Clean hands help diabetes
It sounds odd, doesn't it?
Yes, your parents always told you to wash up before dinner. But here's another reason to stay clean if you're a diabetic: The cleanliness of your hands may actually play a part in helping you manage your diabetes. Two studies report that washing hands before firing up that glucose monitor is going to get you the most accurate reading.
The dirt on bad readings
The studies, both published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that not washing your hands can significantly alter a glucose reading--by up to 10 percent, in fact. According to the research, if you can't wash your hands, be sure to wipe off the first drop of blood after pricking your finger. Then use the second drop to get an accurate reading.
Washing apples, dicing watermelon or peeling an orange? Again, better clean your hands. A second study on the topic found that some types of fruits, namely oranges, grapes and kiwis, can alter blood glucose readings, making them higher than they actually would be if you had clean hands. The reason is that fruit leaves behind a glucose residue on your fingers.
Another reason to lather up? The pricking device can get contaminated if you have dirt or residue on your fingers, which can also lead to inaccurate results or, ultimately, complete failure of the device. Experts recommend using alcohol swabs if you're not near a sink, but alcohol isn't necessary if you wash your hands. It's also important to dry them thoroughly, as extra water can affect results.
Sources: CNN, Diabetes.org