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What Does A Blood Glucose Meter Do?

How Do Glucometers Work?

How Do Glucometers Work?

Through a pinprick several times a day — but what if diabetics could tell their blood-sugar levels anytime, by glancing at a tattoo?… Monitoring blood sugar levels is a pain for the diabetic — both figuratively and literally. Several times a day, they prick a finger to obtain a blood droplet and apply it to a plastic strip that’s inserted in a glucometer — a hand-held device that tells them if their glucose level is high, low, or right on target. It’s usually the job of the pancreas to keep track of sugar levels and to secrete glucagon and insulin to keep them at 100 or so milligrams per deciliter of blood. But for diabetics — either because their pancreas doesn’t function properly or because their body can’t process the hormones it secretes — glucose testing is a do-it-yourself proposition. And a crucial one. Blood-sugar checks show if it’s time to inject a few units of insulin — or grab a lifesaving snack. That’s where the glucometer comes in. “Current glucometers use test strips containing glucose oxidase, an enzyme that reacts to glucose in the blood droplet, and an interface to an electrode inside the meter,” explains Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. “When the strip is inserted into the meter, the flux of the glucose reaction generates an electrical signal,” he says. “The glucometer is calibrated so the number appearing in its digital readout corresponds to the strength of the electrical current: The more glucose in the sample, the higher the number.” Periodic tests via glucometer play an important part in the diabetic’s treatment plan, but current models fall short in giving a true picture of glucose fluctuations in real time. “The complications of diabetes st Continue reading >>

How Do Blood Glucose Meters Work?

How Do Blood Glucose Meters Work?

How does my blood glucose meter measure how much sugar is in my blood? Blood glucose test strips contain a capillary that sucks the blood up into the test strip. The glucose in the blood reacts with chemicals on the strip. The meter runs an electrical current through the test strip. The total charge passing through is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood. Why batteries and control solution are important When you understand the process you can see why batteries and control solution are important. Batteries generate the current. Control solution assists you in making sure that the chemicals on the test strips haven’t been damaged by heat, water, cold or anything else. Important things to remember Most blood glucose meters were originally designed to be used with blood taken from a finger prick. Some, including all of the meters we carry, have been approved for alternate site testing. Read your personal meter’s directions to make sure you are following them, especially with regard to where you’re getting the blood you’re using to perform a test. What exactly are you measuring? It’s important to remember that when you test your blood sugar using any glucometer the result shows you an estimate of the amount of glucose in your blood. How accurate are they? The accuracy standard for all meters says that glucose meters must show results that are within 20% of a laboratory standard 95% of the time. If you think about it, that’s actually not very accurate! Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can rely solely on your glucometer to know your blood sugar levels. You should also visit your doctor regularly and he should order laboratory tests to assist you both in managing your blood sugar. What factors affect accuracy? Many, many factors can affect the Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

What does this test do? This is a test system for use at home to measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. What is glucose? Glucose is a sugar that your body uses as a source of energy. Unless you have diabetes, your body regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. People with diabetes may need special diets and medications to control blood glucose. What type of test is this? This is a quantitative test, which means that you will find out the amount of glucose present in your blood sample. Why should you take this test? You should take this test if you have diabetes and you need to monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels. You and your doctor can use the results to: determine your daily adjustments in treatment know if you have dangerously high or low levels of glucose understand how your diet and exercise change your glucose levels The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (1993) showed that good glucose control using home monitors led to fewer disease complications. How often should you test your glucose? Follow your doctor's recommendations about how often you test your glucose. You may need to test yourself several times each day to determine adjustments in your diet or treatment. What should your glucose levels be? According to the American Diabetes Association (Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2011, Diabetes Care, January 2011, vol.34, Supplement 1, S11-S61) the blood glucose levels for an adult without diabetes are below 100 mg/dL before meals and fasting and are less than 140 mg/dL two hours after meals. People with diabetes should consult their doctor or health care provider to set appropriate blood glucose goals. You should treat your low or high blood glucose as recommended by your health care provider. How accurate is this test? The ac Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood sugar testing is an important part of diabetes care. Find out when to test your blood sugar level, how to use a testing meter, and more. If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar (blood glucose) can be an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long-term complications of diabetes. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device (glucose meter) that measures sugar level in a small drop of your blood. Why test your blood sugar Blood sugar testing — or self-monitoring blood glucose — provides useful information for diabetes management. It can help you: Judge how well you're reaching overall treatment goals Understand how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels Understand how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low When to test your blood sugar Your doctor will advise you on how often you should check your blood sugar level. In general, the frequency of testing depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Type 1 diabetes. Your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing four to eight times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. You may need to test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and occasionally during the night. You may also need to check your blood sugar level more often if you are ill, change your daily routine or begin a new medication. Type 2 diabetes. If you take insulin to manage type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing two or more times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you need. Testing is usually recommended before meals, and sometimes before bedtime. If you manage type 2 Continue reading >>

