Which Blood Glucose Test is Right for You?

glucose meterDiabetes is an illness that affects many people and one that has different management options for nearly everybody with the disease. Whether you have type one or type two diabetes, you will need to monitor the blood glucose levels in your body on a regular basis—though your doctor will advise you on how often that is. Considering how frequently diabetics must check their blood glucose levels, it’s easy to see why there are individual preferences for home blood glucose testing kits; each person has different needs and wants in a glucose meter, as well as in the accessories that come with the meter.

Some meters feature larger displays or speaker functions that make them more convenient for those with vision impairment, while others require smaller samples to measure blood glucose levels—and some have the best reputation for accuracy. The pros and cons of diabetic testing supplies should be weighed carefully before you change brands, and it may also be a good idea to get your doctor’s opinion; he or she may have information you haven’t considered.

One of the most highly rated meters on the market is the Bayer Contour, which has a memory that will hold 480 tests. The test takes 5 seconds to run, which is fairly standard. The key features of the Bayer Contour include the ability to test using alternate sites, which minimizes pain, the lack of a coding requirement, which makes it easier to use, and automatic powering off. If you decide to purchase the Bayer Contour, you will also need contour test strips in order to keep testing; contour strips typically come in packs of 100, which allows for most diabetics to get through at least about a month of testing. While it’s highly rated, the reviews on the meter are mixed, with the general consensus among diabetics being a rating of approximately 3 out of 5.

The Freestyle Lite by Abbot has some similar benefits to the Contour; it allows patients to test using alternate sites, does not require coding, and powers off automatically. The Freestyle Lite also has an illuminated strip port and meter backlight that allow it to be used in dark rooms, which are an advantage. One of the downsides to this meter is the memory—with a 400 test memory; the Freestyle Lite comes in at 20 fewer tests in its memory than the average of its competition. Like most blood glucose meters, it takes 5 seconds to report the glucose level. One of the benefits of this meter is that its greater popularity makes it easier to get freestyle lite testing strips as well as freestyle lancets—all available through a number of channels.

Some other considerations to keep in mind when looking for a blood glucose meter include issues like price. Many insurance companies will only pay for certain brands or up to a certain amount of blood glucose meters, which may limit the options for you—and it is a good idea to find that out beforehand, and narrow the field to those your insurance will cover. Another consideration is the sample size that a meter needs; if you have a developed aversion to pricking yourself to gather a sample, it would be a good idea—if possible—to find a meter that requires a smaller sample size. Diabetic supply companies often have multiple reviews available for the products they offer, which can provide insight into how easy any given meter is to use, as well as the value of the system. As always, it is a good idea to discuss any changes in your routine with your physician.

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