What to Look for in a Glucose Meter

To choose a glucose meter that suits your needs, consider which of a dozen selection factors are most important to you.

You can then focus your search on meters with features you require or desire.

Glucose Meters: Factors to Consider

Accuracy, of course. Most new meters have good accuracy but it can diminish with use. Checking a meter’s accuracy once every month can relieve any concern over this. A meter can be checked by using it to test a control solution (available at pharmacies), or by comparing your meter’s reading to one done with the meter in your physician’s office.

To code or not to code. Meters have traditionally required users to enter a code indicating the type of test strip being used. Without the test strip code, meter readings are inaccurate. However, some newer glucose meters are designed to function without the entry of a code.

Maintenance motivation. If you are someone who puts as little effort as possible into maintaining your possessions, read the manufacturer’s maintenance and cleaning guidelines to see whether their meter matches your maintenance motivation style.

Site alternatives. Some of the newer meters allow blood samples to be taken from areas other than the finger tip, such as the thigh, or forearm.

Voice instruction. Those with vision, reading, or language issues might want a meter that guides the user with voice instructions; some meters have this feature in Spanish.

Upfront cost. Glucose meters are not generally a big expense, although prices vary widely. There are often manufacturer specials and store deals to watch for, and some people obtain meters without charge. Talk to your doctor and insurance company before purchasing.

Ongoing cost. The real cost of a glucose meter lies in the test strips. If budget is a concern, you will want to calculate the cost of using a particular meter for one or two years based on your usage of its test strips. For instance, if you test three times daily you can calculate the cost of three strips per day over 365 or 730 days.

User sophistication. Some of us can pick up and use any gadget, while others of us are still scratching our head over the TV remote. If your digital patience or sophistication is minimal you may want to look at meters that boast "basic features only."

Time factor. Though most meters give glucose results in fewer than 60 seconds, some can do it in less than five. If you are impatient or often in a rush, this may be important to you.

Small or smaller. Meters are quite compact, but some more so than others. Your meter’s size needs to be compatible with how you plan to carry it (e.g., pocket, backpack, purse).

Sample size. Some meters require a bit more of your blood than others.

Meter memory. Meters vary in how many test results they can store. Although keeping an accurate diabetes record requires people to supplement meter readings with a log of food eaten, exercise, and stress levels, it may make a difference to you whether your meter stores 200 results, several hundred, or a few thousand. With some newer models, test results can be uploaded to a computer program where other information can be added—this tracking service may be free or come with a fee.

Source: Diabetes Well Being
Photo credit: Sasquatch I / flickr

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

Get free diabetic supplies delivered to your door. You will get a free glucose meter, lancing device, 100 test strips, 100 lancets, control solution and carrying case. Just pay shipping.

More Articles

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

More Articles

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...