diabetestalk.net

Up And Up Glucose Meter

How To Select A Blood Glucose Meter

How To Select A Blood Glucose Meter

by Myriam Z. Allende-Vigo, MD, MBA, FACP, FACE Congratulations! You have decided to monitor your blood glucose (“sugar”) and so take control of your diabetes. You have heard about the benefits of controlling your blood sugar levels. You know that you are going to feel better and delay or even stop complications that may arise from having high blood sugar. Now you need supplies to monitor your blood sugar levels. Where do you start? How do you select a blood sugar meter? This is not a one-size-fits-all issue. Blood sugar meters each have different features. But they all have something very important and crucial in common; they measure the blood sugar fairly accurately, especially between 100-240 mg/dL. The measurement that you get by any meter needs to be consistent with actual blood sugars, otherwise the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not approve the meter. Blood sugar meters are capable of measuring the blood sugar by a reaction between blood and chemicals in the testing strip. Because the chemicals can vary between meter types, specific blood sugar monitors will be required if you have certain conditions, such as being on dialysis through a catheter in your abdomen. This should always be discussed with your diabetes specialist. Some blood sugar meters require calibration to check that the meter is reading correctly. If the reading of a drop of a “control” solution gives a value within the manufacturers’ expected values, the meter is working well. Certain meters will also need coding calibration, while others do this coding calibration automatically. If the meter requires coding calibration with test strips, the test strip container will come with a number on the strip box or a chip that will show a number, and a code. It is critical that the code on Continue reading >>

Best Blood Glucose Meters

Best Blood Glucose Meters

If you use a blood glucose meters from one of the big four meter companies to check your level four times a day, you will probably pay anywhere from $1,700 to $2,300 each year. But if instead you test with a meter and strips from one of the "big box" stores, you would be out of pocket only about $600 to $800. This is a useful bit of information from the latest Consumer Reports review of the "Best Blood Glucose Meters." The magazine rates 21 meters in a brief article of one chart and five paragraphs in less than a page in its November 2012 issue. The big box stores that sell some of the least expensive meters and test strips are Wal-Mart and Target. Wal-Mart has offered its ReliOn brand for years, but Target now offers its Up & Up brand. Still, the wide price gap may be misleading. Each of the big four – LifeScan, Roche, Bayer, and Abbott – offer programs that can provide some of us test strips for considerably less. Most people with diabetes will find the report, however brief, useful. It’s already on newsstands and, better yet, on the shelves of most libraries. What Consumer Reports says is important. Published by the nonprofit Consumers Union and containing no ads, this is one of our largest circulation magazines. Two years ago it had a circulation of 7.3 million copies, according to a review of the magazine in The Wall Street Journal. The magazine regularly reviews these meters, the most important tool that we have for managing our blood sugar. Four years ago I wrote here about its review of 13 meters from eight different manufacturers. Other magazines also review our meters, notably Diabetes Forecast. Their review this past January provides some useful information, but it makes a point of noting that, "Diabetes Forecast doesn’t test or recommend products." M Continue reading >>

Glucose Meters: What You Should Know

Glucose Meters: What You Should Know

Blood glucose meters designed for use by healthcare professionals have been available since the 1970s, and devices suitable for self-monitoring first became available in the UK in 1980.1 Since then, they have improved in speed, accuracy and reliability, and reduced in size — most are now smaller than many mobile telephones, allowing for discreet testing. Supporting patients with diabetes can include giving advice on these machines. Key points Advances in blood glucose monitoring technology include automatic coding, all in one systems, talking meters, large reading memories, IT compatability, and analysis of patterns. Helping people to choose a blood glucose monitor that best suits their needs may result in better blood glucose control. Who should use them? For people with type 1 diabetes, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advises that self-monitoring of blood glucose should be part of an integrated package that includes appropriate insulin regimens and education to support choice and achievement of optimal diabetes outcomes.2 There continues to be debate, however, over the benefits of glucose testing for those with type 2 diabetes. “There is evidence both for and against home blood glucose monitoring and the advantages and disadvantages will need to be discussed with each individual,” Beverley Bostock-Cox, clinical lead for cardiovascular health at the charity Education for Health, told The Journal. NICE says that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should only be offered self-monitoring of blood glucose as part of their self-management education.3 It recommends that healthcare professionals should discuss with patients the purpose of the monitoring and agree how results should be interpreted and acted on. Self-monitoring of plasma Continue reading >>

