Be on Top of Your Health – Reasons to Invest in a Blood Glucose Meter

Posted by Tim White

Self-testing is of great importance for people who fight with diabetes. Luckily, today you can easily check your blood sugar level using a blood glucose meter. This small electronic device is designed to provide results based on a small drop of blood. The reason why you should keep one in your home is that it will help you keep track of your condition and make your life a little bit easier. For example, you can understand how exercising and your diet affects your blood sugar levels, understand how other factors, such as stress or illness, affect your blood sugar level, you’ll notice the effect of the diabetes medications you are taking, and similar.

When to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels?

blood-glucose-meter

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. How often you should self-test depends on the type of diabetes you have along with the advice of your doctor.

Type 1 diabetes – If you are dealing with type 1 diabetes, you might be recommended to use your blood glucose meter about ten times per day. You may need to test your blood sugar level before snacks and meals, before and after exercising, before going to sleep or even during the night. In case you get sick, start using some new medications or have made any changes to your daily routine, you may need to check your blood sugar levels even more often.

Type 2 diabetes – If you use insulin to manage your diabetes, then probably you should test yourself a few times per day, usually depending on the amount of insulin you are taking. Generally, it is recommended to test yourself before bedtime and meals. Also, if you are using long-acting insulin, you may need to self-test just twice in a day, usually before breakfast and dinner. In case you are not using any medications or insulin, and instead, you are managing your diabetes with exercise and diet only, you may not even need to get tested on a daily basis.

Before you start using your blood sugar glucometer, you will be set with targeted blood sugar test results by your doctor. Those results are based on few important factors including the type of diabetes you have, your age, how long you have been having diabetes, pregnancy status (for females), the presence of diabetes complications or other medical conditions and your overall health condition.

How to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels?

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There are various types and models of blood sugar monitors on the market today so if it is your first time buying, you may want to ask your doctor or diabetes educator to recommend the most appropriate one for you. The process of self-testing is simple and once you learn it, it will become a routine. If you are performing a self-check for the first time, here is a detailed description of the process.

First, you need to wash your hands and dry them. Insert the test strip into the meter. Take the needle (lancet) from your test kit and carefully puncture the side of your fingertip. Gently massage or squeeze until a drop of blood comes out of it. Then, touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the blood. After a few seconds, your diabetes blood sugar monitor will display the glucose level in your blood. Many glucose meters allow you to record the results, date, time, medication and dose, and exercise and diet information so you can show them to your doctor on your next appointment.

How to Check the Accuracy of Blood Glucose Meter?

blood glucose meter

The accuracy of the blood sugar glucose meter can be affected by a few different factors. The first one is the meter’s calibration, coding and quality. For optimal results, make sure you buy a high-quality blood glucose monitor. Check the latest versions and updates on the market to make the best decision. Also, when you need to set up the meter for the first time, it is important to follow the instructions and set it upright. Another thing that impacts accuracy is the quality and compatibility of the test strips. Using incompatible strips may cause error readings, so make sure you use the same brand strips as the monitoring machine.

The cleanliness of your hands is another important factor that affects the accuracy of the device. Dirt, grease, food or other kinds of residue at or around your testing side can skew the readings. The temperature and the environment where you are making the test can also affect the outcome. So, avoid leaving your test equipment in extremely cold or hot conditions. Some drugs, like dopamine, mannitol, vitamin C, can also affect the accuracy of some glucose monitoring machines. If you suffer from anemia or dehydration, your result may also not be very accurate.

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