A Glucose Meter is Essential in Blood Glucose Monitoring

A glucose meter is device that diabetes patients use to monitor their own blood glucose, this procedure is called self-monitoring of blood glucose. As a diabetic individual, you have two treatment methods by which you can use in monitoring your blood sugar.

One method, consist of using blood glucose monitoring devices such as meters and the other is regular blood glucose testing.

How does a blood glucose monitoring device work?

A user of a blood glucose meter, uses a small amount of blood which they placed on a disposable blood glucose test strip.

The strip is then placed in the meter where the sample is tested.

These blood glucose test strips are coated with special chemicals such as glucose oxidose, dehydrogenase or Hexokinase.

Whenever you carry out a test, these chemicals are combined with the glucose present in your blood sample. The glucose that is present in your blood is then measured by the blood glucose meter. Some meters or blood glucose monitors, measure the electricity levels that can pass through a blood sample.

While others measure the amount of light that can be reflected from a blood sample. The amount of glucose present in a blood sample is displayed on your blood glucose monitoring machine. The display or read out is usually in a number format. Some of the newer models are capable of recording and storing these numbered results for later comparison.

Some can even be connected to your PC for immediate download of your test results.

Tips on choosing your glucose meter

There are quite a number of blood glucose meters or continuous blood glucose monitoring devices - that are available commercially for diabetes care. Although they are used for the same purpose, they are different in several ways. Your choice of a blood glucose monitor will depend on a few factors. They are...

  • The amount of blood that will be required for testing.
  • The speed at which the meter completes your test.
  • The capability of the meter to store your test results.
  • The overall size of the meter.
  • The price tag on a particular meter.
  • The price of the blood glucose test strips that will be used with your meter.

Important features that you should know about your blood glucose monitor

Because there are so many glucose monitors to choose from, their overall features often differ. Therefore as a diabetes patient, you need to understand the features that apply to your particular brand of the meter that you using. The first thing that you must consider is the range of the glucose measurement that it gives.

Some units are capable of giving you blood glucose readings over a wide range. These readings that you can receive can be from 0 up to 600 mg/dl.

Because of the difference in continuous blood glucose monitors, the interpretation of the high values as well as the low ones have to be done very carefully.

If you experience very high or very low readings with your glucose monitor, be sure to do another reading and then do a comparison between the two. Also check the calibration of your meter to ensure its accuracy at all times.

Another feature that you need to know about your glucose monitoring device, is the difference between whole blood glucose compared to plasma glucose. Some meters give their results in one or the other. The level of blood glucose in plasma are usually higher than that found in whole blood.

This measurement is even higher after a meal. For this reason you and your physician need to know if your meter gives its results as whole blood equivalent or as plasma equivalent.

Cleaning of your blood glucose meter

Another feature that you need to know about your meter is the proper way of cleaning it.

Most of these devices require regular cleaning for them to continue to function and stay accurate. To properly clean your meter, you should use soap and water.

However when it comes to the sensitive parts of your blood glucose monitor, they should be cleaned with a damped but soft cloth. Certain cleaning agents should never be used in the cleaning of your meter. These include such cleaners as...

  • Alcohol (unless it is stipulated by the manufacturer).
  • Cleaners that have ammonia in them.
  • Cleaners that that are used for glass cleaning or that may proved to be abrasive for your glucose meter.

Unfortunately there are some meters that can only be clean by the manufacturers. Therefore when it comes to self monitoring of your blood sugar, make sure that you choose the right blood glucose meter.

Which glucose meter do you use as your blood glucose monitor?

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