What do I need to know when choosing a meter to more closely monitor my blood glucose?
have a glucose meter part of the treatment of people with diabetes. Some people need to take their measurements more often than others. Self-monitoring of blood glucose is recommended for all people with diabetes, but especially for those taking insulin. The number of times you should test your blood glucose should be based on your doctor’s recommendation.
Your blood glucose measurements should be taken before meals, 2 hours after meals, at bedtime, and whenever you experience signs or symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. It is very important that you do not make any corrections to your blood glucose level without testing first.
MORE INFORMATION: Hypo and Hyperglycemia: Causes, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Why should I use a glucose meter?
Glucose meters are decision-making tools and therefore need to present reliable results. Is used for:
- Decide the dose of insulin to apply at the moment;
- Check if the medicine is being effective in the treatment;
- Check if foods are affecting your blood glucose levels;
- Control glucose levels before, during and after physical activity.
Find out in the next video Importance of self-monitoring of glucose levels:
LEARN MORE: Blood Glucose Measurements | why, when and how
Some user attitudes can also interfere with test results, such as:
- Dirt or food debris on your hands;
- Wet hands with water or alcohol;
- Improper storage of the strips;
- Lack of coding or chip replacement;
- Use of expired tapes.
And there? Which is the best option?
There are about 72 models of glucose meters in Brazil. Many people have doubts about how to make a good choice.
THE ANVISA – National Health Surveillance Agency It is the body that regulates and approves the meters that are sold in commerce and public institutions.
In 2014 the selfNMETRO – National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology analyzed 15 different models of glucometers sold in Brazil, and presented a report on the analysis of instruction manuals for the use of glucometers and their accessories (to access the full report, CLICK HERE).
The results of this study showed that users cannot use the product correctly, with the information provided in the instructions for use, indicating a possible uncontrolled risk, that is, allowing errors both in the execution of the test and in the execution of the test. interpretation of the results. .
LEARN MORE: What is the difference between Accu Chek glucose meters?
Glucose meters marketed must meet the criteria of the ME SO 15,197: 2013. These criteria began to be collected at the end of May 2017, the time necessary for manufacturers to adapt, to minimize errors in results, use and interpretation. Learn about these criteria below:
- Precision: also know as precision, which is whether the results of the meters are as accurate as the results of blood tests done in the laboratory. In the laboratory, only the white part of the blood is used, while the meter uses whole blood (white and red part). According to ISO, a difference of up to +/- 15% is acceptable for results above 100 mg/dL and +/- 15 mg for results below 100 mg/dL.
Inaccurate results can generate errors, such as: presenting a higher value than the real one, causing the patient to use a higher dose of insulin than necessary, which can cause a hypoglycemic crisis.
- Easy to use: some meters need a chip or code to be able to perform the test and give the result correctly. The most modern models are already coded at the factory, thus avoiding errors in results due to lack of adequate coding.
on our channel Youtube You have videos available on how to handle glucose meters.
- Quick instructions for use: It is clear that the vast majority of people DO NOT read the manuals of their devices and equipment, in this way, to minimize errors in the handling of glucose meters by laymen, each glucose meter must be accompanied by a small manual, with illustrations of how it should be used by the user Lego.
- Interference from other substances: since these meters use whole blood. Certain medications, excess triglycerides, number of erythrocytes (red blood cells), among others, can interfere with the result, underestimating or overestimating it, leading the patient to make wrong treatment decisions.
MEET: Contour Plus Glucose Meter
Other features to consider are:
Portability: If you take your meter with you, make sure it is small and portable. Most meters come with a case that has room for strips, lancets, and a lancing device.
Speed: If you check your blood glucose multiple times a day, you need a meter that displays results faster.
Sample size: the amount of blood needed to perform the test is very important. The smaller the drop of blood needed for the test, the more comfortable the puncture will be and the more hygienic your test will be.
Strip cost: When you do a lot of testing throughout the day, it is very important to choose a meter that has the most cost effective strips.
Results memory: If you need to discuss your test results with your health care team, choose a meter that has good results storage capacity.
Knowledge is the best medicine to treat diabetes!
Last update in May/2021