What are lancets used for in diabetes?
Diabetes – a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The constant monitoring, medication, and care required can seem overwhelming at times. But fear not! There is an ally in this battle against diabetes – the lancet! This tiny device plays a huge role in managing blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what lancets are used for and how they work.
A Brief Introduction to Diabetes
Before diving into the world of lancets, let’s first understand what diabetes is (in case you’re living under a rock). Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot use it effectively. Insulin is crucial as it helps glucose (sugar) enter your cells and provide energy.
There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2:
Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes often develops during childhood but can occur at any age. It occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys beta cells within the pancreas which make insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life due to poor lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise, unhealthy diet etc., resulting in insulin resistance which means your body makes insulin but isn’t using it efficiently.
What Are Lancets?
A lancet looks like a small needle or pin referred to as “prickers” by some diabetics (don’t get excited!) who do not appreciate its’ importance (yet). It’s used to puncture the skin on one’s finger (typically) so that you can draw outa tiiiny little dropof blood needed for testing.
Lancets come with different depths and boyyyyy, do those finger-prickers know all about lancing depth preferences because nobody wants unnecessary pain (or do they?!). The depth you need to set on your lancet depends on the thickness of the skin on different areas of your body – ain’t nobody got time for bruises!
We now know what lancets are, but why do diabetics need them? Well, tests like blood glucose monitoring help track how well one’s medication and diabetes management plan is working.
Blood sugar level testing can be done in two ways – using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or traditional finger-stick method called self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). SMBG requires a small sample from fingertips which is obtained with magic wands( aka lancets).
Self-Monitoring Of Blood Glucose
Self-Monitoring Of Blood Glucose or SMBG is an essential part of diabetes care. It helps gauge whether levels are within range (now that’s helpful) – often multiple times per day when managing diabetes. Hence our good friends at Bayer created Contour Next One lancing device making things easier for diabetic folks by giving them features such as multi-level depth settings along with their compatible test strips made specifically for faster and more accurate results just so users never miss another beat!
But hold up! Is pricking fingers really necessary? Can’t we measure it through other bodily fluids?( asking for myself: awkward silence)…uhh Sorry! Moving forward.
Other Devices Used Alongside Lancing Device
Apart from the lancet, there are various devices designed to make testing less painful both mentally and physically:
Diabetic Test Strips:
Diabetic test strips work alongside meters that detect glucose concentration in the drop of blood from its chemical reaction with “glucometer reactive chemicals”(yes, it sounds like something God might say!). They come pre-calibrated hence best suited considering individual needs(Don’t forget to check the expiry date).
The lancet device that holds the lancet and positions it against your skin helps to make withdrawing blood ( aka pricking/finger-stick/SMBG) much easier.
Insulin pens are a user-friendly way of administering insulin, which is an essential hormone for people with type 1 diabetes. A pen consists of a pre-filled cartridge holding insulin doses.
The Ideal Way To Use Lansets
Using a lancet may sound simple – prick finger, extract blood (easy-peasy) but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to ideal use:
– Clean hands should be used before testing.
– Most diabetics prefer using warm water because colder temperatures can impact bloodflow ewwww!
– Rotate fingers on both ends (Err…are you supposed to do this one-handed or two?)
during the day so as not to cause built up scar tissues leading to callouses thus preventing future finger-pricks.
Does Using Lancets Hurt?
Pain is subjective hence response varies among users. While everyone has different pain tolerances, some tips may help reduce discomfort during lancing:
– Warmer water (ya’ll remember)( increase circulation).
– Switching sites frequently (prevent overuse)
– Handling equipment carefully since drop distance affects tissue trauma levels.
Devices like Accu-Chek Fastclix offer “cassette” systems giving multiple disposable clips in one handy item while switching them after reaches their max limit altogether reducing unnecessary exposure(lawnmower for stitches anyone? Yikes!).
Lancets are small devices that enable diabetic patients who need glucose level monitoring throughout their daily lives. With access to contemporary medical technology – such as Bayer’s Contour Next One lancing device users now have increased flexibility thanks largely due means creating less intrusive tests greatly minimizes external bacterial infection risk by removing testing from other areas on one’s body. Ain’t that some drool-worthy feature!
Lancing devices have been around for quite some time and aided in the treatment of people with diabetes ever since, but with improving technology, they’ve now become more user-friendly (like electric can-openers!), which means it’s essential to keep updated about new developments(too much on Netflix is bad). Well . . . what are you waiting for? Go & get yourself acquainted with modern lancet performers ans try a little pricking(eeek!) action today!