Why Meters Can't Tell Us Our Blood Sugar Levels

Why Meters Can't Tell Us Our Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes advocate and author Riva Greenberg has been on a "meter accuracy kick" lately — researching the heck out of this controversial topic. Very timely considering I've been seeing loads of expensive TV ads for Accu-Chek's new Nano meter, claiming that it's "23% more accurate" (!) Riva recently published a piece at the Huffington Post on why meter accuracy is both less, and more, critical than you might think. Truth is, she tells us, meter accuracy is only one part of a much larger story. A Guest Post by Riva Greenberg After being lucky enough to receive an iBGStar meter from Sanofi the day before its launch, I ran a few comparison tests between it and the Bayer Contour USB, which I'd been using the past two years, and discovered that the iBGStar consistently gave me a reading 20-25 points higher. So I took out all my meters. There were several, (Sanofi studies show most people use 4 meters on average) and I even ordered two new free meters from FreeStyle. I checked my blood sugar several times on my collection of 7 meters (some think I was a little obsessed) and saw it was rare when two meters gave me the same number! Given that I feel like my meter is my lifeline, I wanted to find out how meters work and why different meters give different results. I talked with a number of Chief Medical Officers, MDs and Medical Safety Officers at several meter manufacturers and I'm going to tell you what I learned in layman's terms. To better understand the science behind meter and strip technology, you can google "meter accuracy" for white papers and posts that would delight even the geekiest engineer. To better know how accurate your own meter is (in percentage terms), you can "check the package insert that comes with the strips and look online at prescribing information," sa 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 >>

What Are Satisfactory Blood Glucose Meter Readings?

What Are Satisfactory Blood Glucose Meter Readings?

As of 2007, 7.8 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although this condition can lead to life-threatening complications if not controlled, monitoring your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter can help you maintain healthy glucose levels and avoid complications. If you have diabetes, consult a health care provider about the glucose meter readings that are ideal for you. Video of the Day If you don't have diabetes, your blood glucose meter readings should be between 70 to 100 mg/dL at all times. Your fasting blood glucose, measured after 8 hours without food, should be less than 100 mg/dL. A glucose level below 70 indicates hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. If your fasting blood glucose level is between 100 to 125 mg/dL, you may have impaired fasting glucose, also called prediabetes. Levels above 126 mg/dL indicate diabetes. Those with diabetes should aim for a fasting blood glucose level of between 70 to 130 mg/dL and less than 180 mg/dL after a meal, advise experts from the American Diabetes Association. The above ranges refer to readings on plasma calibrated meters. Infants and Children Normal, non-diabetic fasting blood glucose ranges are the same as for adults. In children with diabetes, fasting blood glucose levels may be somewhat higher. For children younger than 5 years old, 80 to 200 mg/dL is an acceptable range, note child health experts from Boys Town Pediatrics. From ages 5 to 11, these levels should be 70 to 180 mg/dL and for children ages 12 and older, levels should be 70 to 150 mg/dL. Glucose is the source of energy for all systems in the body; without sufficient glucose, the body and brain can't function normally. Hypoglycemia can cause rapid heartbeat, trembling and dizziness, and severe cases may Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Meter: How To Choose

Blood Glucose Meter: How To Choose

Many types of blood glucose meters are available. Here's how to choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you have diabetes, you'll likely need a blood glucose meter to measure and display the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Exercise, food, medications, stress and other factors affect your blood glucose level. Using a blood glucose meter can help you better manage your diabetes by tracking any fluctuations in your blood glucose level. Many types of blood glucose meters are available, from basic models to more-advanced meters with multiple features and options. The cost of blood glucose meters and test strips varies, as does insurance coverage. Study your options before deciding which model to buy. Choosing the right meter When selecting a blood glucose meter, it can help to know the basics of how they work. To use most blood glucose meters, you first insert a test strip into the device. Then you prick a clean fingertip with a special needle (lancet) to get a drop of blood. You carefully touch the test strip to the blood and wait for a blood glucose reading to appear on the screen. When used and stored properly, blood glucose meters are generally accurate in how they measure glucose. They differ in the type and number of features they offer. Here are several factors to consider when choosing a blood glucose meter: Insurance coverage. Check with your insurance provider for coverage details. Some insurance providers limit coverage to specific models or limit the total number of test strips allowed. Cost. Meters vary in price. Be sure to factor in the cost of test strips. Ease of use and maintenance. Some meters are easier to use than others. Are both the meter and test strips comfortable and easy to hold? Can you easily see the numbers on the screen? How e Continue reading >>

