A glucometer is a self-monitoring blood glucose device and is most beneficial for diabetics. Most glucometers are based on two principles:
A chemical is present on the test strip. When the strip comes in contact with glucose, a colour gets produced. The meter measures the intensity of the colour and the level of glucose present which is then represented as mg/dl.
- Electric Current
The second type of glucometer is the one which measures the electric current present in the blood. This depends on the amount of glucose present. As soon as your blood is put on the test strip, an enzyme transfers electrons from glucose to a chemical present in the strip. Thereafter, the meter measures the flow of electrons as current. The amount of current will depend on the amount of glucose present. After which the meter produces the reading in mg/dl.
Usually buyers worry about the accuracy of meter readings. However, the values on these meters are generally quite reliable. There may be a slight inconsequential difference between the sample of the lab and a glucometer reading due to the reasons stated below:
- 10-15% Difference
This difference in readings is usually because the lab utilizes plasma blood while glucometers use whole blood.
- Higher Reading
The meters use capillary blood while laboratory samples make use of venous blood. Capillary blood may provide a slightly higher reading when compared to venous blood.
- Test Strips
Each glucometer is available with its own strips to test. You need to buy the correct strip for your glucometer. A strip uses a code that must be set correctly before using.
They are used to prick the finger and obtain a drop of blood to be placed on your test strip. Each pricking device comes with its own size of lancet. The lancets are sterile and hence, they should not be shared.
Benefits of using a glucometer:
- Diabetics can take care of themselves and avoid regular doctor and lab visits
- Glucometers promote well being of the patient
- It helps early detection and confirmation of hypoglycemia
- They can help understand effect of medications.
- Based on readings you can alter medication and lifestyle.
- Since high sugar level can also be a sign of infection, the glucometer can help in assistance of detecting such infections.