Glucose Testing Devices are used to measure the blood sugar level

Description: Good glucose control using home monitors lead to fewer complications

Introduction

Glucose Testing Devices are the devices used to measure the blood sugar (glucose) level.  Blood sugar is glucose that is a source of energy to the body. Generally the body regulates the amount of glucose in the blood with the help of insulin, however if the body is unable to regulate the glucose level, the person’s condition can be hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic or diabetic.

Glucose Testing Devices

Most store-bought glucose testing devices are home-use test kits. These devices use a quantitative method to find out the amount of glucose present in a blood sample. The results help in determining the periodic adjustments in treatment. With these tests one can know if the level of glucose is dangerously high or low and monitor the effect of dietary control on the blood glucose level.

In recent years more and more diabetics use the glucose testing devices and The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial of 1993 (http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/control/) also has shown that good glucose control using home monitors led to fewer complications.

Usage

In general, most devices require the patient to prick the fingertip with a lancet to get a drop of blood. This blood is then placed on a disposable “test strip” which is coated with chemicals that react with glucose in the blood. Then the test strip is placed into the device meter and the meters report results in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood or mg/dl.

The treating physicians specify how often one should test ones glucose level. The standard levels for fasting blood glucose level (fasting for 8-10 hours) should be lower than 126 mg/dL and the blood glucose level immediately after eating food should be lower than 200 mg/dL.

Accuracy

The accuracy of these devices varies based on the quality of the device, the test strips, and also on ones RBC count.

Interfering substances

Some substances, such as Vitamin C and uric acid, or certain medication for co-morbidities, certain ingredients of the food, may interfere with the glucose testing and thus alter the results. Altitude, temperature, and humidity are some of the environmental factors that affect the glucose test results are

Glucose testing devices available in the market differ basically in the ease of use, accuracy, testing speed, overall size, ability to store test results in memory, cost of the device and variety of test strips.

Home Test Results vs. Laboratory Test Results

Most home blood glucose meters measure glucose in whole blood whereas most lab tests measure glucose in plasma.  The lab test results may be 10-15% higher than the home test results. Some home test devices these days give values that are plasma equivalent.

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