Testing Technique And Site
Make sure youre following the directions of your meter. Traditionally, fingertips are the primary place to test your blood sugar. Alternative testing sites such as on the palm, upper arm, forearm, thigh, and calf are used, typically in clinical settings, instead of fingers due to the many nerve endings on fingers, including the pain from testing and the resulting calloused fingers. But, it isnt advised to use an alternate site unless you have a device thats designed for it. However, using an alternate site may not always produce accurate results, especially if your blood sugar is rising or falling fast. Research shows that glucose readings differ depending on if you get your blood sample from the capillaries in your fingers or another part of your body.
Another note about the technique make sure you have enough blood in your test strip. Having too little blood will cause an error or false reading. You can adjust the settings on your lancet to make sure youre drawing enough blood. Finally, make sure youre fully inserting the test strip into your meter.
How Do You Know If Your Glucose Meter Is Accurate
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Checking your blood sugar levels routinely with a blood glucose meter is one of the most crucial aspects of managing diabetes. Its the easiest way to detect and monitor trends in glucose levels, and it gives you and your physician vital information to help adjust your treatment plan and diet recommendations. To perform this valuable function, its important that your glucose meter displays accurate results. But how do you know if your glucose meter is accurate?
Is Diathrive’s Glucose Meter Accuracy As Good As Other Meters
The answer is yes. Actually, its among the most accurate meters that are FDA-approved and available on the market, even when compared to meters from the top pharmaceutical giants.
At only $10 for the actual glucose meter and 16 cents per strip — all without a prescription, health insurance, or shipping costs — Diathrives glucose meter is also the most affordable on the market.
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Why Is It Important For A Blood Glucose Meter To Be Accurate
Blood glucose meter accuracy is important for several reasons:
- Improved reliability in your data and trust in your current diabetes management plan.
- Helps you understand and/or anticipate potential lab results when going for your A1c checkup.
- Lets you know what impacts your blood sugar:
- Did that glass of wine last night have a significant impact?
- Did you experience a spike or drop in blood sugar after that amazing Zumba class?
- Is there a connection between your stress and blood sugar?
Glucose Meters Can Give Inaccurate Readings
Portable meters used to gauge blood sugar levels in pregnant women with diabetes gave readings that differed from lab tests by up to 16%.
That kind of inaccuracy is concerning, researchers say, because small differences in blood sugar during pregnancy can have potentially serious consequences for the mother and baby.
But that doesnt mean women should stop using glucose meters. Instead, they should pay more attention to getting the readings right.
Dr. David Sacks, who heads the clinical chemistry lab at the National Institutes of Health, said that, people with diabetes often rely on the devices as convenient indicators of when to take insulin and how much they need.
Theyre very small, you can put them in your pocket, said Sacks, who was not involved in the new work. You can prick your finger and get the result immediately. But the meters have never been as accurate as blood thats drawn in central labs.
To test just how accurate they really are, Dr. Nimalie Perera, of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, compared readings from 102 women to a more precise lab test.
The women all had diabetes most of them gestational diabetes, which begins during pregnancy and came to a prenatal clinic for nurses to measure their blood sugar levels. For each patient, nurses drew blood with a finger prick using six different glucose meters.
Diabetes Care, online January 7, 2010
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How To Choose An Accurate Meter
Independent testing, like the study done by the Diabetes Technology Society, is helpful to compare the performance of top commercially available glucose meters. This study tested meters and test strips which were independently purchased from stores across the country, and representative of what a consumer would purchase.
After testing the products over 300 times at three different clinical sites, the results showed that over 66% of the top meters on the market today didnt pass the rigorous study.
A surprising number of name brand meters did not pass all studies. Check the list below to see the 12 meters that failed one or more study.
The following devices passed the test and received the Diabetes Technology Societys Seal of Approval:
Thyroid And Low Blood Sugar
When the term blood sugar comes to mind, we usually think of high blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and other problems.
While these issues are common and pose a major threat to our wellbeing, it is also important to bear in mind low blood sugar isnt good for your health either.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a potentially dangerous condition indicated by insufficient glucose amounts for production of energy in the bodys cells.
Main causes of low blood sugar are certain medications, tumors, endocrine disorders, and some medical conditions.
Studies reveal that hypothyroidism is associated with different hormonal, biochemical, and nervous system abnormalities which have the potential to contribute to hypoglycemia.
For example, hypothyroidism is related to low growth hormone and cortisol responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia, thus blocking the proper counter regulatory protection.
When blood sugar levels decrease, the adrenal glands address this issue by secreting hormone cortisol. Then, the hormone sends a signal which tells the liver to produce higher amounts of blood sugar, thus bringing the levels of glucose to normal.