Accuracy Of Handheld Blood Glucose Meters At High Altitude

Accuracy Of Handheld Blood Glucose Meters At High Altitude

Abstract Due to increasing numbers of people with diabetes taking part in extreme sports (e.g., high-altitude trekking), reliable handheld blood glucose meters (BGMs) are necessary. Accurate blood glucose measurement under extreme conditions is paramount for safe recreation at altitude. Prior studies reported bias in blood glucose measurements using different BGMs at high altitude. We hypothesized that glucose-oxidase based BGMs are more influenced by the lower atmospheric oxygen pressure at altitude than glucose dehydrogenase based BGMs. Methodology/Principal Findings Glucose measurements at simulated altitude of nine BGMs (six glucose dehydrogenase and three glucose oxidase BGMs) were compared to glucose measurement on a similar BGM at sea level and to a laboratory glucose reference method. Venous blood samples of four different glucose levels were used. Moreover, two glucose oxidase and two glucose dehydrogenase based BGMs were evaluated at different altitudes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Accuracy criteria were set at a bias <15% from reference glucose (when >6.5 mmol/L) and <1 mmol/L from reference glucose (when <6.5 mmol/L). No significant difference was observed between measurements at simulated altitude and sea level for either glucose oxidase based BGMs or glucose dehydrogenase based BGMs as a group phenomenon. Two GDH based BGMs did not meet set performance criteria. Most BGMs are generally overestimating true glucose concentration at high altitude. At simulated high altitude all tested BGMs, including glucose oxidase based BGMs, did not show influence of low atmospheric oxygen pressure. All BGMs, except for two GDH based BGMs, performed within predefined criteria. At true high altitude one GDH based BGM had best precision and accuracy. Continue reading >>

Glucose Meter Accuracy: Fda's New Dual Call For Tighter Standards

Glucose Meter Accuracy: Fda's New Dual Call For Tighter Standards

Our patient community has been up in arms for quite some time about glucose meter accuracy, or rather lack thereof. Fortunately, the patient-initiated StripSafely campaign seems to have struck a chord, and the FDA has recently -- at long last -- issued new "draft guidance" on accuracy standards. What surprised a lot of people, though, is how FDA chose to split their recommendations into two categories: one set of requirements for meters purchased over-the-c ounter and used by patients in everyday life, and another for meters used in clinical settings by healthcare professionals. And guess which is required to be more accurate? You guessed it: +/-15% for home-use meters and a tighter +/-10% for clinical meters. On top of that, the new guidance is only aimed at NEW products getting ready to undergo FDA evaluation for the first time; it doesn't address the accuracy of meters already on the market -- which disappointed many of us calling for better "post-market surveillance" of meters that may be doing a crap job after some years of use. Also, the new guidance is "non-binding" for manufacturers, so not mandatory. Huh? Last week, the FDA hosted a teleconference led by Courtney Lias, Director of CDRH/Division of Chemistry and Toxicology, to address these concerns with patient advocates, physicians and interested members of the media. The main point Lias seemed to want to convey is that the FDA is trying to be practical here, by issuing what they believe to be reasonable and achievable guidelines. "The technology isn't currently sufficient for manufacturers to meet +/-10% accuracy at the huge volume of lay use, but for the smaller volume of tests done in clinical settings, they can... In an ideal world, everyone would have a meter that's within 5-10% of the accuracy reference, Continue reading >>

Mit's New Glucose Meter Checks Blood Sugar Levels With Painless Infrared Light

Mit's New Glucose Meter Checks Blood Sugar Levels With Painless Infrared Light

Medical device makers have been trying to come up with a better way for diabetics to measure their blood glucose levels for decades, but while a handful of promising methods have enjoyed measured success, the finger-pricking, blood-drawing glucose meter is still the most common tool for everyday use. But a new development in an old research pursuit at MIT may finally provide diabetics with a painless means of checking their sugar, by simply shining a light on their skin. Researchers at MIT's Spectroscopy Lab have been working for more than a decade on a method of using Raman spectroscopy to measure glucose levels. That approach involves shining near-infrared light on the patient's arm or finger and using the ensuing vibrations put off by the chemical bonds in various molecules in the skin to measure the amount of glucose present. Play Video Play Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Remaining Time -0:00 This is a modal window. Foreground --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Opaque Background --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done The method works well, but the IR light can only penetrate about half a millimeter below the skin. That means glucose readings are actually measuring the amount of sugar in the interstitial fluid surrounding skin cells rather than the bloodstream. To overcome this problem, the team developed an algorithm that relates the two different gl Continue reading >>

