depth. some fingers bleed with less depth. talk to your fingers and ask how deep you can go (hahaha)(Sorry but I just had to add some silliness.)

Please consider the variability of the measurement itself. The same drop of blood will show up to 15% variability. The measument is based on enzymatic reactions that will always show slight variations. So 104 to 116 is the variation to expect - as you wrote this is pretty good. Only calibrated lab equipment can tell you more about the accuracy of your device. Even if you have gained more confidence in your device because your device measured 110 and the lab 125 there are always outliers to expect - expecially in the very low or very high range or with different temperatures. It is in the nature of the beast. The amount of soluted glucose in one drop of blood is very small. The distribution of glucose in the body is not even in phases of high carb absorbtion or consumption. This will even out with time and tissue will catch up via diffusion processes. Here the fingers or the earlopes have more capillaries and show better diffusion rates than other tissue. Still with cold hands you can see a lag of 5 minutes in comparison to the aorta for example. In the upper level of the skin tissues up to 15 minutes - like we see in glucose sensors. I am currently using the Abbott Libre and it is such a relief for my hands. I hardly use my glucose meter anymore. Every time I do that now I am really surprised how painfull this really is. I seem to have repressed that fact out of necessity.

Leave it bleeding I say… the finger as long as it’s not gushing it should be ok. I had an aids test at my doctor and then they used same finger for follow up finger stick. Both were good results no Aids and BG ~116. When allowed to do my own test or at home I sometimes use momentum as an advantage. An object in motion stays in motion. It’s a lot less dangerous with finger pricks than Monster Trucks. I sometimes use my Pen syringes afterr used for injections as pokers(Lancets) the higher gage makes it way less painful and usually produces good results. The previous sentence is not a medical suggestion for anyone to try just something I have noticed. I still have fewer than 10 samples used for alternate sites most sides of palm and even finger shaft area. Those were done w/o lancing device.

Not sure but pretty certain I’m not the only one that uses my mouth or saliva to clean my fingers post test.

Cheers people.

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my fav lancet device is the accu-check FastClix. comes with a “cartridge” of 6 lancets that you swap with the flick of a button. the lancet works with ONE click, instead of the usual c-o-c-k, fire action. one of the most painless lancet devices I’ve used. My second fav lancet was the one that came with the Compact Plus meters.

I had to chuckle when reading your response @MikFly, my 6 Year old Grand daughter wanted to know why I always lick my hand after testing my blood. I could not explain it to her other than, I just do :blush::blush:. Ps, I test on the outer side of my palm.

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You could’ve said you were a vampire :snake: heh.
You wouldn’t want to scare her though.

Glad you were amused.

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Thanks Holger, I guess the abbott Libre is pretty accurate for you? My dex isn’t accurate enough for me, most of the time, to accurately dose off it… I would like to try the libre also. I agree I block out the pain most of the time, some days I’m more pain sensitive than others. @MikFly I lick my fingers sometimes too, and I don’t think I can use the pen needles or do it without the lancing device- I’m on a pump now anyway. I do take advantage of bleeding fingers whenever possible. @Scottyd I use the finest lancets available as far as I know- one touch delica. My fingers are very variable in when they bleed, I can’t get any blood out of my thumbs, forefingers and most of the time the middle fingers. @phoenixbound I use the one touch ultra lancing device, I didn’t like the others… but I may try the genteel at some point and see if it’s less painful… on the other hand I can’t see myself carrying that around anywhere, lol. :smile:

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Oh I forgot to say this. I have stuck the finger in my mouth since I started pricking. My wife says I will get diseases, but I have been testing and licking since 1982 when I got my first blood test device.Glucometer. I do remember the size of the lancets back then. I think 26. and it was one of these the autolet

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No diseases or infections here either. Omg :flushed: looks horrid​:smiley:

Oh yeah #BAL Big As(s) Lancet s.

When i woke up in the hospital last century they were using the flat metal ones that came in the foil protected Alcohol swab looking packets.
Imagine a box cutter that is super thin and used by hospitals for finger poking not opening medical boxes.


Yes, I have now gained enough confidence in the accuracy of the Libre to use it for Insulin dosing. I really think they have made a technological breakthrough here - although the 15min lag is still something to keep in mind. After some more days of usage I will write about my experiences with the Libre…

No, you’re definitely not the only one.

Dx’d in 1985, and yup, I had one of those lovely things too. Thanks for the blast from the past. :smile:

Great! I will read your review when you write it… I wish I could do that with dexcom. I would like to try the Abbott Libre also.