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Diabetes Information

Glucose Meter

Advances in technology have now presented a better version of the glucometer, a handy piece of equipment to measure blood glucose levels in less than a couple of minutes, with no mess and very little pain, making an immediate diagnosis of blood sugar levels. Lancets of varying sizes are now being used according to the thickness of the skin. A laser beam is also being utilized to cut of a very small portion of the skin of the finger. The skin found on the arm and thigh is less sensitive to pain and these areas are now being targeted as a common area for blood extraction.

To monitor blood glucose levels, a wristwatch style meter can be used. It can detect blood sugar through the skin and give a periodic report on the blood glucose levels. If it falls or rises to dangerous levels, it gives out an alarm. These meters have the capability to save previous results that can be transferred to a computer and sent through email to the physician concerned. Since most people who have to monitor their blood glucose levels are mostly senior citizens, you can see the trend and gadgets these glucose meters have in order to cater to their needs like the glucose meters designed to help poor vision. Modern meters are calibrated to the nearest hundredth. They are often accurate but because of patient error, it can have its mistakes. Random checking of blood sugar needs to be done through a manual test in the doctor's office to compare results and ensure that the blood sugar levels tested are also accurate. Inaccurate readings have been seen through patient error and poor maintenance. Dirty meters, inadequate blood, outdated strips, miscalculation of the meter for the test strips, dirt or other substances, alcohol, or a meter that is not at room temperature can give false readings.

These pocket sized modern glucose meters all have a digital readout on a small screen. Always remember to follow directions carefully. The basis for glucose testing is a color change that is due to the chemical reaction of the reagent on the strip with the glucose in the blood. The device then measures visually the intensity of the color of the reagent strip as it is inserted into the glucometer. The color intensity is correlated to the amount of glucose present. Some newer models uses electrode sensor technology to measure blood sugar levels. Blood is drawn into the reaction chamber via capillary action and different blood glucose levels are produced. Since no blood touches the internal mechanism, it is not necessary to clean your glucometer frequently.

Several tests were conducted and it has been seen that the tests with new gadgets fall within 10% standard deviation from manual tests. A difference of more than ten percent means that the procedure should first be tested because it may have been exposed to the heat, humidity, or cold. There are several brands that produce glucometers. They are all capable of reading blood sugar levels, and entering it on the computer. There are some glucose meters that are hard to use and there are some that are not. On whatever glucometer you choose, you can be sure that its primary feature is to accurately measure blood sugar levels.

Glucose Meter Manufacturers:

  • Abbott Laboratories - FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle Flash, Freestyle Freedom, Freestyle Freedom Lite, Precision Xtra
  • Bayer HealthCare - A1CNow Selfcheck System, BREEZE 2, Contour, ContourUSB, Contour TS, DIDGET
  • LifeScan Inc - OneTouch UltraMini Meter, OneTouch Ultra 2, OneTouch UltraSmart, OneTouch UltraLink
  • Roche Diagnostics - Accu Chek Aviva, Accu-Chek Compact Plus, Accu Chek Go
  • Nipro (Home) Diagnostics - TRUE2go, TRUEresult, TRUEtrack, TRUEbalance, TRUEread, Sidekick
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