American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendation for glucose testing:
Type 1 Diabetes patients – three or more times per day
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes – twice a day
Type 2 Diabetes patients – not specified but testing often helps control
As of the now, there are so many variants of glucose meter kits to choose from. Remember that not all glucose meters work the same way, and monitoring practices depend on your age, type of diabetes, and overall health. You need proper instructions from a health practitioner on how to use a glucose meter, as well as how to interpret the results. The instructor should watch you test your glucose to make sure you can self-monitor correctly. If you are susceptible to ketoacidosis, there are available meters that can check for the presence of ketones. Some patients prefer to have several glucose meters to be used at home, in the office or while travelling. If you have eye disorders or retinopathy, you can benefit from audible blood glucose meters that give verbal instructions and results to their users.
How to choose the right blood glucose meter:
It is best to discuss your options to your general practitioner before buying your own glucose meter. The design interface may vary, but some meters are easier to use than others, and has advanced features that will suit your specific needs. If you need to regularly check your glucose on the go, look for more portable glucose meter kits – specifically those that don’t require a flat surface to place your meter down. Ask a diabetes healthcare team; do your own research and compare prices to make sure you are getting the glucose testing system that you need.
Here are some features you should consider in choosing a glucose meter:
• The monitor display is easy to read
• Size of the glucose meter kit
• How fast the results are given?
• Ability to check blood sugar from other body parts
• Blood sample size needed
• Cost of monitoring supplies and insurance coverage
• Is it powered by ‘no coding technology?
• Is it easy to use?
Are blood glucose meters accurate?
As of 2013, the accuracy guidelines for glucose monitoring systems have implemented tighter and stricter terms. Check if your blood glucose monitoring system is compliant to the 2013 ISO standards. Even if they do, it’s still important to test your meter regularly for accuracy.
You can check if your glucose meter is showing accurate results with the use of a control solution. It is a liquid with a specified amount of glucose. Instead of a drop of blood, put a drop of control solution on your strip. Check if the result matches the amount of glucose specified in the control solution. Perform accuracy checks at least once every month to make sure your glucose meter is working properly and to avoid false readings. Inaccurate results are detrimental to your health. If you no longer have a control solution or if it has expired, some glucose tester manufacturers will send you a vial free of charge.
Ambient temperature, pressure, dirt and other blood components may affect the accuracy of blood glucose meters. Treat your meter kits like any other electronic device. Change batteries as needed. Keep it in a cool and dry place. Clean it regularly and use appropriate strips for the type of meter that you have. If you are diligent about proper maintenance, your glucose meter kit will last a good couple of years.