The 8 Best Glucometers
8. Accu-Chek Aviva Plus
- large user-friendly buttons
- onscreen text is too small for some
- all accessories are sold separately
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
7. FreeStyle Lite
- illuminated test strip port
- shows results quickly
- doesn't come with testing strips
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
6. One Touch Verio IQ
- doesn't require user coding
- identifies high and low patterns
- included case is a bit bulky
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Active1st Bayer Contour Next Kit
- great value for the price
- extremely accurate readings
- components expire after 18 months
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
4. Bayer Contour Next USB
- comes with a lancing device
- useful for tracking trends
- small enough to fit in a pocket
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
3. Telcare BGM
- can set testing reminders
- large and colorful screen
- connects using cellular technology
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. One Touch Ultra 2
- can store up to 360 readings
- readings have a date and time stamp
- can upload data to a computer
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. A1CNow+ System
- very simple to use
- does not require fasting
- comes with 20 test strips
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
How Important Is A Good Glucometer?
As a diabetic, monitoring the blood sugar levels is key to keeping the body healthy. This often means regular visits to the doctor to check blood plasma glucose levels. More importantly, however, is how this applies to the daily life of a person with diabetes.
With the discovery of the oxygen electrode in the 1950s, new monitoring options became available to diabetic patients and their physicians. Starting in the early 1980s, personal blood glucometers were distributed, after they were found to help patients improve their glycemic control.
Still, blood glucose levels from personal glucometers can vary from the results of plasma tests at the doctor's office. This is why it is especially important to work directly with a physician to set up a blood glucose management plan. A doctor can also help calibrate a new glucometer for the most accurate results possible.
When personally dosing with insulin, the smallest range of inaccuracy possible is the only way to be certain you are not giving the body too much or too little insulin. Using a good glucometer is more than a matter of convenience for many; it is the only way for them to be certain that their blood sugar is not dangerously high or low.
Are There Any Natural Diabetes Options Out There?
As awareness about the side-effects of chemical medicines on the body rises, so does the inclination for patients to choose natural remedies for diabetes symptoms. So, which are the best natural options for diabetes control?
At the head of the natural medicinal race are various essential oils. As extracts of medicinal plants, essential oils can help provide safe and natural remedies to diabetes patients. The high content of bioactive compounds in essential oils are readily absorbed through the nose or skin, and begin their action immediately.
In a recent study, an extraction of coriander was found to help protect the cells of diabetic test subjects. It has been shown to reduce serum glucose and increase insulin release. Another important protective agent may be the simplest one out there: fiber. Fiber helps to slow the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the body. This is important, as carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Adding high fiber foods to the diet helps to keep glucose levels steady throughout the day.
Though traditionally used as medicine, science is just now catching up to the idea that herbs can also be natural remedies to diabetic ailments. According to a recent study, cinnamon lowers blood glucose. Green tea also shows promise at naturally reducing type 2 diabetes symptoms. The main antioxidant in green tea is EGCG, which is shown to improve insulin activity and glucose control in the body.
Foods rich in omega-3 oils are also amazing for people with diabetes. The oils improve circulation in the body, reducing the likelihood of blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. They do this without changing glucose or insulin activity like some medications. As people with diabetes are up to eight times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack in their life, including heart healthy omega-3 oils from sources like fatty fish can be an amazing preventative measure.
Keeping Your Glucometer's Results Sharp
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards require any personal glucometers to measure blood glucose levels to within 20 percent for glucose at 75 mg/dl or higher; meaning there is a good degree of fluctuation allowed in personal results.This is why many studies recommend that doctors monitor the use of personal glucometers at first; to ensure accuracy of the results.
In order to get the most accurate reading possible from any blood glucose monitor, there are some steps that even the most seasoned user can forget from time to time. The most vital step is to wash the hands before testing. The residue from a banana peel may not seem like much, but it can greatly affect the reading of a glucometer. If hand soap is not an option, alcohol-based sanitizers are a suitable alternative. Whichever method is utilized; it is just as important that the hands are completely dried before testing. Even small amounts of excess liquid can dilute the blood and generate a false reading.
That said, many people encourage the use of the second drop of blood for the actual test. Even on a clean hand, the first drop may be contaminated with soap or alcohol; using the second drop of blood is much less likely to be contaminated.
It is also highly important to use a control solution with a glucometer. While many people use glucometers at home, there is a severe lack in education surrounding the use of control fluid. Studies have shown that as the education about personal glucose care increases, patients' glycemic control increases.