What is a Glucometer (Blood Glucose Meter)? Different Types and Usage
What is a glucometer?
A glucometer is an important medical device that is used to measure blood glucose levels from home. This device, which is also known as a diabetic blood glucose test meter, is a key part of your home glucose monitoring kit and is commonly used by patients with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of blood glucose as a result of the body becoming resistant to insulin. Patients with diabetes are required to monitor their blood glucose levels regularly, so that they can prevent their blood sugar from reaching dangerous levels. A diabetic patient is required to share the results with their doctor, so that they can determine if there is a need to change medication doses. Blood glucose results can also help your doctor determine how other factors in your treatment program, like exercise and diet, affect your blood sugar levels. It is important you follow the recommendation of your doctor on how many times you need to test your blood glucose levels using a glucometer.
Different types of diabetic blood glucose test meters
There are different types of diabetes meters, ranging from basic to advanced models, available in the market today. The basic models come with easy to use features. Advanced models have advanced features, such as apps, that allow you to share your results with your doctor. There are some types of blood glucose monitoring devices that can check your ketones as well as your blood glucose levels. Such devices are suitable for diabetic patients who are at risk of having ketoacidosis.
It is important you know how to choose a glucometer that is suitable for your own personal needs. In case you have vision problems, go for devices with audio.
Examples of glucose measuring devices with audio include
- Element Plus
- EasyMax Voice
Other medical devices like EasyMax Light, FreeStyle Lite and OneTouch Ping come with display light for easy readings of blood sugar levels.
How to use a glucometer
Before you start testing your blood glucose levels with a glucometer, you must first understand the instructions that are given on your device. Ensure you read the instructions for your specific model. You will be required to prick your finger using a lancet to draw a sample of blood. The next step is to place the blood sample on a blood glucose test strip, which should be inserted into the blood glucose measuring device. The blood sample will react with chemicals on the test strip, which the glucometer will use to display your blood glucose readings in mg/dl or mmol/l.
How does a glucose meter work?
When you place blood on the disposable test strip and insert it into a glucose measuring device, it reacts with a chemical known as oxidase. This reaction produces gluconic acid from the blood glucose. The test strip also has electrical terminals that allows the glucometer to measure a current. The current will vary depending on level gluconic acid, which the glucose meter uses to calculate blood sugar levels.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.