Diabetes: Choosing the Right Meter and Strips
If you or a loved one is living with Diabetes, which is the body’s inability to control blood sugar or glucose, it is extremely important that you have the right medical devices and supplies you need on hand to monitor and treat the disease. It is especially vital to watch your blood sugar/glucose levels daily or as needed are a blood glucose monitoring device and testing strips.
When you have diabetes, things such as exercise, what food you eat, medications you take, and the amount of stress you are going through can affect your blood glucose level. By monitoring your blood glucose with the right meter management of your diabetes by recording sugar levels will benefit you in the long run.
Choosing the right monitor and strips are crucial in providing you the best answers to your current blood glucose levels so that you can take necessary medical actions and keep your medical team/doctors informed of your condition. Knowing which blood testing monitors and strips to pick from can be confusing due to the different styles and brands and levels of complexity and features.
Things to consider when purchasing the right monitor and test strip also can include your cost and insurance coverage of blood glucose meters and test strips and this will vary.
The basic way a blood glucose meter works is after insertion of a test strip into the device meter, you prick your fingertip with a lancet/needle and place a small amount of blood on the test strip. A reading of your blood glucose levels will appear shortly on the screen.
When deciding on your blood glucose meter, it is always recommended that you get input and advice from your doctor, however, here are several things to consider when purchasing a meter:
• Insurance cost/coverage
• Features basic to complex: such as large buttons, easy to read and illuminated screens or displays, audio for hearing/visual impaired, etc.
• Ease of use: for example does it require daily calibration, how difficult is it to do the testing on your own or will you need assistance?
• Can it test additional items such as blood ketones?
• Downloading results/memory storage capabilities
• Do you need a meter that interacts with an insulin pump and requires calculation of insulin amount?
• Accuracy of results: name brand versus store brands
• Lancets: how comfortable are they to use? Find ones that reduce your pain when pricking for blood
Things to consider when purchasing test strips for your meter:
• Insurance cost/coverage
• Ensure compatibility of test strips with your meter especially when using generic strips
• Choose test strips that are within the expiration date
• Consider storage condition requirements such as temperature, altitude, and humidity
Finally, below is a list of the other types of medical devices and supplies you might likely need to aid in your diabetes management:
• Glucose control solutions
• Therapeutic shoes or inserts
• Sharps disposal
• Urinalysis kits
• Diabetic kits
• Diabetic socks
• Diabetic medical ID bracelets and necklaces
• Prescription drugs