Are Blood Glucose Meters Accurate? New Data On 18 Meters

Are Blood Glucose Meters Accurate? New Data On 18 Meters

Results from the Diabetes Technology Society’s Blood Glucose Meter Surveillance Program identifies only six out of 18 meters that passed. Did yours make the cut? The Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) recently revealed long-awaited results from its Blood Glucose Monitor System (BGMS) Surveillance Program. The rigorous study tested the accuracy of 18 popular blood glucose meters (BGM) used in the US. These FDA-cleared meters were purchased through retail outlets and tested rigorously at three study sites in over 1,000 people (including 840 people with diabetes). The results were troubling: only six out of the 18 devices met the DTS passing standard for meter accuracy – within 15% or 15 mg/dl of the laboratory value in over 95% of trials. The devices that passed were: Contour Next from Ascensia (formerly Bayer) – 100% Accu-Chek Aviva Plus from Roche – 98% Walmart ReliOn Confirm (Micro) from Arkray – 97% CVS Advanced from Agamatrix – 97% FreeStyle Lite from Abbott – 96% Accu-Chek SmartView from Roche – 95% The devices that failed were: Walmart ReliOn Prime from Arkray – 92% OneTouch Verio from LifeScan – 92% OneTouch Ultra 2 from LifeScan – 90% Walmart ReliOn Ultima from Abbott – 89% Embrace from Omnis Health – 88% True Result from HDI/Nipro (Trividia) – 88% True Track from HDI/Nipro (Trividia) – 81% Solus V2 from BioSense Medical – 76% Advocate Redi-Code+ from Diabetic Supply of Suncoast – 76% Gmate Smart from Philosys – 71% Get the full data and all the accuracy information here. While all of these meters received FDA clearance at some point, this study shows that not all are equivalent in terms of accuracy. The FDA looks at company-reported trials when it reviews new meters; this study took an independent look, purchasing the meters di Continue reading >>

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h Continue reading >>

Why Do You Need To Code Your Blood Glucose Meter?

Why Do You Need To Code Your Blood Glucose Meter?

You need to code (or calibrate) your blood glucose meter to obtain an accurate reading of your glycemia. It’s the only way you can be sure the results are reliable. Blood glucose meter coding When talking about diabetes, it is impossible not to mention the use of blood glucose meters. A blood glucose meter is a small electronic device that enables you to monitor your blood glucose levels (blood sugar levels) at home by placing a drop of blood on a reactive strip and then inserting the strip into the device. If you must monitor your blood sugar levels, it is crucial that you use a device that is suited to you and easy to understand. One of the features that must be considered is the coding method. What is coding? Coding and calibration are synonyms that refer to an electronic adjustment made to a blood glucose meter to take into account the variation in reactive strip lots. It is a step that must be performed prior to the test in order to obtain reliable results. Coding a blood glucose meter is like adjusting a bathroom scale: if the arrow is not at zero when you weigh yourself, the weight obtained will not be accurate. Similarly, if your blood glucose meter is not properly coded, you will not get accurate results! How is coding done? The blood sugar level reading that you obtain with your blood glucose meter is the result of a chemical reaction that produces an electrical response, which is then converted into a blood glucose value by the device. Manufacturers assign code numbers to reactive strips. If the code associated with the strips is correct, the blood glucose meter will make the adjustments and give an accurate reading. However, if the code is incorrect, the reading will be skewed. What are the various coding methods? Manual coding. For coding purposes, some b Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Testing your blood sugar level is one of the best ways to understand your diabetes and how different foods, medications, and activities affect your diabetes. Keeping track of your blood glucose can help you and your doctor make a plan to manage this condition. People use portable blood glucose meters, called glucometers, to check their blood sugar levels. These work by analyzing a small amount of blood, usually from a fingertip. The glucometer lightly pricks your skin to obtain the blood. Meters tell you your current blood sugar, but since blood sugar levels change, you need to test levels often and record them. You can get blood glucose monitoring kits and supplies from: your doctor’s office a diabetes educator’s office a pharmacy online stores You can discuss the price with your doctor or pharmacist. Glucose meters come with testing strips, small needles, or lancets, to prick your finger, and a device to hold the needle. The kit may include a logbook or you might be able to download the readings onto your computer. Meters vary in cost and size. Some have added features to suit different needs and preferences. These may include: audio capabilities for people with vision impairment backlit screens to help you see them in low light additional memory or data storage preloaded test strips for people who have difficulty using their hands USB ports to load information directly to a computer Regular glucose monitoring is one of the ways people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When it’s time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will be a major help for you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team. By checking your blood glucose levels routinely, you’ll also know when your Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Blood Glucose Results

