Testing Sites: finger or forearm?

I keep reading people’s complaints about bruised and insensitive fingertips from all their bg testing. Personally I test on my forearm, which hurts MUCH less than the fingertip. I guess I don’t really understand why, with all the new meters out there, why anyone would regularly test on the fingertips.

So my question is sort of an informal survey: do you test on fingertip or forearm, and why?

Fingertips give the most recent BG reading so that’s what I was told to use. I’m curious to find out if anyone else tests on the arm.

Yes I also test on the forearm, as it hurts much less and I can still use my fingers to play guitar and piano etc. Except if I feel I am hypo then I check my fingers as it is the most reliable. Otherwise sometimes I’ll check both to see how far they are off and usually it is less than 0.5mmol/L away from the number I get on my finger which is close enough for me. Also I always make sure I rub my forearm vigorously before testing it.

I test on my fingertips but I think I will try testing on my palm of forearm. I guess I just hadnt considered that I could do one of the other since I am still new to this!

fingertips for me. At the moment, having just been diagnosed about a month ago, the testing on the fingertips doesn’t really hurt all that much.

Also, I was never shown how to test on the forearm.

I’ve been diabetic for 22 years and all of my endos have always advised me against testing on the forearms due to inaccurate readings.

Marc has the right idea; if you are going to use alternate sites, don’t rely on them if your BS may be low (or changing quickly).

As for myself, I never use alternate sites. Hands are easier to wash than forearms (or wherever), I don’t have to worry about getting blood on my clothes, I can discretely test a finger in public without having to roll up or remove clothing, I don’t have to shave my fingers before testing, and finger tests are more accurate. For me, accepting a less accurate test method is the first step on the slippery slope to saying " I feel fine and I know what I expect my BS to be so I won’t bother testing." The only advantage to alternate site testing is reducing finger pain and injury. Since those are not problems for me I don’t see any reason to even try alternate site testing.

I find you dont need to shave your forearm before testing, I’ve got a fair amount of hair on my forearms and still have no problems.

Fingertip as I was told it is the most accurate place.

I was told fingertips give the most accurate readings too. I don’t really get bruised fingertips unless I change my lancet and the new one is super sharp, but calluses have formed. I don’t have any problems playing piano with callused fingertips. I was also reccomended to try using the base of my thumb as an alternative testing site.

Yeah, I was told that fingertips are more accurate if you’re low, otherwise I’ve found they’re about the same (I’ve tested both within minutes of each other and had nearly identical results). I carry alcohol wipes and those little round bandage dots in my case, so that’s not a problem. I’ve just found my fingertips to be really sensitive, and it’s a ■■■■■ to type after testing several times a day.

That being said, I recently got a one touch meter (I use a Freestyle now) and found that the two meters are about 10% different --the one touch says 76 when the freestyle says 70, and says 145 when the freestyle says 130. Weird! So which one do I trust? I tested with the Freestyle (on my forearm, no less!) the last time I went to the lab to have blood drawn: the number I got was within two points of the number from my lab result.

There is a difference in blood sugar when you test with different meter. But it is normal. The thing about blood sugar testing is that home testing, I feel isn’t exactly a perfect science, so there will always be some deviation when you use different meters. But the whole idea is to give you a range. I use the OneTouch ultra because it was the cheapest one at the hospital (no such thing as a free meter here).

I haven’t really found a difference in accuracy (except on really low readings), but to me, if it’s painful, I’m less likely to test. Testing on forearm instead of fingertip makes me MORE likely to test, not less.

And I only have to push my sleeve up a bit, and stick a band-aid dot on afterward. It’s still discreet (only had a problem once in public) and LESS of a hassle than bleeding fingers. On my fingertip, I tend to bleed, so I have to hold something against it for a few minutes.

I test on my arm. For years I didn’t test because my fingers would hurt. I have not problems at all with my arms and have never found much difference in my results. When the doc. checks my BS with his meter and mine they are about the same.

Gee, a 20% variance in a low could mean the difference between sugar tabs and a hospital visit. And do you know if that is 10% either way from an average, or what? Theoretically, two different monitors, each with a 20% variance, could be as much as 40% different… one 20% high and one 20% low?

Calibrate your meter against a lab blood sugar test. If it’s even close to 20% off just throw the meter away and replace it. The current meters are generally quite good, so it’s not likely you’ll have to do that.

I’ll accept a 10% error, and the only meter I’ve ever had to junk after calibation was an AccuChek Aviva. I had 3 of them give me consistently high readings and the one I calibrated was 19% high. I may just have been unlucky, but I won’t use them any more.

I know that are (or at least were… not sure if it’s still true) different lab calibration standards for A1Cs, but I’m not aware of a similar problem for lab glucose readings. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who knows about this.

Of course, labs test the plasma portion of your blood, while your home meter tests whole blood. Most home meters give a “plasma equivalent” reading, which means they measure the glucose in the whole blood and then fudge the number so you can compare it directly with the lab’s plasma reading. You need to know if your home meter is giving a whole blood reading or a “plasma equivalent” number before you compare it to a lab reading. Plasma readings are about 12% higher.

I was always told that my left ring finger was joined right in someway to a vein in my heart and it would always give off the best BS reading but ALWAYS any fingertip was the best and most presice place to test not on the pad of the finger but on the side of the pad. Jusy my 2 cents on the subject!