Fruit Residue on Hands and Blood sugars

Update from

Fruit and Test Strips Don’t Mix

After handling fruits and using an alcohol swab to clean the finger before testing, you can still get falsely elevated blood sugars on your monitor.

Researchers in Tokyo have found that invisible bits of fruit on your hands, embedded within fingerprint grooves, can make blood sugar levels look higher than they are. That’s because sugars from fruit will stay on your fingers until you wash them with tap water, a new study shows. Even alcohol swabs don’t solve the problem. The researchers found that peeling fruit (such as oranges, grapes and kiwi) right before using a blood sugar meter, or eating fruit with your hands, could lead to an inaccurate reading even if you rub your finger with alcohol first.

The study showed that when fruit peeling was followed by hand washing, blood sugar readings were the same as before volunteers had peeled any fruit. But when volunteers peeled fruit and took a blood sugar reading right away, the levels shown by the blood sugar meter shot up by an average of 80 mg/dl after peeling an orange, 90 mg/dl after peeling a kiwi, and 270 mg/dl after peeling a grape. If the peelers swabbed their finger with alcohol in between peeling and finger pricking, the readings were still higher than normal. Even swabbing five times didn’t produce correct results.

The take-home message: if you’ve been handling fruit, wash your hands before checking your blood sugar, or you could be in for an unpleasant (and inaccurate) surprise.

Note: A nurse informed me that you should also allow sight to thoroughly dry after using alcohol. Pricking damp area  causes false blood sugar readings.

I put theory to test and it’s true. Using hand wipes and then alcohol, compared to  tap water and alcohol the blood-sugar test results where close in range, give or take 3 points. Using hand wipes or alcohol swabs on finger after eating fruit caused fault  blood sugar readings.

This entry was posted on March 18, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.