An imbalance in blood sugar level has been a widespread issue these days. One of the things that strike in mind with this problem is Diabetes. This disease has been the most common problem in today’s era.
In this article, we’re going to tell you about the most influential instrument used by diabetic patients i.e Glucometer. You might have seen or used it but ever thought how it functions or how it evolved over the years? No? You’ll acknowledge it all here.
What is a glucometer?
Glucometer which can also be called a glucose monitor is an electric instrument that runs on battery. This Instrument is extremely handy and can be used anytime.
A glucose monitor has a display on it and some space where you need to keep your test strip. A glucometer is used to measure your blood glucose value in the body.
Over the years this instrument was utilized by people with (type 1) insulin deficiency but lately, it is also used by (type 2) non-insulin deficiency diabetic patients.
The first type of problem if left untreated can lead to severe issues. Nevertheless, if you’re a diabetic person keeping a track of your blood glucose value within the limit is extremely vital.
To maintain your blood glucose level you need to keep testing your blood glucose level at regular intervals and here’s why a glucose monitor plays a major role in your life.
Uses of glucometer
While expressing our views on what is a glucometer and why is it important. Here are a few of its essential instances. To make this subject simpler relate to our instances for better comprehension.
- Just assume that you’re diabetic who consumes insulin daily. Accidently you get with your heartbeats thumping, excess sweating, and extreme weakness. You’re just not sure if your blood glucose level is low or high. As if it’s low you need some chocolates but if it’s high you need to take an extra dose of insulin.
- Your loved one is diabetic or they’re on strict bed rest.
- You’ve been recommended by your doctor to keep a track of your postprandial as well as fasting for fourteen days straight. But it is not possible as you live in a locality where medical labs are unavailable.
- Your wife or sister is gestational diabetic and pregnant as well
These are some instances where having a glucometer can be a life saviour for you and your loved ones.
How does it work?
To know about the functioning of a glucometer a bit of chemistry knowledge is needed. However, we’ll try to simplify it for you in English.
A glucose meter works by analyzing a little amount of blood taken from the fingertips. Where a lancet slightly pricks your fingertip to take samples.
Glucose oxidase is an element enzyme that oxidizes glucose and this one is the main component in glucose monitor test strips. When this component counters with glucose present in our blood droplets you can notice an electrical signal on the electrode interface.
The power of this electric signal is equal to the level of glucose present in the blood samples. This means the greater the level of electric signal greater the level of glucose is calibrated. Thus a glucometer shows you the strength of these signals.
The glucometers in the past made use of glucose dehydrogenase enzymes. This element was even more susceptible than glucose oxide stripes.
Factors that Affect Accuracy
Before you get yourself or your loved ones tested here are the factors to be kept in mind for accurate results.
- Please ensure to pick the right brand for your glucometer
- Ensure to check on the storage capacity of the kit
- Temperature and humidity play an important role too
- A glucometer has to be used in the right manner as per the instructions
- Do not use aged strips for testing
- Opting for varied brands available in the market and not from a certain glucometer brand might give you an inaccurate result.
- Insufficiency of blood for testing might leave unsatisfactory results
What are the risks of blood glucose monitoring?
There are extremely lower-level risks with blood glucose testing, certainly lesser than not checking your blood sugar at regular intervals.
If you’re sharing your testing equipment or needles with anyone, you’re prone to extreme risk of dissipating diseases like
- Hepatitis B and C
Therefore, we request you to not share your finger stick equipment or needles no matter what the reason is.
Common Problems Faced with Glucometer
Like we mentioned earlier testing sugar at home isn’t complicated but glucometer plays a major role and is a bit challenging. Here we’ll be discussing the most usual issues one faces or are with a glucometer.
- Damaged or used test strip:
Every time you or your family members are taking a test please use a fresh test strip. Do not reuse the used one.
- Expired test strips:
While repeating the tests use a fresh test strip. To minimize the chances of hazardous results check the date of the test strips vial. Do not use the aged test strips
- Inappropriately kept test strip:
Once the test strip is in the meter do not remove it or switch its position.
- Contaminated sample part:
Please ensure to clean and dry the part where the sample is to be taken from before sampling or lancing.
- Incomplete insertion of the test strip
Make sure to verify whether the test strip is completely inserted or not.
- Blood sufficiency for the test:
While taking a test ensure that you’ve taken an adequate amount of blood that is required for the test. So follow the instructions given and repeat the test with a fresh test strip.
- The temperature of the test strip or solution higher or lower than it’s required:
Please ensure that the test strips solution is kept at a proper temperature as requested by the producer.
- Battery low:
There are chances of the battery being low and you don’t often acknowledge it so change the batteries before you take a test.
- Pressing your fingertips too harsh because of no adequate amount of blood is collected:
Putting a lot of pressure on your finger for the blood samples might give you wrong results. So repeat the test and make sure to not squeeze your finger.
- Alternative parts apart from your fingertips:
Using an alternative site for tests might not help you with the required results.
Some frequently Asked Questions
A. 140 milligrams can be considered as a normal blood sugar level. The scale between one forty and one ninety-nine mg reveals a pre-diabetic condition. The scale between two hundred and above is deemed as diabetes.
A. If it is used rightly then they’re accurate but once in a Blue moon might go wrong.
A. If the results are 20% of what has been given through lab tests then yes they’re right.
For instance, if the result shows 80 mg or 120 mg on your glucose monitor and your lab results say 100 mg you can consider them to be accurate.
A. There are 3 types of glucometer Invasive, continuous, and non-invasive.
A. Usually they last up to 10 years but do test its performance time to time, to ensure accurate results.
With this, we’re sure you now know how a glucose monitor functions and what are the problems faced while testing. So don’t forget our points and keep it noted while conducting a test of your or your loved ones for safety and hygiene.