Top 10 Best Glucose Meters From Consumer Reports 2015

Top 10 Best Glucose Meters From Consumer Reports 2015

World-wide annual sales of glucose meters and test-strip supplies tally up to well over 10 billion dollars each year, but with over 50 styles and brands to choose from, it can be hard to determine which meter is not only the best for your needs but also best in terms of accuracy, price, and ease of use. Thanks to Stacey Divone from The Girl with the Portable Pancreas, we got the inside scoop on the 2015 Consumer Reports review of today’s glucose meter technology. The first nine of these meters scored as “excellent” in accuracy and “above 80 out of 100” for their overall assessment. Here are the top 10 recommended meters: FreeStyle Lite: $20 for the meter with an annual cost of $2410 at 4 strips per day FreeStyle Freedom Lite: $20 for the meter with an annual cost of $2410 at 4 strips per day Bayer Contour Next: $20 for the meter with an annual cost of $1460 at 4 strips per day Well at Walgreens True Metrix: $22 for the meter with an annual cost of $1225 at 4 strips per day Bayer Breeze 2: $25 for the meter with an annual cost of $1900 at 4 strips per day Up & Up Blood Glucose Meter from Target: $15 for the meter with an annual cost of $525 at 4 strips per day Accu-Chek Aviva Plus: $30 for the meter with an annual cost of $2115 at 4 strips per day ReliOn Micro from Walmart: $15 for the meter with an annual cost of $525 at 4 strips per day Accu-Chek Compact Plus: $75 for the meter with an annual cost of $2030 at 4 strips per day ReliOn Ultima from Walmart: $15 for the meter with an annual cost of $525 at 4 strips per day Do you use one of these top 10 meters? What are your favorite and least favorite features? Further reading on blood sugar monitoring: Continue reading >>

How To Use A Glucose Meter

How To Use A Glucose Meter

A glucose meter is a device you use at home to measure the level of glucose in your blood ​Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of your diabetes care, especially if you are taking insulin. ​ ​ ​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​ ​Follow These Steps ​ Prepare these items: glucose meter test strip lancet device needle (lancet) alcohol swab dry swab puncture-proof plastic container with a screw-on cap (e.g. shampoo container) Check to make sure: the insulin and test strips have not passed their expiry dates you are using the correct type of batteries the box of test strips comes with a code key the code key number is the same as that on the box of test strips ​ Calibrate the glucose meter: Insert the code key into the test strip slot. Check that the number appearing on the screen is the same as that on the box of test strips. You must calibrate the glucose meter each time you open a new box of test strips. Wash your hands with soap and water: Prepare the lancet device: Replace the lancet cover carefully. Adjust the depth of your lancet device according to your skin thickness. Prime the lancet device by pressing the release button (for some products, you need to pull and release the lever). Prepare the glucose meter: Remove test strip from the foil or from the test strip container. Insert it into the test strip slot and this will automatically turn the meter on. ​ Test your blood glucose level: Wipe one finger (index, middle or ring) with an alcohol swap and let it dry. Press the lancet device firmly against the side of your finger. Push button to release the needle. Squeeze your finger to get a drop of blood. Wait for the result to show on the screen. This is your blood glucose level. Put away items safely: Remove the lancet cover. Recap the needle before r Continue reading >>

Trend Report: High-tech Glucose Monitoring

Trend Report: High-tech Glucose Monitoring

If you got a free glucometer from your doctor, you may not have thought to check out your other options. But these days, you have a lot of exciting new choices -- not just glucometers, but other devices, apps, and web sites. These make glucose monitoring simpler, more effective, and a lot more convenient. Just like every other piece of tech in your life these days -- your TV, computer, DVD player, e-book reader, and fitness tracker -- glucose meters are going wireless, or at least syncing data with web sites and apps. That can have a big benefit for your health. Here are some of the new things you can do with a glucometer. Share data with your doctor or anyone else you choose, like your spouse. You can give real-time updates on how your treatment is working. Since managing diabetes is all about tight control of your blood sugar, that's crucial. See a more complete picture of your health. When you're just looking at today's glucose readings, you're missing how it's trending overall. These devices and apps let you see glucose trends over weeks and months. Seeing your records in colorful graphs and charts makes it easier to understand -- and to figure out if you need to make changes. For instance, a graph can quickly show if your blood sugar tends to be high in the mornings. Then you can easily share that with your doctor to see if you need to change your treatment. Track food and more. Most devices and apps let you log the food you eat. In that same tracker, you can see how your carbs add up, and you can add notes about exercise, or insulin if you take it. With this kind of info, you can get a clearer sense of how your breakfast or afternoon run affect your blood sugar levels. Sync with an app, web site, or the cloud. Several new cutting-edge glucose monitors or other dev Continue reading >>

