There are millions of diabetics around the world. Diabetes management is extremely important to ensure that you are in control of your glucose levels. That requires regular monitoring of glucose levels. Most diabetics would prefer to have a handy glucose meter which gives them the freedom to check their glucose levels at stipulated times. There are numerous blood glucose testers or glucometers out there in the market. The meters provide diabetics the confidence and freedom to test the glucose levels as per the plan, anywhere and anytime.
Blood glucose testers
The blood glucose monitor is a pretty simple medical device. They are simple, functional and come with a variety of features that enable easy handling. A glucose meter tests the blood sample by using a lancet that enables you to prick the tip of your finger to get a drop of blood. The drop is placed on a disposable test strip. There is a slot to insert the test strip to read and calculate glucose levels. There is a small screen to display the readings. There is also a light that allows you to read in dark as well.
The blood glucose testers have several features that make it easier to use. Some have alarms to indicate if levels very high or low. Most have enough memory to store about 500 to 1000 test results. If you find it easier you may record the readings in a log book. The testers have data handling features which allow you to scroll through the previous records. Similarly there are averages of 7, 14 and 30 tests that are displayed. You can also download the test results to your PC. There are software programs available to store and analyze trends. You can even transfer the data and open it in a spreadsheet. You can easily get graphs and trend analysis. All this makes it easier to keep track of your plan and if necessary make changes.
Types of blood glucose testers
The first glucose meter was developed and marketed in 1982. Bayer and Roche are the pioneers in generic blood glucose meters. They are names considered synonymous to quality meters and other medical products. There are several manufacturers who have entered the market. There have been several improvements over the years and it has made these meters easier, simpler and better.
Most meters come with test strip, the battery powered palm sized meter, display screen, clock and memory. You just have to buy additional test strips when the initial lot is completely used. Now there are meters with alternate testing site options available. Now you need not prick your finger every time; it does become uncomfortable over a period of time.
Non-invasive testers are also being tested to enable continuous monitoring. Research is underway on developing testers using the infrared or near infrared light technology, ultrasound and electric currents etc. The non-invasive meters may replace the earlier meters. With continuous glucose sensors it will help reduce complications due to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Two well known continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) are Medtronic’s Minimed Paradigm RTS and DexCom STS System.
Each tester has its set of special features. You may want to compare the working of all meters before choosing one. Check the size, portability, testing time, speed and display properties among other factors. Cost does matter but the test strips are the ongoing cost. There are several blood glucose testers. Choose the one that fits your need the best.
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