A glucose meter is a medical device that is used to determine the approximate amount of glucose in the blood, also called the concentration of glucose. It is a simple process that requires but one drop of blood that is read by a machine that is normally portable and small. While not many people need to monitor their glucose, people with Diabetes 1 or 2, know that when choosing the right meter for them, there is a long list to consider. FDA reviews all glucose meters and test strips before they can be sold to the public. The manufacturers need to demonstrate to the FDA that their meters provide acceptable accuracy and consistency of readings. Here are a few helpful things to think about when choosing a glucose meter:
1. Ask your doctor or Diabetes educator what device they suggest. A simple recommendation from a health care provider offers peace of mind in this complex task.
2. Check with your insurance provider to see what type of meter that they cover. Insurance providers usually limit their coverage to specific models. You can certainly purchase the meter and its supplies over the counter but test strips are very costly. Most insurance providers cover some of the cost to your meter, test strips, and lancets. A person should also take into account how much the test strips will cost since this will be an added expense.
3. People should look into the ease of use and maintenance that is required for their meter. Some meters are easier to use than others and some have features that make them easier to handle, like bigger buttons or audio components. Are both the meter and test strips comfortable and easy to hold? Can you easily see the numbers on the screen? How easy is it to get blood onto the strips? How long does it take for the reading to appear on the screen?
4. Before buying a meter, a person should feel comfortable when using it and reading the screens. Look for a meter that includes clear instructions that demonstrate the correct way to use the meter. Some manufacturers offer user manuals on their websites. Your health care provider can be helpful in demonstrating how to use the meter until you feel comfortable with the process.
5. Accuracy, Consistency and Repeat-ability are big factors to consider. Read consumer reports and do research about the meter you are considering.
With these tools in mind, many people find that choosing the meter that works for them is quite easy and not as stressful as they believed. Some information that everyone should consider is that some drugs can effect which device you choose. If choosing a device that uses the specific test strips GDH-PQQ one should talk to their health care provider. There is some information that suggests that certain medications can cause an error in glucose readings that result in dangerous- potentially fatal- false readings. Do your homework. The more you research, the more informed and ready you will be to make the best decision. It is always recommended to check with your doctor or health care provider before using any medical device that will monitor your glucose levels.
Contributed by: 50 Plus Editorial Team
Sources: Diabetes Focus, www.consummersearch.com , www.webmd.com , www.mayoclinic.org