Glucose Meter Shopping Guide

Glucose Meter Shopping Guide

By the dLife Editors Looking for a blood glucose monitor? Here’s our extensive guide to the products on the market today. dLife does not endorse any product mentioned here. Links to manufacturers’ websites are offered for information purposes only. Abbot The FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System has a new ergonomic shape and large numeral display. There is no coding and allows for easy testing with the world’s smallest sample size. This meter uses only FreeStyle Lite test strips. Blood Sample Size Required: 0.3 uL Time to Results: 5-seconds Battery Requirements: (1) CR2032 lithium coin cell Alternative Site Testing: Yes Data Capabilities: Computer download capabilities; stores up to 400 results with date and time User Coding Required: No Other Special Features: Four reminder alarms; ability to add more blood for up to one minute; provides results in 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages Company Contact Information: Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc. 1360 South Loop Road Alameda, CA 94502 1-800-522-5226 www.abbottdiabetescare.com The FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System is a small and discreet system that offers key features such as no coding, the world’s smallest blood sample size, and a test strip port light. The FreeStyle Lite meter uses only FreeStyle Lite test strips. Blood Sample Size Required: 0.3 uL Time to Results: 5-seconds Battery Requirements: (1) CR2032 lithium coin cell Alternative Site Testing: Yes Data Capabilities: Computer download capabilities; stores up to 400 results with date and time User Coding Required: No Other Special Features: Port light and backlight on display; four reminder alarms; provides 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages Company Contact Information: Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc. 1360 South Loop Road Alameda, CA 94502 1-800-522- Continue reading >>

How Blood Glucose Meters Work

How Blood Glucose Meters Work

Source: Web exclusive: May 2011 Using a blood glucose meter If you have diabetes, a blood glucose meter could well be your new best friend, and critical to successfully managing your disease. “A glucose meter is a tool to help know where your blood sugar is at, and what affects it,” says Karen McDermaid, a diabetes educator in Moosomin, Sask. There are lots of different models of meters’also called blood glucose monitors or glucometers’but they all work the same way: They detect the level of sugar in your blood, and give you the results almost instantly. It all comes down to chemistry Wondering how a glucose meter works? Remember high-school science class? First, you use a lancet to pierce your skin and apply a drop of blood to the meter’s test strip. Next, a series of chemical reactions takes place between the sugar in your blood and substances on the test strip, creating ferrocyanide. An electrical current flows from the ferrocyanide to the glucose meter, which uses the strength of this current to measure the amount of glucose in your blood. The meter converts it to the digital number that you record in your logbook. How not to slip up It’s possible to get an inaccurate reading if you don’t use your meter properly. But there are steps you can take to reduce that risk. Start by washing your hands and the test area of your skin with soap and water. Dirt and residue on your skin can skew the results. Pay attention to your test strips. If they’ve been exposed to extreme temperatures or they’re out of date, they may not be up to the job. If your meter requires the code number from your test strip container, make sure you’ve entered this properly. And be sure to test a big enough drop of blood’but don’t apply more blood after you’ve already done it Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Meter Averages: Don’t Be Fooled

Blood Glucose Meter Averages: Don’t Be Fooled

Most blood glucose meters store a certain number of readings in their memory, along with the date and time of each reading. Most also report either a 14-day or 30-day average of readings. An average is calculated by adding up all the numbers in a set and dividing the sum by the number of numbers in the set. For example, if you checked your blood glucose level 25 times in 14 days, your meter would tally all of your readings and divide the sum by 25 to get your 14-day average. Blood glucose averages can be useful, but they can also be misleading. Compare the before-dinner blood glucose readings of two different people over four days: Rhoda’s blood glucose before dinner: Monday 158 mg/dl Tuesday 178 mg/dl Wednesday 174 mg/dl Thursday 161 mg/dl Raul’s blood glucose before dinner: Monday 82 mg/dl Tuesday 302 mg/dl Wednesday 200 mg/dl Thursday 87 mg/dl Both Rhoda’s and Raul’s four-day average is 168 mg/dl, but there is a big difference in the patterns. Raul’s average gives no indication of the wide fluctuations in his blood glucose readings. By relying on the average, he’d miss the opportunity to correct the highs and lows. Luckily Raul keeps a logbook, which reveals that he exercises before dinner on Monday and Thursday, so he’ll probably require a change in his medicine dose on exercise days. On Tuesday he had a very stressful business meeting over lunch in a restaurant. That explains the reading of 302 mg/dl. Many people don’t check their blood glucose level if they suspect that the result will be high, so the average doesn’t tell them anything meaningful. Others only check before meals, then say, “How could my HbA1c be 8.8% when my average blood glucose is 148 mg/dl?” Your HbA1c (an indication of your average blood glucose over the previous 2–3 mon Continue reading >>

