Choosing the right blood glucose meter

Did you know that in Quebec, 760,000 people live with diabetes? If you are part of this number, you must have a blood glucose meter that will allow you to monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and above all, over time.

Using a blood glucose meter (or glucometer) is the best way to check, at home, if your sugar level is well controlled. There are many models on the market, but how do you choose the one that suits you best? First, you need to target your needs.

Please keep in mind that this meter only reads the results; it does not control your blood sugar. Only you can normalize your blood sugar by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking your medications prescribed by your doctor every day, if applicable. The results will also guide your doctor in determining the best treatment and monitoring your progress, and will allow you to adjust to achieve better control.

WHERE TO GET A BLOOD GLUCOSE METER?

These devices are available in pharmacies. You can also obtain them via the Internet, but in store, your health professional will be there to better advise you and target your needs. He will also be available to explain how the device works.

HOW TO DETERMINE WHICH DEVICE IS BEST FOR YOU?

To obtain a blood glucose meter adapted to your needs, here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing one:

  • Do you have vision problems? If so, be aware that there are devices with a larger display screen. Some even have a voice function that will give you your result verbally.
  • Do you have dexterity problems? Do you suffer from arthritis, do you have shaky hands? There are devices that require less manipulation and fit well in the hand.
  • Do you travel regularly? If you’re someone who travels a lot, whether for leisure or work, you won’t want to be burdened with a device that’s too big.
  • Are you passionate about computers? Does your computer follow you everywhere? Models that can be connected to your computer or tablet via a USB port are available. The results will be transferred to a special program, previously installed on your computer.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE METER

Apart from the different functions of each device available on the market, the operating instructions remain basically the same. Each player is sold with the following products:

  • These have a small needle that pricks your fingertip to obtain a blood sample. They must be changed after each use to avoid injury, infection, or unnecessary discomfort.
  • The lancing device.This is a small pen that holds the lancet and allows blood to be drawn. It can hold one needle at a time or a barrel of lancets depending on the brand of the reader.
  • Test strips.These are the strips that collect your blood sample which will be sent to the machine to be analyzed.
  • A blood sugar log.You will be able to note your results and monitor your readings. It often includes some relevant advice.

Please note that most blood glucose meters are free with the purchase of strips. The strips are also reimbursed by drug insurance companies as well as the Quebec public drug insurance plan.

OPTIMIZING THE USE OF YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE METER

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your blood glucose meter:

  • Ask your doctor, your pharmacist or the professional responsible for monitoring your diabetes how often you should do your blood sugar tests.
  • Make sure you know what blood sugar targets you should be reaching. Learn to correctly interpret the results you obtain.
  • Make sure you have full instruction on how to use your device. This can be done by a member of your pharmacy’s laboratory team.
  • If in doubt, call the pharmacy or dial the “1-800” hotline number provided by the device manufacturer.
  • If you realize that the device you have chosen does not suit you, change it for another model. But if everything is fine, do not replace it unnecessarily.
  • Try to have only one device at a time and do not scatter your equipment needed to carry out the tests. This could cause confusion which could potentially lead to distorted results.
  • Check the expiration date of your test strips and do not use them if they are expired. Keep them in a dry place at room temperature. If they come in a vial, close the lid immediately after removing a strip.
  • Do not store your device or strips in a place exposed to temperature variations such as the bathroom or car.

Remember that you are the main decision maker when purchasing a blood glucose meter. You are the best person to determine your needs and optimize your choice. Don’t be influenced by attractive advertising or people around you. Instead, talk to your pharmacist. By choosing a blood glucose meter that is adapted to your needs, you will be able to better control your diabetes. Sometimes, the motivation to monitor your blood glucose levels wanes over time. However, it is an essential measure of complete and optimal diabetes management. Put the odds in your favor by carefully choosing a device that is right for you!

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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