The problem occurs when the repeated release of cortisol in patients with hypoglycemia suppresses pituitary function. The thyroid gland cant operate properly without adequate pituitary functioning.
Evidence suggests that dysfunction of pituitary could be a direct consequence of hypothyroidism, rather than a cause of thyroid dysfunction.
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What To Do When Blood Sugar Readings Vary
Have you ever double-checked your blood glucose level immediately after an initial reading, only to find completely different numbers? Although it may be impossible for these measurements to be perfect, taking steps to ensure they are as accurate as possible is important for effective diabetes control. Below are a few steps you can take to get the most accurate reading the first time around.
How Is Blood Glucose Accuracy Determined
One of the best ways to determine the accuracy of your blood glucose reading is to use more than one method to check your levels and compare the results.
There are 2 basic methods to check your blood sugar levels as given below:
- Laboratory tests that are performed by healthcare professionals
- At-home tests that you can perform using your personal blood glucose meter
Since the blood sugar levels tend to fluctuate on different days and even at different times on the same day, it is advisable to check your blood sugar levels using 2 methods at the same time.
Comparing the results will give you an idea of the accuracy of your device.
If both the results are similar without much variation, you can assume the glucometer you are using is working perfectly.
It is advisable to check the accuracy of your blood glucose meter at frequent intervals. Having a glucometer that provides correct results will allow you to monitor your blood sugar levels at home. It will ensure you are able to modify your dietary intake and medications in the most appropriate manner for improving your diabetic control.
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Electromagnetic Radiation Emitted From Mobile Phones
Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range. A study was performed to evaluate potential effects of such waves on the performance of BG systems.46 In 1 group of participants, blood samples within the normoglycemic range were analyzed in the absence and presence of a ringing mobile phone . A mean difference of 7.5 ± 4.8 mg/dL between the 2 measurements was calculated. In the control group, the mean difference between the 2 repeated measurements per participant in the absence of electromagnetic fields was 1.1 ± 0.9 mg/dL. In conclusion, electromagnetic interference from mobile phones has been reported to potentially impact the accuracy of home BG meters. Therefore, the authors recommend the use of mobile phones at least 50 cm away from home BG meters.46
Cvs Health Advanced Glucose Meter
- Meter basics. This glucose meter is a small, bean-shaped device that could easily fit in your pocket or a small purse, even when inside its case. It comes packaged with a lancing device, 10 lancets, user manual and quick start guide, carrying case, and two 3-volt lithium batteries. Once you apply a small drop of blood to the test strip, you receive results within 5 seconds.
- User reviews. This meter received mixed reviews on the CVS website. Many reported inaccurate readings in some cases, results that were wildly off, whereas others only noticed a difference of 10 to 20 points to comparative readings. Some reviewers noted that the problem could be due to user error because this meter requires the blood drop to be placed at the very end of the test strip, where it can be quickly sucked up into the right spot.
- Its not spot-on accurate, so if you are looking for something that will always be accurate within a few points, this device isnt it. However, I test it regularly against my Verio meter, and they are pretty much always within 20 points of each other. This is OK for getting a general reading, and I didnt expect anything more. Spencer
- It has not disappointed. I have had no problems testing and have not had to waste any test strips. Not sure why so many others have been having problems. Next time, I will get the version with BT technology so I can upload data to my phone. Ray
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Standards And Quality Control
The Food and Drug Administration sets standards for manufacturers who produce blood glucose meters in the United States and the International Organization for Standardization develops and publishes standards on a global scale. A position statement published in January 2019 compared the standards for blood glucose meter accuracy set by these two organizations. Lets a take a look at the standards for the home-use of these devices:
- FDA: Readings are 95 percent accurate within 15 percent for all readings within the usable blood glucose range and 99 percent accurate within 20 percent for all readings within that usable range. The term usable in this case means the range of blood glucose values where the meter has proven to be accurate.
- ISO: Readings are 95 percent accurate within 15 percent of blood glucose equal to or above 100 mg/dl and are 95 percent accurate within 15 mg/dl for readings under 100 mg/dl.
Manufacturers, themselves, also have quality control protocols and standards. For example, Accu-Cheks strict manufacturing processes ensure their products meet uncompromising standards of quality.
Device Rejection Rare Cases
Sometimes, in very rare cases, a persons body may reject the device for a period, especially during the first few uses. So, keep this in mind, and allow some time for adjustment and check how it is working before coming to any conclusions about inaccurate readings.
Some users have found that applying the sensor but delaying the start of it for 24-48 hours can help with avoiding inaccurate readings.