5 Must-follow Steps To Calibrate Your Blood Glucose Meter Correctly

5 Must-follow Steps To Calibrate Your Blood Glucose Meter Correctly

It is important for people to check their blood glucose level once in a while to see if they are diabetic or within the normal range. Especially for diabetic patients, it is extremely important for them to always monitor their blood sugar level. You may consider this a precautionary measure for yourself so that your blood sugar will not increase up to dangerous levels. Of course, in order for this to work, you have to ensure that your glucose meter is properly calibrated. Otherwise, what is the point of checking? You will not get the correct results anyway. So for diabetics out there who own one, here are the correct ways to calibrate it before you can start using it for your test. 5 Must-Follow Step To Calibrate Your Blood Glucose Meter Correctly Firstly, you have to check the code on the test strip vial. This can usually be found in bold print. Next, turn the meter on. Most units automatically do this once that you place the test strip inside. The test port can usually be found either on the top of the meter or at the bottom area. You can tell that the meter is not properly calibrated if the code that appears on the test strip vial does not match the one on the meter. If the meter is brand new and has never been used before, it is highly possible that it does not have a code at all. A flashing blank space will be displayed instead. The calibration process starts the moment when you set the code into the meter itself. How do you do that? It depends on the unit that you have. There are some meters that come with up and down arrows while some have only one button. Just continue pressing the button until you see the code that matches the vial. The last step is for you to test if it works by taking a blood sample. Once the test is complete and the display on the blood gluc Continue reading >>

5 Things That Can Affect Blood Glucose Readings

5 Things That Can Affect Blood Glucose Readings

People with diabetes often have to test their blood sugar levels up to multiple times per day, but blood glucose meters can sometimes display inaccurate readings. At the time, you may not realise that readings could be wrong. This could then affect your treatment regimen and potentially cause you problems, especially if you inject insulin when your blood glucose meter displays an erroneous high reading. Of course, modern meters have evolved so inaccurate readings are much less common, but it is still important to be aware of why false readings can occur. Here are five factors to bear in mind when testing your blood sugar. 1. Sugary substances on your fingers Even the slightest bit of sugar on your fingers can ramp up your test result. But this also goes for bits of dirt and traces of other food that may still be on your fingertips. Make sure you wash your hands before each test to ensure the most accurate result. 2. Wet fingers Once you’ve washed your hands, make sure they are thoroughly dry before testing. If a blood drop becomes mixed with water it can dilute the sample, causing an inaccurate reading. 3. Expired test strips All test strips have an expiry date. If you use a test strip which is out of date then it can lead to faulty results. Make sure you know the expiration date of your strips. If your test strip is out of date, do not use it, as the result cannot be trusted. 4. Extreme temperatures Extreme temperatures can have a big impact on blood glucose meters. Meters should state their specific temperature ranges, and testing outside of this range can affect test results. If a meter is too cold it tends to produce inaccurately low readings, and hot meters inaccurately high readings. If it’s a very cold day, test your blood indoors, where it’s warmer. If it Continue reading >>

What We Learned When We Tried (and Failed) To Find The Best Blood Glucose Meter

What We Learned When We Tried (and Failed) To Find The Best Blood Glucose Meter

Chris Hannemann, a 32-year-old product engineer in San Diego, California, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 8. For the past 24 years, multiple times a day, every day, he’s pricked his finger and used a blood glucose meter to measure the amount of sugar in his blood and decide whether to administer either insulin or a snack.The meter Hannemann uses regularly sometimes gives him readings that suggest his blood sugar levels are normal, even when he feels woozy or loses fine motor control (early effects of low blood sugar levels). “As someone who’s been comatose multiple times [due to other diabetic issues],” he told us, “it’s not fun.” During a doctor’s visit, Hannemann noticed that his glucose levels in lab tests seemed different than the measurements he would take himself. He suspected that his blood glucose meter was giving him inaccurate readings. To prove his theory, he ran a series of tests on 10 different meters. Hannemann found that readings from different meters varied from each other by as much as 60 percent, even though they were analyzing the same drop of blood, and varied 30 percent on average from each other. He published his findings in a Medium post. This discovery frustrated him because there’s so little information on glucose meter accuracy. “As a patient, you have no knowledge of this,” he said. Now, if he is using the inaccurate meter, he mentally calculates the difference. “If I check my glucose and it reads 90, I have to remind myself, ‘Oh, you actually need to eat something before you go drive or run or something.’” Accuracy matters to people like Hannemann and the many patients like him. Twenty-one million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another eight million have diabetes but don’t know Continue reading >>

More in blood sugar