Can Alcohol Wipes Affect Blood Sugar?

The impact of poorly formed blood droplets on capillary blood glucose readings should be investigated in future investigations. The findings of this investigation show that prep pads containing 70% isopropyl alcohol had no effect on capillary blood glucose levels.

Should you use an alcohol wipe before checking blood sugar?

Blood glucose monitoring is a crucial aspect of diabetes management, but a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that failing to wash your hands with water before pricking your finger could lead to artificially increased readings.

Cleaning the test site with an alcohol swab before obtaining a blood sample is a typical recommendation to ensure the test site is clean. Researchers from Tokyo’s Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine tested the blood glucose levels of 10 healthy volunteers under a range of situations to see if alcohol swabbing effectively removed fruit residue. The participants’ fingers were washed as a control, and they were given a fingerprick test to assess their genuine blood glucose levels. After peeling oranges, grapes, or kiwis, the participants had their blood glucose levels measured right away, after swabbing with alcohol, and then again after rinsing with tap water.

The researchers discovered that after washing their hands with tap water, the individuals’ blood glucose levels equaled those before peeling the fruit, which were approximately 90 mg/dl. When their glucose levels were assessed immediately after peeling the fruit, however, they averaged 170 mg/dl after peeling an orange, 180 mg/dl after peeling a kiwi, and 360 mg/dl after peeling a grape. Even when they swabbed their fingertips with alcohol many times before taking the sample, the values remained raised beyond their real blood glucose level.

What can cause false high blood sugar readings?

Blood glucose (sugar) testing is a critical component of controlling type 2 diabetes and maintaining blood sugar control. Testing your blood sugar on a regular basis will show you how diet, exercise, and other variables affect it. “According to Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, “provides significant information regarding how blood glucose is behaving at a period in time.” “It tells patients whether their blood sugar levels are healthy or unhealthy.”

However, blood sugar testing isn’t always straightforward, and a variety of errors might skew your readings. According to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders in May 2015, it can be difficult to fully comprehend the criteria for managing blood sugar monitoring.

The good news is that with a little practice, you can get your blood sugar checking down pat. To begin, understand how to avoid these typical blunders.

“Certified diabetes educator Cher Pastore, RD, CDE, owner of Cher Nutrition in New York City and author of the upcoming book The 28-Day Blood Sugar Miracle: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Get Your Diabetes Under Control in Under a Month, says, “You want to have the meter that is most comfortable for you.” It may be a device that fits directly in your pocket for a younger person on the road, for example. It could be a meter with larger numbers to make it simpler to read for someone who is older.

“Most insurance companies have a preferred meter that members should use,” Massey explains. “When people utilize the approved meter for their plan, they can typically get greater coverage for their diabetic supplies.” If you have Medicare, you can probably use whichever meter you choose, but bear in mind that diabetic supplies are covered under medical supplies, not prescription benefits, according to Massey.

Your meter is a crucial tool in your blood sugar control efforts, but it’s difficult to keep track of blood sugar patterns if your meter isn’t working properly, according to Massey. Make sure the date and time are correct when you set it up.

Many people test their blood sugar too soon after eating, resulting in an incorrect number. Although you should consult your doctor about when and how often you should test your blood sugar, Pastore believes the most reliable readings are two hours after a meal.

Testing often is the greatest method to determine how effectively you’re managing diabetes, so make blood sugar testing a part of your daily routine. “Consider what you can do to remind yourself, such as setting a phone alarm,” Massey advises. This is especially helpful if you’re having problems establishing a blood sugar monitoring practice.

Pastore argues that lingering sugar on your hands from something you’ve eaten or touched could alter the reading. When cleaning your hands, avoid using rubbing alcohol or antibacterial hand sanitizer. Before using your meter, wash your hands with soap and water and completely dry them.

You must use the correct lancets and testing strips for your meter to achieve the most accurate results. If you reuse lancing devices, or the portion you use to poke oneself, they might get dull and hurt. This is why it’s common practice to replace them after each use. Make sure your testing strips have been properly stored and are not expired to receive the most accurate reading.

According to Pastore, the center of your fingertip is a little more sensitive, so testing there can be painful. As a result, she recommends that her clients test on the side of their fingertip rather than in the middle. You should also change the finger you use to test because calluses might form if you test the same location every time.

Pastore argues that being dehydrated can alter your readings. If you feel dehydration is generating erroneous readings, avoid alcohol and drink extra water.

