A glucometer is used to check a person's blood sugar, according to Mayo Clinic. A person places a drop of blood on a disposable test strip inserted into the meter. The meter reads the amount of sugar in the blood and displays the results, logging them for future reference.
Some meters allow people to draw blood from their thigh, forearm, upper arm or other areas notes WebMD. This is called alternate site testing. It can provide blood for testing with less pain. However, the blood sugar results may differ from blood for testing drawn from the finger. Fingertips show blood sugar changes more rapidly than other areas of the body, making the results more accurate, especially when blood sugar levels are changing due to medication, illness, exercise or other conditions.
Some individuals utilize a continuous glucose monitoring system for blood glucose testing, explains WebMD. These systems are integrated with insulin pumps and provide immediate results as well as blood sugar trends over time.
Target ranges for blood sugar levels vary according to the individual, states the American Diabetes Association. As a general guideline, blood sugar levels should be between 70 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before a meal. After a meal, blood sugar should be below 180 milligrams per deciliter.