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Blood ketone meters are medical instruments that enable you to check for ketone levels in your body. Whenever our bodies need to metabolize fat for energy, our liver releases these substances. All of us produce ketones, which typically pose no health risks. If you are diabetic, however, excessive ketone levels can result in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), a sometimes fatal condition. In periods of sickness, ketone monitoring is especially critical. Therefore, it's always advisable to keep an eye on your ketone levels, particularly if you suffer from Type-I diabetes.
If you are just starting to monitor your ketone levels, read this guide to learn about the different blood ketone meters and test strips available as well as how to use a blood ketone meter.
How to Purchase a Blood Ketone Meter
To perform the test, you will require a blood ketone meter plus a kit that contains the ketone test strips and fingerpicking lancet needles to take your blood sample. These meters can also scan the test strips for blood glucose, but note that glucose strips cannot test for ketones. The common brands available are:
- Nova Max Plus: This meter automatically switches from blood glucose testing to ketone measurement when you put in a ketone test strip. You do not need to input a pin to switch it. If you utilize this meter mainly for glucose testing, it will prompt you to perform ketone testing if your glucose levels are consistently 250 mg/dL or above. Compared to the Precision Xtra test strips, the Nova Max test strips are more affordable and need a blood sample of just 0.3 microliters.
How to Purchase Ketone Test Strips
Make certain you purchase the right brand of test strips for the appropriate ketone meter so they are compatible. Ketone test strips should only be used once. The FDA cautions against purchasing test strips that haven't been approved by them or that have already been used since they could have been improperly stored or are past their expiration date. Be sure to check the strips' expiry dates as expired test strips won't produce reliable readings.
Steps for Using a Blood Ketone Meter and Test Strips
- As directed on the packaging, insert a needle through the lancing pen.
- Use soap to wash your fingers and palms thoroughly, then fully dry them.
- Take a test strip out of its packaging, then place it into the meter.
- Push the button while holding the lancing pen against the side of your finger.
- Squeeze your fingertip lightly to obtain a droplet of blood. To adequately fill the strip, you will require a substantial sample. You'll know how much blood you require once you've done it a few times.
- Place the tip of the test strip touching your blood sample until it fills the small gap and the meter starts up.
- Wait a few seconds for the result.
- Note the reading and throw away the test strip.