A blood glucose meter is used to calculate the approximate amount of glucose in the blood. If you suffer from diabetes or hypoglycaemia, it is a vital part of your wellness program, as the level of glucose in your blood is critical to your well being. It works by placing a small drop of blood on a testing strip, which is of course disposable. The blood itself is obtained by pricking the skin with a sharp scalpel. The blood glucose meter uses the blood on the testing strip to calculate the level of glucose in the blood.
The main goal for diabetes sufferers is to manage their blood sugar levels themselves on a daily basis if necessary. The body usually has this responsibility, but for diabetes sufferers, this is not possible. Some manual control is therefore required, and the blood sugar meter is essential for this purpose. By keeping a close control over the amount of blood glucose one has, a reduction in the occurrence rate and severity of long-term complications from hyperglycaemia as well as a reduction in the short-term, potentially life-threatening complications of hypoglycaemia are possible.
Whilst the function of a blood glucose meter will be much the same from machine to machine, there will be some differences in the models that you are offered.
On average, a blood glucose meter will fit on the palm of your hand, although there of course variations to this. They are usually battery powered and therefore portable, which is essential to the management of your blood sugar. You may well need to check the level of glucose in your blood after every meal, or perhaps if you suddenly start to feel unwell for no explicable reason.
The test strips themselves are disposable and can only be used once. You need to ensure that there is a regular supply of these strips available for your use. The blood glucose meter will be useless without them. The strips themselves are usually made of plastic and are embedded with chemicals that allow the blood glucose meter to check the level of sugar in the blood. Some machines do use discs rather than strips, which do allow multiple readings from a single disc, but either way, the over-riding concern is that you have access to a continued supply for your machine.
The amount of blood required to take a reading may vary between machines, so check with the supplier before you use the machine, to ensure that you get accurate results. If necessary, consult with your Doctor to make sure that the machine that you are using is being used correctly.
Whilst you will be advised how and where to obtain your blood from, some parts of the body reflect changes in glucose levels more quickly than others. This is usually why the finger is used. However, if for any reason you are going to obtain blood from another part of the body, make sure that you know how long it will take for that part of the body you are using to indicate fluctuating blood sugar levels. Again, a chat with your Doctor should ensure that you are fully informed before you start to use your meter.
The amount of time required to produce a result will vary from machine to machine, Please read the manufacturer’s notes carefully to ensure that you are fully conversant with the operation of the meter. Some machines also require a code to be entered into the meter, which is obtained from the batch of test strips that you are using. This allows your meter to calibrate itself with the strips to ensure accurate results.
What are Glucose Meters and how do they work? Find out more here!
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