Posts Tagged ‘ Blood glucose meters ’

How to Choose and Use Your Blood Glucose Meter

Blood Glucose Test StripsBlood glucose monitoring system is a way of testing the concentration of glucose in the blood (glycemia). Particularly important in the care of diabetes mellitus, a blood glucose test is performed by piercing the skin (typically, on the finger) to draw blood, then applying the blood to a chemically active disposable Glucose Test Strips. Different manufacturers use different technology, but most systems measure an electrical characteristic, and use this to determine the glucose level in the blood.

Contrary to expectations, not all of are comfortable around digital or electronic devices. Having barely mastered the art of receiving and making calls on the cell phone, the last thing we want to do is learn to use yet another digital gizmo – this one a blood glucose meters. Fortunately, the modern day Blood Glucose Monitor is extremely easy to use. Today I shall explain how to use your new Blood Glucose Monitor.

Using Blood Glucose Monitors

1. Ensure you hands are clean.
2. Open the package containing your new Blood Glucose Monitor.
3. Remove from the package and keep ready the lancing device, the box containing the glucose monitoring strips and the blood sugar monitor.
4. Insert a fresh unused lance in the lancing device, set it to 3 (by rotating the base of the lancing device) and prime it (usually achieved by pressing the top once).
5. Extract the code chip (a small white rectangular plastic) from the box containing the blood glucose strips and insert the chip into the receptacle (usually located on the side of the Blood Glucose Monitor). This needs to be done each time you open a fresh box of blood glucose strips (not each time you take a blood glucose test).
6. After inserting the code chip into the blood glucose test meter, switch on the Blood Glucose Monitor and wait until a code number appears – this ensures that the Blood Glucose Monitor and the diabetes test strips are synchronized.
7. Extract a fresh glucose strip from the box and keep ready.
8. Hold the lancing device vertically on the tip of any finger and release the trigger (usually a small round button on the side of the diabetic lancing devices. A very tinny almost invisible hole will be created in your skin.
9. You may need to press the around the hole so that a small drop of blood becomes visible on the surface of your skin.
10. Switch on the Blood Glucose Monitor and wait for the blood icon to flash (takes about 10 seconds).
11. Take the glucose strip and swipe (the end with the round hole) across the drop of blood. You would want to ensure the blood is evenly spread across the hole of the glucose strip.
12. Insert the glucose strip into the receptacle of the Blood Glucose Monitor and wait for the results (takes a few seconds).
13. Note down the time, the contents of your meal and the blood glucose result in a diary or notebook specially set aside for this purpose.
14. Push out the cover from the lower end of the lancing device – this exposes the lance.
15. Carefully remove the used lance from the lancing device and also the used glucose strip from the Blood Glucose Monitor and bag it separately before discarding.
16. Switch off the Blood Glucose Monitor and put the kit away in a safe place so your children do not have access to it.

Difficulty in extracting blood

Omron body fat analyzerThe depth to which the needle of the lancing device enters the skin can be controlled. For children, the lancing device can be set to a depth of 1 or 2. This results in shallow penetration but should be okay for kids. For adults, the lancing device needs to be set to a minimum depth of 3. If this does not produce the desired result, try 3.5 or 4 or more.

Once you use the lancing device is used, the drop of blood (usually) does not automatically appear on the skin; it needs to be coaxed out by pressing the area surrounding the prick. Usually, a light squeeze does the trick.

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Blood Glucose Test for Diabetes – Reference Ranges

Most diabetics will be familiar with the terms blood glucose, blood glucose test, blood glucose level and blood sugar meters, but what does blood glucose really mean? Why do blood sugar levels need to be controlled?

If you’ve done a blood glucose test through glucose testing meters and the lab technician has highlighted some of the results or marked them with an asterisk, you probably want to know what constitutes a normal, below normal or abnormal blood glucose test results. So today let us discuss blood glucose tests reference ranges.

The result of any blood glucose test in a clinical lab is compared to a “reference range”. This simply means that the result of the blood glucose test must be considered in the context, without which the test is meaningless. To interpret what is normal for you, the doctor must know what is considered normal for people of your age and what activity was done before the test was conducted. For example, when you receive the results of your blood glucose test, your doctor might say something like, “Your blood glucose test was out of normal range.”

blood sugar meters

So, what is a reference range and what can be considered “normal”? Some laboratory tests give a simple yes or no result. Suppose you had a test done for strep throat, the result of the test would show if you have the infection or not. But most other tests are not so simple in that the meaning of the result will depend on the context. The lab report for your blood glucose test for example, will typically show your result followed by the reference range. This reference range is established by testing a large group of healthy people and study what appears to be ‘normal’ for them.

The normal fasting blood glucose level is about 70-99mg/dL or 3.9 to 5.5mmol/L. So if your blood glucose test result reads 100-125mg, ref. range 70-99mg/dL, it means that your blood glucose level is above the normal range. When the doctor in the example above said your blood glucose test was above the normal range, he is referring to the normal blood sugar level in context with the normal reference range for fasting blood sugar. Blood sugar levels above the normal range usually indicate a medical problem. If your blood glucose tests consistently show high levels of blood sugar, it may signify a pre-diabetic stage.

There are however many factors affecting your blood glucose test results. It could be factors like anxiety or stress, excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine, etc. Therefore, it is essential to take the blood samples in a standardized fashion. Hence, it is important to comply with the doctor’s instructions to prepare for your blood glucose test, like coming in first thing in the morning to draw the blood through high quality blood glucose meters before eating anything. This ensures that your blood sample is close to the parameters of the reference group, which is crucial for the accuracy of the test results.

blood glucose meters

Although your blood glucose test report may show the result in comparison with the reference range, your doctor will need to interpret those results in relation to your health status and physical evaluation based on his personal knowledge of your medical history. He would need to determine if the result falling outside the reference range does indeed mean something significant for your individual health status or not.

Also known as: Fasting blood sugar (FBS), Blood sugar; Fasting blood glucose (FBG), Blood glucose, Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), Urine glucose and blood glucose tests.

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