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Blood glucose meter testing tips Part 2

What Precautions are to be Observed Before Using Test Strips?

* Are the strips fresh? Look for expiry date. Look for colour changes on the strip pad, which can indicate chemical spoilage.
* Are the strips properly stored? Avoid exposing the strips to light.
* Are you spending the time to calibrate your meter to each new batch of test strips? There are variations from one batch to another.

How to Test Whether the Glucometer is Working Properly or Not?

1. The meter should be tested every month using a standard solution known as a ‘control’ solution that contains a known amount of glucose. If the meter shows a reading that is either too high or too low, the machine could be giving a faulty reading.
2. Results of meter should be compared with that of a lab. Measure blood glucose level with glucometer when blood is drawn for laboratory glucose test and compare the results with that of the lab.

The two readings are best compared in fasting state. Post meal comparison may not be accurate, because post meal, fingertip (capillary) blood glucose can be higher than that drawn from a vein.

Conditions that Can Interfere with Blood Glucose Readings

Low iron, anaemia, very low blood pressure, oedema in fingers and certain medications can cause problems in getting accurate blood glucose readings.

What is a Lancet?

A finger pricking device is required to obtain blood for testing. The needles used in the devise are known as lancets. A sterile lancet should be used every time. Lancets should not be shared with other patients.

Soon new lancets will he available which will use a tiny laser beam to create a small hole for blood sampling. This will eliminate the requirement of a new lancet every time a prick is made.

Can Blood Sugar be Tested without Withdrawing Blood from the Body?

One company has devised an instrument – GlucoWatch, which is a watch-like device that obtains frequent, automatic and non-invasive blood sugar levels in adults (age 18 and older) with diabetes. It has not been marketed in India so far.

What is a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System?

Continuous glucose monitoring system is a system that uses a sensor implanted for up to three days under the skin of the abdomen. The sensor records glucose levels every five minutes. Blood sugar fluctuations of last three days can be studied. It is only for hospital use.

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