Glucose meters are small hand-held devices that you can carry around to measure your blood glucose level at any time. It is essential to choose the best glucose meter that gives you accurate readings, providing valuable information to your doctor, who will then prescribe medicines accordingly. Based on a series of readings, your doctor creates a treatment plan, and your nutritionist makes a diet plan, which you need to follow religiously.

You have several types of glucose meters available in the market, and buying one online is probably the easiest thing you can do. However, the range is so vast that you often get confused and keep putting away your purchase. Procrastination, especially where your health is concerned, does not pay. Hence, here are some tips on how to choose the best glucose meter to help you lead a healthy life:

What Does Your Doctor Or Nurse Have To Say?

People are hesitant to ask their doctor or nurse for guidance as they believe they will only suggest expensive brands. However, the truth is they use their experience and fall back on the data relating to the many patients they have treated and offer valuable advice and guidance.

Does Your Insurance Cover It? 

Most insurance companies cover glucose meters, though they have their list of pre-approved brands. If the glucose meter you have in mind has insurance coverage; go ahead and buy it. However, check if the testing strips and related supplies are included in the cover.

What is the Average Cost of a Glucose Meter?

Just as there is a wider range in the types of the device, the price range is also wide. Starting from basic devices that are priced low, you have fancy glucose meters that are pretty expensive. However, most insurance providers do not cover costly meters. 

If you insist on buying a fancy meter, you’ll have to pay the difference to acquire it. If strips are included in the coverage, there may be a cap on the maximum you are eligible to in a month or year. It is advisable to check with your insurance company before making a purchase.

How Do You Use a Glucose Meter?

The way you test your blood sugar levels depends on what type of glucose meter you wish to purchase. While there are the traditional meters, you also have advanced virtual diabetes care systems that are a combo of tradition and technology; they remind you (on your mobile) when your next test is due. Such app-based systems are convenient for people who are on the go. Most insurance companies have included such virtual systems in their pre-approved list due to popular demand. 

Does the Glucose Meter Keep Records?

It is advisable to have a record of your reading over a period because it is essential info that helps with long-term care. It is not practical to jot down readings, which is an outdated system, anyway. The advanced meters do have a provision for storing your readings to pull up any time for reference. 

If you are frequently on the go, you need to look for the best glucose meter that will serve your purpose; regardless of where you are (on a flight, fishing, or on vacation), you can retrieve the logs created and stored by the system. 

What about the Accuracy of the Readings?

Your glucose meter should give accurate readings. However, the accuracy of each test depends on various factors other than the quality of the meter. You need to use the right test strips, and you need basic training on how to operate the meter. Generally, user error is the primary reason why glucose readings go wrong. It would help if you took some practice test runs before learning how to get accurate readings.  Ensure your hands are clean without any residue of whatever you’ve been handling, including food, drink, makeup articles, etc. It is advisable to scrub your hands and dry them before each test.

Summing it Up

With so many glucose meters available in the market, you should do a bit of research before making a purchase. It makes sense to consult your doctor or nurse, who will guide you correctly.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "How to Choose A Glucose Meter to Manage Your Diabetes," in Medicalopedia, February 9, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9565/how-to-choose-a-glucose-meter-to-manage-your-diabetes/].