If you’ve got diabetes, you will probably need a blood glucose meter to measure for knowing the number of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Factors like exercise, food, medications, stress and have an effect on your blood sugar level. Employing a blood sugar meter will assist you not only managing your blood glucose level as well as keeping a track of your records so that your diet & activities can also be well managed leading you to better health.
Many types of blood sugar meters are now in market, from basic models to more-advanced meters with multiple options and choices. However, the value of blood sugar meters and check strips varies, Before buying a blood glucose meter you must know its basics because your money worth buying one.
When choosing a blood glucose meter, this article will help you to know the basics of how they work.
How to use a Blood Glucose Meter:
To use most blood glucose meters and getting precise reading of level of sugar in your blood:
- First insert a test strip into the glucose checking device.
- Then you prick a clean fingertip (make sure to wash your hand) with a special needle called ‘lancet’ to get one drop of your blood.
- Touch the test strip with the blood on top of your finger carefully.
- Wait for a few seconds so that a reading comes on screen of your glucose checking device.
This reading would be an exact reading of level of sugar in your blood and you can align your daily activities and meals accordingly.
Glucose meters gives accurate results when they are used and stored properly. However, they vary in their type & number of features they offer. below are a few mandatory factors to consider before buying a blood glucose meter
1. Insurance Coverage
Before buying, check with your insurance provider for if they allow coverage details. Coverage of specific models as well as the total number of test strips are limited by insurance providers.
Different brands have different models with different features and everyone has different price. Make sure to add up amount of test strips in your overall budget as they come outside the package.
3. Ease of Use & Maintenance
A best meter to use will be one that can easily be handles along with its test strips as well as its calculation time & result appearing on screen will be clearly visible and 100% accurate. How much big a drop of blood would be required. All these factors must be kept in mind before selecting one. Here is list of some blood glucose meter devices with there pros and cons to know before buying any.
4. Special Features
Some devices give additional features like easy-to-handle device with soft buttons and test strips, Some come with big illuminated screens and give results in audio format too. This may be useful for blind people. You must know about the features to see what meets your specific needs.
5. Information Storage & Retrieval
A good device must be capable of storing sugar level along with time and date of particular test. They also show trends of your sugar level in specific interval of time (week, 15 days or a month). Some meters have a USB port and provide downloading of your blood glucose readings to a computer. So you can email to your family doctor for review.
Many devices now have a toll free number as well online support available 24/7. Yet some don’t have these services. You must see these features before buying any one of them.
7. Advances in Monitoring Tools
Apart from traditional method of pricking a finger an testing blood sample to know your blood glucose level remains the most accurate method. Scientist, however are trying to develop alternative measuring methods & products to take the “ouch” out of the process.
7.1 Alternative Site Monitor
How it works
Alternative site monitor uses an innovative method and allows blood samples to taken out from areas that are likely to be less painful than your finger (arms, palm of your hand or your thigh).
The samples taken from this technique are not as accurate as fingertip samples especially when your blood sugar level is rising or falling quickly.
7.2 Continuous Glucose Testing
This method uses a sensor that is placed under the skin in order to measure blood sugar level. It transmits each reading to a small recording device that is worn on your body. It sounds an alarm to let its user know if blood sugar level falls or rises.
It is expensive. The sensor it requires for reading shall be replaced after every 3 to 7 days. However one must check also from traditional checking device to know if the sensor is displaying accurate result.