How To Choose A Blood Glucose Meter

Because you’ll need to perform a blood glucose test multiple times per day, choosing a blood glucose meter (also called a “blood sugar meter” or “glucometer”) that you can work with is extremely important.

Blood Sugar Meters

A blood sugar meter is a small machine that measures the level of glucose in your blood. Most machines compare your reading to normal blood glucose levels, and provide you with feedback you can use to control your current blood sugar levels.

Machines that read a drop of blood taken from the tip of your finger are considered the most accurate tools for blood glucose tests. However, many types of meter are available, including machines that:

  • Take a sample from your leg or arm
  • Use electrical currents on the skin to continuously monitor blood glucose
  • Use sensors placed under the skin to provide continuous monitoring.

Choosing a Blood Glucose Meter

Begin by talking to your insurance provider. Your insurance plan may cover a specific brand of blood sugar meter. Your doctor may also provide input on the type of meter you should buy.

Costs between blood glucose meters can vary widely, as can the cost of the test strips you’ll need. Put together a list of costs, and see what can fit in your budget.

Determine how big each blood sugar meter is, and whether or not it’s easy to use. You may want a bigger model, with large readouts, so you can see your results with ease and determine if your readings fall within the normal blood glucose ranges. Or, you may want a small model that’s easier to take with you every day. Some models read your results to you, or store your results within the machine, so it’s easier to talk to your doctor about your blood glucose test results.

Look on the packaging of the blood sugar meter and see if the customer service and support contact information is clearly printed. You may need technical support to get started with blood glucose testing.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a blood glucose meter is a big responsibility. No matter what model you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor about your meter and make sure you’re using it correctly. Finding a tool you are comfortable with, and that you’re using properly, will help you keep your glucose within normal blood glucose limits.

Resources

American Diabetes Association. (2010). Blood glucose meters. Retrieved January 10, 2010, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/blood-glucose-meters.html

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Blood glucose meter: How to choose. Retrieved January 10, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-glucose-meter/MY00924

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2010). Glucose testing devices.Retrieved January 10, 2010, from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/GlucoseTestingDevices/default.htm