When you measure blood sugar levels at various times throughout the day or after meals, you can develop an understanding of how the body converts the food you ate into glucose or energy in your body. When the body does not utilize the glucose properly, due to a lack of insulin production or inability to process it, a person can have too much or too little sugar available in the body, leading to diabetes type 1 or 2. Your doctor may recommend a hand-held blood glucose measuring device or glucometer to help keep track of your daily sugar levels if you suffer from diabetes.
How to Choose the Right Blood Glucose Meter
Out of the various meter systems available, finding the one that is best suited for your needs may seem like a daunting task. The primary requirements for quality stress-free testing is guaranteed accuracy, safe lancing attachment capabilities with minimal pain when piercing the skin, and effective tracking systems for comprehensive records. The ease of programming the meter, ability of loading the test strips and the handling of the device may also affect your choice of brand.
Another important aspect to think about is the additional cost of test strips needed with each brand and the options of covering that cost through NHS services or insurance plans. Some brands, such as the WaveSense Jazz meter, offer free strips with the initial purchase to last a few months whereas other meters, such as the Accu-Chek Mobile Blood Glucose Meter System do not require any test strips at all.
Steps for Using a Blood Glucose Meter
After purchasing a meter, such as the Accu-Chek Aviva Nano or the Optium Xceed Diabetes Monitoring System, read the instructions that come with it to discover the right way of collecting a blood sample, inserting the test strips that match the meter and decoding the results. You should always clean your hands well before performing this test and discard the used lancets properly to avoid accidental pricks and blood contact with other family members.
Ask your doctor about preferred record keeping to gauge glucose levels over a period of time and be consistent in taking and recording your levels. Replenish test strips before you run out and do check expiry dates to ensure the best possible accuracy of your readings. Some strips such as the Advantage Plus Glucose Test Strips work with any Accu-Chek glucometer, allowing easier accessibility to new test strips when needed.