What is capillary blood glucose?

Updated July 19, 2017

Glucose can be measured in whole blood, serum or plasma. Diabetics need to monitor their blood glucose (blood sugar), and capillary testing is a method for tracking glucose levels.


Capillary blood glucose is taking a blood sample from the finger using a special needle and placing the blood drop on a testing device called the glucose meter (glucometer).


Most diabetics test their blood at home using a lancet (or self-pricking needle), testing strips and the glucometer.


Wipe the area clean with an alcohol swab. Place the lancet against the finger and press the button. Place a drop of blood on the testing strip. Place the strip in the glucometer. The meter displays the results on a digital display.


You can help manage your diabetes when you know your blood sugar levels. Testing also provides your doctor with important information regarding the control of your blood sugar.


Normal blood sugar levels before meals is 70-130 mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre). After meals, the levels should be less than 180 mg/dL.


Low levels may indicate hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), while high levels may indicate hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar).

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jennifer Sobek has been a writer since 1993, working on collegiate and professional newspapers. Her writing has appeared in the "Copperas Cove Leader Press," "Fort Lewis Ranger," "Suburban Trends" and "The Shopper News," among others. Sobek has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rowan University.