How You Can Better Manage your Diabetes
Find out how you can better manage your diabetes with continuous glucose monitoring. Glucose meter technology has come a long way so that you can enjoy accurate testing and convenient monitoring. Explore common problems with your meter and where you can turn for reliable servicing or affordable replacement options. Don’t let an outdated meter or damaged test strip prevent you from understanding your blood glucose levels.
How To Choose a Glucose Meter
With so many meter options to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to turn. Your glucose monitoring device needs to fit your lifestyle and your specific testing needs. Always work with a diabetes educator before selecting a meter for self-monitoring your blood glucose.
If your monitor isn’t working correctly or isn’t suited to your testing needs, ask your diabetes educator or doctor about choosing a new glucose monitoring tool.
Here are some standard features to compare when looking for a new glucose meter:
- Speed of testing
- Size of meter
- Testing site
- Cost and type of test strips
- Cost of the meter
- Spoken instructions and other accessibility features
All the latest meters focus on one or more of these features. If you’re not happy with one of these aspects of your current meter, ask about upgrading to one that is more convenient, affordable, or practical for your lifestyle.
Find out how to calibrate your specific meter. One of the most common troubleshooting issues with a continuous monitoring glucose meter is improper calibration. Over time, your device may not be accurately reading your blood glucose levels. Talk to your diabetes educator and follow these instructions to increase the accuracy and convenience of your readings.
Basic Instructions for Using a Meter
All meters have slightly different steps, so be sure you have an educator walk you through the exact steps of your particular meter. If you’re having trouble, follow these steps and see how you may be missing a step. Improper use of a glucose meter is a common cause of incorrect readings.
First, ask your healthcare professional how often you should test your blood glucose. Some individuals should perform the test multiple times a day, while others only need to test once a day or less.
When your test is also an essential factor. Some meters ask you to test before a meal. Others state that after a meal, at bedtime, or as you experience symptoms are key times to test. Follow your meter’s directions and your health provider’s recommendations for proper testing.
To start, wash and dry your hands thoroughly. If unable to wash them, simply wipe the test site with an alcohol wipe. Prick your fingertip or alternative testing site with a lancet. This should create a small drop of blood, which must be placed on a test strip. Insert the strip into your meter and wait for the results. Record them in your journal or save them on the device to continue to monitor your blood glucose levels.
Don’t attempt to read your blood glucose without first consulting a professional and then consulting your owner’s manual. Improper meter reading won’t give you accurate measurements you need to monitor and manage your diabetes safely.
Alternative Testing Sight Options
Recent advancement in glucose meters allows you to test in more comfortable areas. Continued testing using your fingertip can be uncomfortable, so many individuals with diabetes have started using other areas, such as the upper arm, base of the thumb, thigh, or forearm.
These sites may not provide the same level of testing accuracy, so be sure you speak with a diabetes educator before switching to an alternative testing site. Some meters aren’t capable of accurately reading blood drawn from an alternative site, so be sure your meter is equipped for this alternative form.
Factors That Affect the Accuracy of Your Meter
Keep in mind that the accuracy of your meter can vary. These depend on personal factors as well as testing methods. Here are some common ways that your glucose monitoring may be reporting inaccurate results:
- Improper test strip use: Be sure you don’t test with damaged or used strips. All glucose strips are one-time use and can give incorrect results if they are expired, torn, or otherwise damaged.
- Incorrect test strip placement: Is your test strip fully inserted? Check that you can’t insert the strip any further; otherwise, you may not be getting an accurate reading or a reading at all. Once the strip is inserted in your meter, don’t attempt to move or remove it until the reading is complete.
- Test strip storage problems: Glucose meter test strips need to be stored at a specific temperature range. Extreme heat or cold can damage the strips and affect their accuracy. Check the temperature range of your test strips and discard them if exposed to temperatures outside that range.
- Sample site issues: There are a few ways that you can receive an inaccurate measurement due to your test site. Always thoroughly clean your fingertip before testing. Don’t attempt to read at an alternative site without approval. If a blood drop does not immediately appear after using your lancet, don’t press your fingertip too hard. This could cause incorrectly low results.
These are the most common methods of troubleshooting your glucose meter. If your meter continues to have complications or there is any physical damage to it, don’t hesitate to have your testing device serviced or replaced. A damaged meter may not give you the accurate readings you need.
Signs Your Meter Isn’t Working
Most meters have quality control or calibration feature. Periodically test your meter to ensure that it’s accurately recording your blood glucose levels. If your specific meter doesn’t have a calibration feature, use a test quality control solution.
Ask your health care provider if you’re actually using the correct meter or you are experiencing any complications. A meter issue may cause an unusually high or low reading, but it may also be a sign of a serious complication. Be sure your diabetes is safely under control before looking for alternative meter options.
Some meters may not be the optimal choice for your type of diabetes and your testing strategy. Consider replacing or servicing your meter if it shows signs of damage or continued unusual readings.
Even if your meter is working correctly, consider exploring the latest meter options. Cutting-edge glucose monitoring allows you to enjoy accurate, comfortable readings. Older meters may not provide you with the same conveniences, so if you’re uncomfortable with your glucose monitoring routine, then it may be time for a change.
Where To Have Your Blood Glucose Meter Serviced or Replaced
At MedEnvios, we offer the latest blood glucose meter options and professional servicing for your existing meter. Browse our selection of glucose meters to determine how we can assist you with your daily diabetes monitoring. Don’t let an incorrect reading affect your everyday life or health, but accurately monitor your glucose today with our innovative meter selection.
Featured Image Credit: getty, Marina Vol