How to Use a Glucometer to monitor your Blood Sugar level?

Use a Glucometer

Monitoring the blood sugar level is an important part of diabetes management. This will help you to know what kind of activities or food is responsible for increasing your blood sugar level. It also helps you to control your diabetes from reaching the fatal limits. There are several ways to monitor your blood sugar but for most of the diabetes tests, you need to visit the laboratory. If you want to monitor your blood sugar at home then glucometers are the best.

What is Glucometer?

glucometer

Glucometer has now become an integral part of the lives of diabetes patients. These are small sized portable device that requires a drop of blood to measure your blood sugar level in real time. Glucometer provides the readings by detecting the blood glucose content in your body with the help of glucometer strips. These strips contain some kind of chemicals which gives out the electric signals when blood comes in its contact. Therefore, you get the numerical results within few seconds.

Principles on which the glucometers work

The three most common and popular glucometer principle includes:

  • By glucose oxidase
  • By glucose dehydrogenase
  • By glucose dye oxidoreductase

Some meters and strips are coded. If you are using the glucose oxidase meter, it can interfere with your blood oxygen level and you will get the altered results. Similarly, glucose dehydrogenase can interfere with maltose and galactose contained in the solution for infusion. Therefore, the accuracy of the test result gets altered if you use the test strips of one glucometer on the other. This happens when the code on the test strips does not correspond to the code setting of your glucometer.

Simple steps to use the blood sugar test machine

steps to use the blood sugar test machine

With the help of portable and mobile based glucometer, it is possible to monitor your blood sugar level anywhere anytime. One has to follow the instructions mentioned in the user manual provided with the kit to use the glucometer effectively. All you need to be ready with glucometer, the test strip, lancing device, lancet, and alcohol pad to get started with blood test machine.

Following are the steps that one needs to follow to use the blood sugar test machine:

Step 1: Preparation of lancing device

First step to measure your blood sugar level is to prepare the lancing device and for this you need to follow these steps:

  1. The internal cap of the lancing device is twisted and removed so that the mounting part of the lancet insertion opens up
  2. You need to hold the lancet from its circular tip and then insert it into the mounting part of the device. The protective circular tip is then rotated to make it use.
  3. Internal cap is then re-attached to the mounting part of the device
  4. Select the depth of the blood sample between the range 1 and 5 where 5 means the deepest penetration
  5. Hold the lancing device and then pull on the sliding barrel. You should stop when you hear the click sound. It will release the button of the lancing device and make it ready for puncturing to get your blood sample.

Step 2: Cleaning hands and glucometer

Clean your hands and glucometer: You should clean your hands every time you use a sugar level test machine. Use a good handwash solution and gently rub your hands for atleast 20 seconds thoroughly. In case, you are outside and unable to wash your hands then you can use alcohol swab to clean your hands. Now completely dry your hands specially fingers by gently dabbing it on a towel. Now rub your palm softly so that the blood in your fingers gets warmed up.

Step 3: Preparation of glucometer and the strips

You should switch off the glucometer before inserting the blood sugar strips. Now you need to insert the glucose test strip in the glucometer’s test strip port ensuring that the contact bars face upwards. The glucometer will start automatically with a beep sound when the strip gets in its contact.

Step 4: Take the blood sample and monitor blood sugar level

When your device is ready for testing the blood sugar, you just need to get your blood sample and monitor your blood sugar. For this, you should follow the below mentioned steps or the instructions written on the test kit box:

  1. Firstly, you have to place the prepared lancet against the pad on your finger once your glucometer is ready.
  2. Now gently press the trigger button to get your finger punctured. In this way, a drop of blood will come out of your finger. Checkout the type of blood drop required by your glucometer. Some devices use the hanging drop of blood while the others are one touch sugar test machine. A small drop of blood is used and drawn in with capillary action.
  3. A blood sample is hence applied on the narrow end of the already inserted sugar testing strip.
  4. Wait for around 5 seconds to get the most accurate results. You will get the results given in g/l, mg/dl, or mmol/l. You can get mislead if you do not pay attention to the unit of calculated reading.

Step 5: Dispose of the used lancet and test strips

You need to clear the blood from the fingertip after a sugar level check. Twist and remove the internal cap to open the mounting part of the lancet. The lancing device is cocked again after the round protective cover is removed and the lancet needle is inserted into it. Remove the lancet when the lancing device is locked. Now, you throw away the removed lancet and the sugar strips into the dustbin.