Individuals that are having problems with device rejection may have skin irritation around the sensor along with red or inflamed skin around the area.
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Relion Premier Classic Blood Glucose Monitoring System
- Meter basics. The ReliOn Classic is an easy-to-use meter that displays results within 5 seconds. The Classic model has a 500-test memory, can provide glucose averages, and has a low blood sugar indicator that will alert users when they are experiencing hypoglycemia.
- User reviews. Reviews are generally positive for this meter, receiving an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars out of 282 ratings on the Walmart site. Many people reported it being fairly accurate, but some also noted slightly higher readings in comparison to their other meters.
- I like the ReliOn Premier Classic Blood Glucose Meter because the ease of using. It doesnt take much blood for a sample. The control solution is a great way to be able to test your strips. The alarm is a handy reminder to test your blood. A very nice feature. The memory is a great feature also because you can go back and look at your reading levels or use the phone app. Chantill
- Works well, and inexpensive. I got the same reading as with a meter and strips costing easily 5 times more. JMW
True Metrix Blood Glucose Meter
- Meter basics. The Walgreens True Metrix also uses a 0.5-microliter sample to deliver blood glucose readings within 4 seconds. This meter offers a 500-test memory, alternate site testing, 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages, event tagging, and the ability to download your data to a computer.
- User reviews. This meter received an average of 3.9 stars out of 5 from 368 reviews on the Walgreens website. While 75 percent of the reviews are positive overall, many users reported inconsistent results and unreliable test strips that often lead to error messages.
- This blood glucose monitor is really compact and easy to carry anywhere without it being too bulky or heavy. The readings are quick and has memory with the dates which is really helpful for statistics and the display is large and easy to read. It gives an error code sometimes and works again with a restart. But most of all I love that it has alerts, in case you forget to monitor. Sunny
- I love the fact that this meter can monitor glucose in the blood with such speed and accuracy. My stepfather is new to having diabetes and was in need of a reliable meter to check his blood glucose now, he and my mother love the quick and accurate results that they receive every time. Rika
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Be Aware Of Alternate Site Testing And Accuracy
Alternate site testing is when a blood test is performed on an area of skin that is not on the fingers. Certain blood glucose meters allow blood to be taken from places such as the forearm and palm of the hand.
Check with meters user guide whether alternate site testing is applicable to your meter.
If you are using alternate site testing, be aware that if blood sugar levels are rising or falling quickly, the blood glucose result from a finger will be more accurate than from an alternate site.
How Accurate Is The Average Fda
When it comes to FDA-approved glucose meters, a meter must meet certain blood glucose meter accuracy standards similar to those set by the International Organization for Standardization , but its important to know that accuracy does not mean an exact measurement.
Every glucose meter and blood glucose monitoring system available for sale in the United States today is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is required to be within 15 percent of lab value glucose readings 95 percent of the time, and within 20 percent of “lab results 99 percent of the time .
Diathrives meter is within 15 percent of lab value 99 percent of the time!
Take a look at how the blood glucose value on your glucose meter is actually giving you a number within a range rather than an exact number.
To assess the variance in any blood sugar reading of your own, simply multiply the number on your glucose meter by 0.15. Then subtract and add that result to the number on your meter to determine the full range of your actual glucose level.
211 mg/dL x .15 32
211 – 32 = 179 mg/dL
211 + 32 = 243 mg/dL
Could checking again with the same meter help narrow the results to give more accurate readings? Maybe. But realistically, using two or three strips every time you check your blood sugar is not a practical long-term plan. If youre looking at an extremely high number, checking again might provide a bit more assurance in your calculated correction dose of insulin.
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Relion Premier Compact Blood Glucose Monitoring System
- Meter basics. The ReliOn Compact is a smaller meter that offers on-the-go testing abilities. Like the other ReliOn models, the Compact requires only a 0.5-microliter blood sample to test and displays results within 5 seconds. Users have the option to use alternate site testing in addition to their fingers, including forearm, palm, thigh, and calf. It also comes complete with a carry case, starter set of test strips, lancing device, and lancets.
- User reviews. Reviews are positive for this meter, receiving an average of 4.0 out of 5 stars out of 214 ratings on the stores website. Users especially liked the devices slim design and accessibility.
- I think that this ReliOn Blood Glucose Monitoring system is the best I have ever used. It is lightweight so you can carry it everywhere. It has a fancy design to it. The results were faster than other monitors and with less or no pain. And the results were accurate. I love this system. Elaine
- Very reliable for the price. I took mine to the hospital and compared my readings to their machine Bingo! it read very close. Love the size, too. Easy to carry, easy to use. Ron