Life Coach Magazine

How to Choose the Right Glucometer?

By Manjumodiyani @HoshiyaarChaddi
Only a diabetic knows the real ordeal of managing their condition that has far reaching impact on their overall health. The smallest fluctuations in the associated factors could upset the blood glucose levels to a tremendous extent. It is very important if you are diabetic that you monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. It gives you and your doctor an insight into the effectiveness of the treatment plan.

Is the new diet working well, is your exercise routine helping, to what extent your stress levels can affect the blood glucose levels; these are very critical aspects of managing diabetes and it’s important to know the answers. Inadequately managed diabetes can lead to blindness and renal disorders. Of course, it would be very impractical to go to your doctor’s office to get your blood sugar levels checked every now and then. This is why you need your own, personal blood sugar monitor, also known as the glucometer. A glucometer is a compact digital device that can be used to monitor the blood sugar levels of the diabetic patients at home.
How to Choose the Right Glucometer?Now let’s talk about how it works and what features a good glucometer should have.How does the Blood Sugar Monitor Work?When it is about the mechanism used in the glucometers all boils down to chemistry. The glucometer consists of two elements; the testing strip and the monitor. The testing strip is for one-time use only and it is where all the magic happens. The strip comprises of some layers of specific chemicals and partitions to keep them segregated. The first chemical in the strip is the glucose oxidase. There is another one known as potassium ferricyanide. There are two metal electrodes as well that are meant for determining the flow of current that takes place during the chemical reaction.The chemical reaction commences when the blood comes in contact with the testing strip and gets absorbed. The glucose oxidase reacts with the glucose in the blood and gets converted into gluconic acid. The gluconic acid moves onto the next layer in the strip, i.e., the potassium ferricyanide. The reaction between the gluconic acid and potassium ferricyanide results into the formation of potassium ferrocyanide. The potassium ferrocyanide reacts with the electrodes, which basically is electrolysis. The electrodes measure the flow of current and the monitor interprets it and displays the results on the screen in the form of a number that we can understand.It is quite obvious that higher the blood glucose levels, more intense the reaction, and greater the amount of current generated. Although it might sound complicated to those who are not familiar with the concepts of chemistry, this is a very simple chain of reactions. Your glucometer looks compact and packs the power to show you the readings of your blood sugar levels within just a few seconds.How to Choose the Right Glucometer?Whether you are new to glucometers or you already have been using one and wish to upgrade to a better device; the above question is equally important in both cases. The cost of glucometer has two components as well, one being the initial cost of the monitor and the kit itself and the subsequent other supplies of testing strips. Before you start researching on a particular type of glucometer, do consult your doctor so that they can advise you to go for a specific glucometer.
  • Simplicity and Ease
The other thing to consider is the ease of use. Some glucometers are very straightforward while others need more effort. How much blood does the test strip need to produce accurate readings, how much time does it take to get the reading, are the buttons large enough to offer convenience; are some important factors to consider. Glucometers needing a small blood sample, between 1 and 1.5 microlitres, are always preferable.
  • Quality of Screen
The screen of your glucometer should be sufficiently large and bright to let you read the result effortlessly. It’s even better if you go for a device with an illuminated screen, which is just great for people who have trouble seeing clearly.
  • Beepers and Audio Capabilities
Be it a glucometer or just any other health monitoring device for home use, a beeper is always a desirable feature. It makes a sound to get your attention and lets you know the process has been completed and readings generated. Besides, glucometers with audio capabilities that read out the results are great for those who have a bad vision.
  • Memory

Some hi-end glucometers have a memory to store the blood test results; along with the date and time the tests were taken. Such devices are also capable of charting a trend of your blood sugar levels to show you the big picture. Some glucometers also facilitate downloading your results to your smartphone or computer for further analysis.
  • Budget

Like in the case of any other health monitoring device, your budget plays a crucial role while purchasing a glucometer as well. The price on the basic glucometer would be low and the one with fancy features would obviously cost more. A glucometer is like an investment. You would need to use it several times a day and accuracy is very important. Try not to go for a very low-end product. Opt for a reputed, doctor-recommended brand. It will serve you well in the long run. Apart from the spectacular product, the reputed brands are known for their good customer service and warranty against manufacturing defects. One Touch and Accu-Check are the makers of trustworthy blood glucose monitoring devices available in India.
Finally, when you buy the glucometer, take it to your doctor’s office. Most glucometers come with a comprehensive user manual with pictorials, but it won’t harm seeing your doctor just to be sure you know your device well. They will help you with using it. Also, verify your glucometer’s readings against your doctor’s glucometer, just to be sure yours is accurate. Keep the manufacturer’s toll-free number handy, should you have any queries pertaining to the functionality of your device or if it needs troubleshooting.

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