Pastore believes that tracking your results is the best way to comprehend them and figure out what causes your blood sugar levels to rise. Discuss your findings with your doctor to see if any adjustments to your diabetes care regimen are necessary.

Does alcohol affect blood glucose test?

These compounds prevent the liver from producing new glucose. Blood sugar levels drop, and you can soon become hypoglycemic. Drinking might have a 12-hour effect on your blood sugar. So, before you go to bed, check your blood sugar.

Why is it important to wipe away the first drop of blood?

After washing hands, the first drop of blood can be utilized for self-monitored glucose monitoring. It is allowed to utilize the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop if washing hands is not possible and they are not obviously filthy or exposed to a sugar-containing substance. It makes no difference which finger is used to take glucose readings. External pressure can cause inaccurate readings.

Many insulin-treated individuals must perform SMBG for the rest of their lives, some of them on a daily basis. Discarding the first drop of blood and not squeezing the finger complicates measurements and needs deeper, more painful punctures. The first drop of blood after washing the hands, according to international recommendations and studies on SMBG (e.g., the American Diabetes Association and the Diabetes UK guidelines) (10–12). Squeezing or milking the finger is also permitted in some cases. Hands should be washed with warm water and soap and dried, according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the meter used in the study. After gently squeezing the finger, the first drop of blood can be used. Patients cannot or do not always wash their hands before doing SMBG in daily practice (1). These scenarios are not addressed in international norms.

Only two research looked into the differences in glucose levels between the first and second blood drops. Both of these research, on the other hand, included the help of people who did not have diabetes. When the hands were clean, there were no variations in the readings in a study of 53 individuals (13). In the other study, glucose levels for 25 volunteers were revealed to be considerably changed when the fingers were exposed to glucose (i.e., fruit). In these circumstances, even the third drop of blood cannot be used (14). Our research also suggests that the initial drop of blood should not be utilized if the patient hasn’t cleansed his or her hands. When the finger is cleansed with a tissue between obtaining the two drops, the second drop of blood yields trustworthy results. This does not apply to fingers exposed to glucose products, as the glucose concentrations in the second drop in 11% of the patients changed by 10% from the control data. As a result, whenever a patient comes into contact with a sugar-containing substance, they should always wash their hands.

Fruhstorfer and Quarder (13) also looked into the effect of milking the finger on 10 healthy volunteers and found that milking the finger yields accurate glucose readings. We employed two pressures in our experiment to see if there was any effect on capillary glucose levels. A pressure of 40 mmHg is required to produce venous stasis. A pressure of 240 mmHg is higher than the participants’ systolic pressure. With higher pressure, there is a greater difference in glucose concentrations, according to our findings.

The discrepancies employed in this study are stricter than the ISO standard’s 20 percent difference (15), or the 15 percent difference or a difference of 1 mmol/L in cases where the glucose concentration is 16). Patients anticipate blood glucose values to be of excellent analytical quality (17). Furthermore, when utilizing a rigorous insulin algorithm, these discrepancies may result in insulin dose mistakes (18). According to Jansen and Slingerland (7), a ten percent difference cannot be overlooked.

The need for squeezing varies greatly between individuals, depending on the nature of the skin, making a consistent way of squeezing the finger in everyday practice problematic. The manner of squeezing used in our study does not perfectly replicate daily practice, thus the results should be regarded with caution. The study’s strength is that it employed a standardized squeezing approach. Variability was limited by the use of a single meter by a single experienced operator. On the other side, it prevents the findings from being applied to other types of equipment. Several factors, like as the timing of the last insulin dosage, can influence readings. As a result, each intervention was given its own control measurement. The maximum time interval between measurements was 90 seconds, while most interventions had a time interval of 30–60 seconds. These factors are unlikely to have had a significant impact on the outcomes when using this design. However, we can’t rule out the possibility of a temporal delay having an influence. Sex or HbA1c had no statistically significant impact on the outcomes in any of the therapies, according to multivariate analyses. Finally, the findings cannot be applied to a hospital context due to the patients’ choosing.

In order to obtain a reliable glucose concentration, our study looked into critical and understudied elements of SMBG in persons with diabetes. According to this study, washing hands with soap and water, drying them, and using the first drop of blood for SMBG is the best option. It is allowed to utilize the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop if washing hands is not possible and they are not obviously filthy or exposed to a sugar-containing substance. Finger squeezing that is too tight should be avoided.

Why is it important to wipe the first drop of blood?

