Advances in monitoring tools

Although finger pricks remain the gold standard for blood sugar monitoring, researchers are developing products designed to take the "ouch" out of the process. Ask your doctor about these alternatives.

Device How it works Considerations
Alternative site monitor Allows blood samples from areas likely to be less painful than your finger, such as your arm, the base of your thumb or your thigh Not as accurate as fingertip samples when blood sugar level is rising or falling quickly
Continuous glucose testing Uses a sensor placed under the skin to measure blood sugar level; transmits each reading to a small recording device worn on your body; sounds an alarm if blood sugar level becomes too low or too high Expensive; requires sensor to be replaced every three to seven days, depending on the brand; must check blood sugar level with a traditional monitor to confirm readings and to program the device

If you've looked at the costs, features and other considerations and are still unsure which blood glucose meter to buy, ask your doctor or diabetes educator for a recommendation.

Dec. 04, 2014 See more In-depth