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Measuring blood sugar from other sites

Alternative measurement sites for obtaining blood include the base of the thumb at the side of the palm or the arm. It is not recommended to take a sample from the lower limbs.

If you use your fingers, e.g., to play an instrument, handle foodstuffs without protective gloves or perform tasks where your hands get dirty, it may be necessary to take the sample from a location other than your fingers. The same may also be true if your fingers are particularly sensitive, the circulation in your fingers is poor or there are calluses on your fingertips.

A typical alternative injection site is the base of your thumb at the side of the palm, your arms or, less commonly, your earlobe. Lancing devices include a replaceable tip for alternative injection sites. Discuss with your own care facility before you start taking samples from alternative sites to ensure the suitability of your lancing device.

Do not use an alternative site to check your blood sugar if you think that it is too low. A change in the blood sugar level takes longer to show when testing in the alternative sites compared to fingertips. If your blood sugar level is rapidly rising or dropping, for example, after a meal or after injecting mealtime insulin, the result obtained from an alternative site is not as accurate. If the hair on your arms is thick, shave it off before taking a sample.

Updated 30.9.2023