Understanding Your Blood Glucose Results

Understanding your blood glucose level is a beneficial part of diabetes self-management and can help you and your healthcare team to decide which treatment is best for you. This can help towards reducing your risk of diabetes complications. ••••• There are 2 main ways your glucose level can be measured: The HbA1c blood test measures the amount of glucose that has stuck to a part of the red blood cells and is being carried around the body. This test is usually done on a sample of blood taken from a vein in your arm and the result shows your overall control of glucose levels over the last 2-3 months. You will have this test at least once per year. HbA1c targets are a guide and for most adults with diabetes the expected HbA1c target is 48 - 58mmol/mol. This is the target your health team will strive for since evidence shows that this success can reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes. However, your target should be set after you have discussed this with your doctor or nurse to see what is right for you. If you have a glucose meter and test strips you will be able to self-test your glucose level. The result will be your current glucose level. If you are self-testing it is important you know what your target blood glucose levels are and what your glucose results mean. Your diabetes doctor or nurse will discuss your glucose levels with you and you can agree on your goals. There are many different opinions about the ideal range for glucose levels due to the fact that each person with diabetes is an individual with different needs and responses to therapy. This is why it is important to consider your needs before setting glucose targets and goals. The target blood glucose ranges below are indicated as a guide for adults with diabetes. – 3.5–5.5m Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring And Insulin Administration

Blood Glucose Monitoring And Insulin Administration

Summary The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become increasingly concerned about the risks for transmitting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and other infectious diseases during assisted blood glucose (blood sugar) monitoring and insulin administration. CDC is alerting all persons who assist others with blood glucose monitoring and/or insulin administration of the following infection control requirements: Fingerstick devices should never be used for more than one person Whenever possible, blood glucose meters should not be shared. If they must be shared, the device should be cleaned and disinfected after every use, per manufacturer’s instructions. If the manufacturer does not specify how the device should be cleaned and disinfected then it should not be shared. Insulin pens and other medication cartridges and syringes are for single-patient-use only and should never be used for more than one person Monitoring of blood glucose levels is frequently performed to guide therapy for persons with diabetes. Blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration can be accomplished in two ways: self-monitoring of blood glucose and insulin administration, where the individual performs all steps of the testing and insulin administration themselves, and assisted monitoring of blood glucose and insulin administration, where another person assists with or performs testing and insulin administration for an individual. Examples of settings where assisted monitoring of blood glucose and insulin administration may occur include: Hospitals or clinics Long term care settings such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities Senior centers Health fairs Correctional facilities Schools or camps Unsafe Practices during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration An underap Continue reading >>

How To Test Blood Sugar | Accu-chek

How To Test Blood Sugar | Accu-chek

The steps are similar for many meters, and generally look like this: Wash and dry your handsusing warm water may help the blood flow.1 Turn on the meter and prepare a test strip as outlined in your owner's booklet. Many Accu-Chek meters turn on automatically when a strip is inserted. Choose your spotdon't check from the same finger all the time. Using the side of the fingertip may be less painful than the pads.1 Prepare the lancing device according to the user guide provided, then lance your fingertip or other approved site to get a drop of blood.2 Touch and hold the test strip opening to the drop until it has absorbed enough blood to begin the test. View your test result and take the proper steps if your blood sugar is high or low, based on your healthcare professionals' recommendations. Record the results in a logbook, hold them in the meter's memory or download to an app or computer so you can review and analyze them later. For meter-specific instructions on how to test your blood sugar levels, visit the Accu-Chek Support page for your meter. 1Joslin Diabetes Center. Tips for more pain-free blood glucose monitoring. Available at: . Accessed March 11, 2016. 2Talk with your healthcare professional before deciding if alternate site testing is right for you. Continue reading >>

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