Technology enabled Glucometers

Glucometer manufacturing companies are now featuring technologies in the meters. They are currently using different measurement technologies to monitor your blood sugar level. You can sync latest and tech-friendly glucometers with an app, website or cloud. Some glucometers allow you to store your data on app or website synced with them while others will allow you to store readings in their own memory.

types of glucometer machines

There is wide range of glucometer machine available in the market. Some of the affordable and popular options are:

  • Wireless network model: In this type of glucometer, blood sugar level logs are sent to the tracking platform through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
  • Glucometers with speaking mode: Such glucometers easy for those who have visual impairments. They simply vocalise the process to use diabetes test machine to complete the test without problem. User can hear the final reading of the test result as well.
  • Glucometers with multi-parameters: With the help of such type of glucometers, you can measure other parameters as well in addition to the blood sugar level check. Glucometers integrated with a thermometer, ketosis reader, cholesterol reader, lactometer, or more are also there.

Things to consider while buying a glucometer

There was a time when monitoring blood glucose levels were not so easy. People have to visit pathology and wait for their turn to give the blood sample for a glucose test. Thankfully, glucometers have ended the stress of visiting pathology for getting their blood sugar levels checked. If you also want to keep track of your sugar level at home, it is worthy to invest in a quality glucometer. Here are some tips to consider while buying a glucometer:

  • Accuracy: Make sure you pick the best quality sugar testing meter that has a good record of accuracy in clinical trials and has got the best reviews.
  • Test time: The test time in most of the glucometers is within 5 seconds. It is of no use if you have to wait for longer particularly when you need to test your sugar levels 3-4 times a day.
  • Data storage and retrieval: Latest models of blood sugar meters are capable of saving your blood sugar test reports. It helps in tracking and analyzing your blood sugar levels over a period of time. Some technically advanced glucometers have an email facility so that you can easily share your report with your doctor. Some meters are even capable of storing the data of multiple users in a segregated manner.
  • Glucometer with automatic coding feature: Some glucometers require manual coding. Thus, every time you start a test using a new box of sugar testing strips. Incorrect feeding of code can affect its accuracy for displaying the results. You will surely get the miscalculated values of your blood sugar levels. Hence, pick the glucometer with an automatic coding feature.
  • Maintenance of the meter: Buying a glucometer is a one-time investment but you need to check the maintenance cost of the meter. Make sure it is simple to clean and easy to store. Also, check if it requires calibration or not.

Apart from these, you can also look for the other features in glucometers. You can look for audio compatibility, having USB connectivity mode, the backlight to enhance the readability of the readings. Some glucometers provide multiple test checks. You can check body ketone levels, record carbohydrates grams and insulin dose in addition to the blood glucose level.

Blood Sugar range that you can check on glucometer

Most of the blood sugar machines or glucometers allow you to measure blood sugar levels between 20 mg/dL to 600 mg/dL. When you have blood sugar level above 600mg/dL then your glucometer will reads high or HI without giving you the actual reading. In such case, you need to immediately take medical consulation.

Cost of the glucometer

The average cost of the blood sugar test kit ranges from Rs 115 to Rs 4999. You can pick the glucometer from the top brands including Accu-chek, Accusure, Acqua-check, Dr.Morepen and more. Similarly, the average cost of blood sugar test strips is between Rs 500 and Rs 1000 for 50 strips.

FAQ’s:

Are the glucometers affordable?

Yes, the glucometers are affordable. Nowadays, you can easily find the cheap and reliable glucometers that costs you comparatively less than making several visits to pathology for blood sugar test.

Can glucometer test strips of one glucometer be used with the other glucometer?

No, not all the sugar test strips are compatible with all the glucometer. Different glucometers have different test strips to measure the blood sugar level correctly. Thus, you should refer to the product page of the brand of which you have purchased the glucometer to buy the right test strips.

What to do when glucometer shows an error message?

If you face any problem in using glucometer then your first need to check the ‘troubleshooting’ section in the user manual of glucose monitoring device. In case, if you are not able to fix the error, you can contact the customer care executive for troubleshooting.

From where can I buy glucometer?

You can buy sugar test machine online or from a local medical store. Since these are very common devices these days so you can easily get the glucometers from the top brands as well.

Are the glucometers reliable?

Yes, the glucometers are reliable. You get the most accurate values of your blood sugar level.

Reference:

http://guide.medicalexpo.com/choosing-the-right-blood-glucose-meter/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-use-a-glucometer-1087304

https://arcatron.com/how-to-use-glucometer-how-to-test-sugar-at-home/

https://www.beatoapp.com/blog/how-to-use-a-glucometer-monitor-your-sugar-levels-at-home/

https://www.accu-chek.com/management-tips/how-test-your-blood-sugar

https://prescriptionhope.com/blog-why-is-the-glucometer-reading-high/

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