People with diabetes require regular blood glucose monitoring in order to make adjustments to their medication or daily activities such as dietary habits and activity levels. By maintaining a blood sugar level that is consistently within the range prescribed by your doctor, you are able to reduce potentially life-threatening complications.
Choosing the right blood glucose monitor (also called Glucometer) depends on the type of features that is required. This can vary based on age, activity levels, personal preferences and medical conditions. With many varieties of blood glucose meters available, the following factors can help you decide which one you would need:
- Blood sample size: Smaller volume of blood required by the Glucometer to score a result is an important feature to many people, especially for children with diabetes. It reduces the need for unnecessary pricks.
- Size of the monitor: Large sized meters are preferred by those who find it easier to handle and read. It is especially useful for people with visual or dexterity challenges. A compact glucose meter is a good choice for active individuals, travelers, athletes and those who need to carry the monitor around with them.
- Memory and monitoring software: Consider whether you would like to have enough memory size for past results to keep a record of trends in blood glucose. Some Glucometers even come with software that can maintain logs, averages, charts and trends which you can then download to a computer or mobile to review, print or email to your doctor.
- Testing locations: Some people prefer meters that can accurately test blood from other areas of the body such forearm, thigh or calf as they can have sensitive or calloused fingertips or do not prefer to use their fingertips all the time.
- Wireless Technology: For those who are prescribed to Insulin therapy, newer blood sugar monitors can communicate directly with Insulin pumps to simplify the Insulin delivery process. It helps eliminate the risk of entering incorrect data.
- Additional Features: Look for additional features that you feel can make it easier to use a blood glucose monitor – such as a back lit display, those that can audibly speak out results and those that produce results in lesser time.
- Cost of meter and strips: The price of your choice of Glucometer can influence your buying decision. Glucometers vary in price so be sure to check your insurance provider for coverage details. Each test strip is used only once and discarded and is the most expensive part of monitoring, especially for those who need to test more than 2-3 times a day.
By using the results from a glucose monitor, you can then make daily adjustments in your medication, dietary choices and exercise regimen for healthy diabetes maintenance. Be sure to use the same blood sugar monitor for daily measuring as there could be small variations in readings on different devices. Speak to your doctor before beginning a routine of blood sugar monitoring.
Diabetes UK – Blood Glucose Meters
Myhealth Malaysia – Glucometer
Mayoclinic – Blood Glucose Meter
The Diabetes Counsel