Finding out you need to buy a glucose meter to determine your blood glucose can be a shock for some. for use with insulin or just to keep accurate and regular records of it, can be a little overwhelming to a novice with medical devices. They are very user-friendly, in general. Make sure you look until you find a model that fits your lifestyle well.
Blood Sample Size:
If you have circulatory issues, Raynaud’s Syndrome, naturally cold hands, or other reasons that cause you to have trouble getting a readable sample consistently, you can find a glucose monitor that accepts very small blood samples.
Aside from too small a sample, your glucose test might be thrown off by things like using an alcohol wipe to cleanse the testing area (there is evidence to show this causes monitors to read low), not cleansing the skin with soap and water adequately before sampling, humidity, elevation, the location of the sampling, damaged or expired testing strips, and even room temperature. It is important to thoroughly cleanse your hands with warm, soapy water in order to obtain an accurate sample, as well as for preventing infections from the finger sticks.
Your lifestyle might make it better for you to have a smaller-sized glucometer. If you need to carry your glucometer around with you, you might want to get a smaller-sized glucometer. Though they might cost a little more than bulkier glucometers, the smaller, lighter glucometer will come in handy if you need to carry it in a briefcase or purse in the subway or airplane, etc.
What Is Your Pain Tolerance?
If you are having a lot of pain with your fingersticks, you might want to examine where you are sticking. Try to always sample from the sides of the fingers, if possible. Sticking the pads can cause unnecessary pain since there are more nerve endings there. Fingers get stuck very frequently, and if your fingertips are a bloody, sore mess, you might want to invest in a newer model glucometer that allows testing from the forearm.
Cost Can Be A Big Factor
Check with your insurance provider to find out if there is a model of glucometer that they cover specifically. The cost of the glucometer can be small when compared to a large number of testing strips you will use, so figuring out if a certain glucometer’s testing strips are overly pricey might mean going with a different glucometer for cost reasons.
Using a glucometer will become second nature for you over time. If you are getting a lot of error messages, or are having trouble obtaining a sample, or any other issue that is preventing you from getting a good glucometer reading on a regular basis, do not be afraid to approach your doctor for further teaching, or for guidance. Hospitals often offer support groups for diabetics (as well as lots of other health issues that can be difficult to manage as a lifestyle). They also offer patient advocates and nurses who specialize in teaching things like how to use a glucometer to patients. If you can get a few walk-throughs with a glucometer with a nurse or another teacher who is well acquainted with the process, it may calm your nerves. Becoming nervous and afraid you will mess up or won’t get a good sample can actually lead to your not getting a good sample because of the anxiety involved.
Educate yourself as much as possible when you find out you need to self-test your glucose. It will ensure that your samples are accurate, and accurate samples mean you will dose yourself correctly, and better maintain your health.