It is no longer essential to perform a dual wipe, which involves wiping away the first drop of blood and then testing the second. The amount of blood required in the early days of blood glucose testing was significantly larger, and the tests were much slower. The first drop of blood from a lancing site contained more platelets, which might cause the lancing site to shut up before enough blood was retrieved for the test, but the dual wipe assured a longer, larger flow of blood. Furthermore, the first drop of blood may include a higher volume of interstitial fluid and/or higher potassium levels, which could cause the results of the first generation of test strips to be thrown off. A dual wipe is obsolete and superfluous with the enzymes employed in today’s test strips, as well as the decreased blood volume needs and faster testing speed.

Why is my blood sugar reading different in different fingers?

Finger contamination is a common cause of blood sugar reading inconsistency. This is because even a small amount of food residue on your hands might cause blood glucose levels to rise. Simply touching a banana or cutting a piece of fruit, for example, can cause your stats to skyrocket. Before testing, wash both hands thoroughly to verify that this does not affect the results. Don’t rely on alcohol swabs either. Alcohol does not clean hands as well as soap and water, according to research.

Can you get different blood sugar readings from different fingers?

The majority of diabetics must monitor their blood sugar (glucose) levels on a regular basis. The results will assist you and your doctor in managing those levels, allowing you to prevent diabetic problems.

Prick your finger with a small, sharp needle (referred to as a lancet) and place a drop of blood on a test strip. The test strip is then inserted into a meter that displays your blood sugar level. You can get findings in less than 15 seconds and save the data for further use. Some meters may display charts and graphs of your previous test results as well as inform you your average blood sugar level over time. Blood sugar meters and strips are available at your local pharmacy.

Newer meters allow you to test various areas besides your fingertip, such as your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh. It’s possible that the findings from your fingertip aren’t the same. Changes in blood sugar levels in the fingertips happen faster than in other testing sites. This is especially true when your blood sugar levels are fluctuating fast, such as after a meal or exercise. If you’re checking your sugar when you’re experiencing hypoglycemia symptoms, use your fingertip if at all possible, as these readings will be more accurate.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring System: These devices, also known as interstitial glucose measuring devices, are used in conjunction with insulin pumps to provide continuous glucose monitoring. They’re comparable to finger-stick glucose findings in that they can reveal patterns and trends in your data over time.

Which finger is best for blood sugar test?

  • Make sure you have everything you’ll need for the test. This should include your meter, a test strip (a spare strip may be useful), a finger pricker (lancing device), cotton wool (optional), and a monitoring diary to keep track of the findings.
  • Hands should be washed and dried to ensure that any sugars on your fingers do not affect the outcome. If your fingers are warm, you will be able to obtain a larger drop of blood, so do so if you can. To avoid injuring yourself, be careful not to overheat your fingers.
  • Prick your finger at the sides of the finger with the lancing device since there are fewer nerve endings here than at the tips or ‘pads.’ The World Health Organization recommended that blood glucose testing be performed on the middle or ring fingers (second and third fingers). Because the skin on your little finger is delicate, you should avoid utilizing it. You may need to squeeze your finger lightly until blood appears; if you need to squeeze firmly, prick another finger.
  • When blood appears, make sure the meter is turned on, then transfer the blood to the test strip and wait a few seconds for a response – most meters these days deliver a result in less than 10 seconds, if not less.
  • If the test is positive, use the cotton wool to clean any blood from your finger.
  • Dispose of the test strip and make sure the lancet is placed in the sharps bin.

Why does my blood sugar go up without eating?

Whether you have diabetes or not, the natural hormonal changes your body undergoes in the morning will generally raise your blood sugar. If you don’t, your body will produce extra insulin to compensate. You’re not even aware it’s happening.

It’s a different story if you have diabetes. Even if you maintain a strict diet, your fasting blood sugar reading can go higher because your body doesn’t respond to insulin like most people’s.

The increase in sugar is your body’s way of ensuring you have enough energy to get out of bed and start your day. Your body may not have enough insulin to balance these hormones if you have diabetes. This throws off the delicate balance you’ve worked so hard to maintain, and your sugar levels may be too high by morning.

The effects of the dawn phenomenon differ from one individual to the next, and even from one day to the next.

Some studies believe that the natural nighttime release of so-called counter-regulatory hormones, such as growth hormones, cortisol, glucagon, and adrenaline, increases insulin resistance. Your blood sugar will rise as a result of this.