Do you have diabetes or need to use a glucose meter to measure the level of sugar in your bloodstream? Wonder what to look for in a glucose meter?


We know: All About Diabetes Glucose Meters

We asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help us with the Basic Facts about Glucose Meters.

How Glucose Meters Work

Diabetics often monitor their blood sugar levels themselves. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a battery-operated portable glucose meter.


Typically, you measure your glucose level by placing a small sample of blood on a disposable test strip and placing the strip in the meter. The meter displays your glucose level as a number. Newer meter models can also record, store and print out your test results.


NOTE: Manufacturers are currently developing new non-invasive meters - where you donít have to prick your finger. Hereís what the Food and Drug Administration has to say about non-invasive meters:


"FDA has approved one "minimally invasive" meter and one "non-invasive" glucose meter. Neither of these should replace standard glucose testing. They are used to obtain additional glucose values between fingerstick tests."


How To Choose a Glucose Meter

Here are the questions to consider when choosing your glucose meter:

  1. How much blood is needed to run the test?
  2. How long does the test take?
  3. How large or small is the meter?
  4. Does the meter record, store and/or print out your results?
  5. What is the cost of the meter?
  6. What is the cost of the strips?

There are at least 25 different glucose meters currently available on the consumer market.

   

Factors that May Affect Your Test Results

Remember that temperature, altitude and humidity may have an effect on your test results.


Also, be sure the test strips you buy are compatible with your meter. Strips sold by third parties or generic glucose strips are less expensive and should be used only with the meters for which they are recommended.


Finally, be sure that other biological factors are not influencing your meter reading. People with high red blood cell counts due to conditions like anemia and sickle cell anemia need to ask their doctor how this may affect their meter readings. Other substances in your body may also affect the reading, such as the amount of uric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).



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