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Alternative Site Testing (AST)

Some blood glucose meters allow you to use blood samples from other parts of the body, such as the palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh or calf. Testing from alternate sites is not always ideal. Blood from your fingertip shows changes in blood sugar quickly, but blood from alternate sites may not, and you may not get the most accurate result.1 Always consult with your healthcare professional before using sites other than your fingertip for blood sugar testing.


Alternate site testing, or AST, may be recommended when blood sugar is stable, such as immediately before a meal or before bedtime. AST is not recommended when blood sugar is changing quickly, such as immediately after a meal or after physical activity.


Never ignore symptoms of low or high blood sugar. If your blood sugar test result does not match the way you feel, perform a fingertip test to confirm the result

1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2008 [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2007;31:S12–S54. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/31/Supplement_1/S12.full (accessed January 24, 2008).

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