Nowadays diabetes monitoring at home has become easy with portable diabetes monitoring device. If you have diabetes, you are likely to use a blood glucose meter that will help you to measure and display the amount of glucose in your blood. Many of our day to day activities like exercise, medications, diet, stress, vacation and other factors have some effect on you blood glucose level. A blood glucose meter helps one to manage your diabetes, as it tracks the fluctuations in your blood glucose level. But, you might wonder that what should one look for when buying a blood glucose meter. In this article we will help you find your most of the answers about diabetes monitoring at home.
There are many types of blood glucose monitors in the market varying from the basic models to more-advanced monitors with multiple features. And as the amount of features of the blood glucose monitors increase the cost increases as well. You need to study and judge your requirements of the blood glucose monitors before buying one.
WHAT DOES A BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR DO?
A glucometer/blood glucose monitor is a device used for medical purposes that helps in determining the approximate concentration of glucose in your blood. A small drop of your blood is obtained by pricking the skin and the blood is placed on a disposable test strip that strip helps the meter to read blood glucose level in your body.
WHY SHOULD YOU MONITOR THE BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVEL?
The results from this test help your doctor to –
- Adjust your daily medication and treatment
- Determine whether the glucose levels are dangerously high or low
- Judge how your diet plans and exercise routine affect your glucose levels
WHAT SHOULD YOUR GLUCOSE LEVELS BE?
The blood glucose levels for every adult who doesn’t have diabetes are below 100 mg/dL before meals and fasting and are less than 140 mg/dL two hours after meals.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE BUYING A BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR
Blood glucose monitor are typically affordable. The test strips are really inexpensive and depending on the features. The tests strips can become expensive if you check your blood glucose a lot of times in a single day.
Another way to save cost can be to consult your insurance provider for the coverage details. Some insurance providers limit theirs coverage policiesonly to specific models or they limit the total number of test strips allowed.
Before purchasing blood glucose monitor you need to consider how the data is stored by the meter and how it retrieves the information. You can keep a track of all your readings by normally maintaining a log book. You can record the details such as the time of test, date of a test, the result. Some blood glucose monitors allow you to download your blood glucose readings directly to your computer or your mobile device and then you can also email the test results to your doctor.The amount of storage in your blood glucose monitor depends on how often you check your blood glucose and how often you and your doctor plan to review your glucose level. For instance, if you check three times daily and your provider wants to see 30 days of results, you’ll need a meter that holds at least 90 glucose values.
- Ease of use and maintenance.
Some monitors are easier to use than others. A few questions you should ask yourself before choosing your blood glucose monitor should be
Are both the meter and test strips comfortable and easy to hold?
Can you easily see the numbers on the screen?
How easy is it to get blood onto the strips?
How long does it take for the reading to appear on the screen?
Accuracy of blood glucose monitors largely dependent on your requirement and can be best recommended by your doctor.
- Blood Sample Size
All blood glucose monitors require very small amounts of blood for testing, as tiny as the head of a pin. Many blood glucose monitors allow alternate site testing such as the palm of the hand or the forearm. But it may be more difficult to get an adequate blood sample from some other part of body other than the fingertip.
Note: It takes approximately 20 minutes for alternate sites to reflect changes in blood glucose level, so make decisions based on alternate site readings only when blood glucose levels are steady.
- Additional Features
Special features of a blood glucose monitor may include easy-to-handle large buttons and test strips, illuminated crystal clear screens, and audio availability for visually challenged people.
A few tips
- You should always wash and dry your hands before taking the test and strictly follow the instructions for operating your meter as per the manual.
- Store and handle the meter and strips as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You should store test strip vials closed.