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Self Testing

Self Testing

What Is Self-Testing?

Self testing with home-diagnostic devices allows you to take an active role in your own, as well as your family’s health.  Privacy, the ability to monitor or detect a condition, and improved technology make self testing popular as well as accurate.  Home diagnostic devices have come a long way from the humble thermometer.  The ultimate house call, self testing keeps you better informed about your health and enables you to spot changes in your health status - all in the comfort, and privacy, of your own home. 

Self testing with home-diagnostic devices allows you to take an active role in your own, as well as your family’s health.  Privacy, the ability to monitor or detect a condition, and improved technology make self testing popular as well as accurate.  Home diagnostic devices have come a long way from the humble thermometer.  The ultimate house call, self testing keeps you better informed about your health and enables you to spot changes in your health status - all in the comfort, and privacy, of your own home. The most common self testing devices includes blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, and blood pressure monitors.

Blood Sugar Monitors

More than 2 million Canadians have diabetes, and for them, monitoring their blood sugar, or glucose levels, is important.  Blood glucose monitors are sophisticated, accurate, and let people with diabetes tailor their diet, activities, medication, and insulin use.  A variety of blood glucose monitors are available - some have to be cleaned; some have large number displays; some take mere seconds to read the blood sample; and some are compact; discrete, and easy to carry in a briefcase, backpack, or purse.  Studies show that people who monitor their blood glucose levels have fewer complications such as kidney problems and diminished eye sight.

Blood Pressure Monitors

Five million Canadians have high blood pressure or hypertension - and many more either have it, and don’t know it, or are at risk for developing it.  For people with hypertension, home blood pressure monitoring is an option.  These devices allow you to evaluate new drug treatment, motivate and involve you in your treatment, and help avoid “white coat hypertension”- a blood pressure rise in the doctor’s office.  Sometimes you just need closer monitoring, and home blood pressure monitors are more convenient than a trip to the doctor’s office.

Blood Sugar Monitors

More than 2 million Canadians have diabetes, and for them, monitoring their blood sugar, or glucose levels, is important.  Blood glucose monitors are sophisticated, accurate, and let people with diabetes tailor their diet, activities, medication, and insulin use.  A variety of blood glucose monitors are available - some have to be cleaned; some have large number displays; some take mere seconds to read the blood sample; and some are compact; discrete, and easy to carry in a briefcase, backpack, or purse.  Studies show that people who monitor their blood glucose levels have fewer complications such as kidney problems and diminished eye sight.

Follow these simple guides when performing any self test:

  • Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you can perform all the steps before you begin any self test as your manual dexterity or eye sight can be important. 
  • Follow all the required steps correctly, and if timing is important, use a watch or clock with a second hand to count the seconds. 
  • Know what you are looking for - a colour change, a specific number, or even a range of numbers. 
  • Keep track of your self testing results and remember to share them with your pharmacist, physician, and nurse. 
  • Understand the recommended course of action with various self testing results, for example, making a doctor’s appointment or going to the hospital. 
  • Many self tests have toll-free telephone numbers for trouble shooting and for after hours inquiries - make sure you have these numbers handy. 
  • Check for expiry dates on all self tests and don’t use them after the expiry date.