Say sayonara to fingertip sabotage: researchers at lancing-instrument manufacturer Genteel have discovered four new sites to test your blood sugar besides your poor bleeding fingers.

It’s a common scientific belief that the blood in our fingertips detects changes in our blood glucose levels faster than any other testing site. Alternative sites, such as the forearm or shoulder, can lag behind by more than 25 minutes. This slower response time can be dangerous if we are reaching hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic levels.

But, the fingertips also have a great amount of pain nerves, which makes it burdensome to poke and prod several times a day. Not to mention the fingertip lancing process can result in bruising, callousing, and reduced tactile sensation, and the continual blood drawing makes our fingers look like they have tiny chicken pox.

Where are these four alternative testing sites?

They are still located on the hand, making testing more convenient in public settings than, say, the stomach.

The first two sites are located on the fleshy muscle underneath your thumb where your thumb and the center of your wrist connect, called the thenar area. The last two places are on the cushy muscle connecting your pinky and your wrist on both hands, which is called the hypothenar area.

Based on the study performed by Genteel researchers, the blood glucose levels on the thenar and hypothenar areas on both hands matched the levels taken from the fingertips. Genteel says these areas might even be better because they have less pain-nerve density.

However, blood does not easily rise to the surface in the thenar and hypothenar areas, therefore Genteel suggests using their recently introduced revolutionary “gentle lancing instrument,” a tool that uses specific technology to draw the necessary blood. Genteel claims its instrument also helps decrease the amount of pain you feel while poking.

Diabetes in Control offers a positive outlook on this finding: “With this technology, comfortable and extremely accurate blood draw is readily available, allowing fingertips to heal and regain sensation.”

If you are interested in switching testing sites, make sure to talk to your diabetes healthcare professional to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for you.

To learn more about blood glucose testing:

New CGM Hybrid Promises No More Finger Pricks
Understanding Your Blood Glucose Readings
Blood Glucose Testing: "A Moment in Time"

Photo Source: Diabetes in Control