What is Glucose Meter?
A glucose meter is the main component for diabetes self- testing which measures the amount of glucose in your blood. There are many variations of meters on the market, and most are very easy to use. They will provide accurate results within 5-10 seconds. Some glucose meters require coding while others are no code meters. You can choose to talk to your health care provider or make a personal decision about your choice of glucose meter, it may come down to personal preference.
Are Blood Glucose Meters Accurate?
The new accuracy standards are set by the FDA in the United States and state that,” glucose meters should be within 15% accuracy of each lab blood test 95% of the time and 20% of each lab blood test 99% of the time.” You should bring your glucose meter to your physician visit every 3 months to compare your results with the lab results. The FDA also requires the newer meters to be more accurate. Home meter accuracy can vary, based upon strip quality and freshness, how you perform the test, if you touch a substance such as vitamin C, soap, hand or body lotion or sugary foods, your present hematocrit level, and the temperature, altitude and humidity in your region. Strip accuracy is critical. Keep the strips in the original container until they are needed. Checking your test strips with control solution should be done when opening a new vial of strips. A drop of testing solution is put on the strip after it is placed into the meter. There will be a range of numbers provided on the side of the bottle of strips; the result on the inserted strip should be within the range on the bottle. This test will help provide more reassurance that your strips are good, and the results are accurate. Always compare with the testing solution to your actual number if you have a questionable or unreasonable result. Bring your glucose meter to your doctor’s appointment to compare blood glucose results as well.
Benefits of Testing Your Glucose Levels
Testing your blood glucose levels can give you more information about how food choices, exercise, stress levels, infections and effects of your daily medications. It can alert you to see if you are experiencing dangerous highs or lows. Your physician can help you set your personal goals based on your age, overall health conditions and A1C values. Use a log book or spreadsheet to share blood sugar numbers with your health care provider for best medical care. You can have a huge impact on your own blood sugar control.
A Few Common Brands of Blood Glucose Meters
Nova Max Plus is a blood glucose meter that can test for glucose and uses a different strip to test for blood ketones. The Nova Max Plus screen is easy to read with a large screen. The blood sample required for either glucose or ketone reading is small. The advantage of the blood ketone testing aspect may help prevent a possible DKA.
Freestyle Lite is a small meter which requires only 0.3 microliters of blood. Another good feature of the Freestyle Lite it features a backlit screen display and port light near the strip entry which allows for easy testing in any kind of light conditions. You can obtain a droplet of blood from either end of the tip of the strip allowing for more ease for a blood sample. The strips are “Zipwik”, which suck in the blood like a wick and provides results in 5 quick seconds.
True Metrix is a simple meter to use, requires no coding and requires a tiny blood sample of 0.5 microliters. It can record 7,14 and 30-day averages. It stores up to 500 results and allows for alternative site testing. Readings can be downloaded to a smart device. Accuracy is considered high.