- Purchasing a glucose meter is an important task, especially for people who suffer with type 2 diabetes.
- The need to monitor blood sugar levels after meals is very important in terms of learning how to manage the diet properly and to make sure any diabetes medication currently used is still helping to keep glucose levels within an acceptable range.
- When buying a glucose meter, factors such as the features available with a given model, the ease of use, the accuracy of results, and the price are very important to consider.
What are glucose meters?
- A glucose meter is nothing but a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood.
- It is a key element of home glucose monitoring ( HBGM) by people with diabetes mellitus or hypoglycemia.
- A small drop of blood, obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet, is placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood glucose level.
- The meter then displays the level in mg/ dl or mmol/l.
Why do you need a glucose meter or why test your blood sugar?
- The process of monitoring one's own blood glucose with a glucose meter is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose or "SMBG" .
- If you have diabetes, self-testing blood sugar (blood glucose) can be an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long-term complications of diabetes.
- Here are few reasons why you need to invest in buying one:
- It helps you judge how well you are 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
- Identify blood sugar levels that are dangerously high or low
How to buy a glucose meter?
- At least 25 different meters are commercially available.
- They differ in several ways including:
- Amount of blood needed for each test, Testing speed, Overall size, Ability to store test results in memory, Cost of the meter, Cost of the test strips used
Identifies what you need blood glucose meter:
- Some models offer basic readings but do not capture, historical data.
- Others include memory storage that maintains data which require only a small sample of blood to successfully complete a reading, something that diabetics who must monitor blood sugar once daily or more will find helpful.
- Even a factor such as size may be important to choosing the right one.
Consider the cost of the glucose meter:
- There are many different brands and models on the market today.
- Some of the private branded models offered by chain pharmacies have a very low price tag.
- While name brand meters can sometimes be purchased on sale.
- Along with the cost, also determine what type of other supplies comes with the meter as part of a starter kit, such as few lancets and possibly a small number of test strips.
Think in terms of the ease of use associated with a given type of glucose meter:
- Most models today are very simple to use, requiring nothing more than placing a small blood sample on a test strip and inserting 1 end of the strip into a specific slot on the meter.
- A few somewhat more complicated, requiring the pressing of keys to adjust the settings.
- If you want something simple and easy, go with models that require not more than 2-3 steps to obtain a reading.
Project the future cost of using a glucose meter:
- A common approach is to offer a particular brand meter for a sale price, effectively attracting the attention of buyers.
- What is not readily evident is the fact that the test strips required for use with the meter may be very expensive.
- Look beyond the initial purchase and get some idea of how much you will pay for supplies in the future.
Investigate the ratings of any blood glucose monitor that seems like a good fit:
- As with most products, some meters are more reliable than others in terms of readings, integrity of data archived and other attributes.
- By taking the time to check into the customer ratings and comments, you can avoid investing in a glucose meter that fails to live up to the promises made by the manufacturer.
- Most glucose meters do require use of a specific design of test strip.
- Before setting on a specific meter, make sure you can purchase those strips locally with relatively little difficulty.