New Glucose Meter

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New Glucose Meter


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Old 11-26-2013, 02:07   #1
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Default New Glucose Meter

I'm not sure if I am posting this in the correct section. If not, I'd appreciate if someone could direct me to the appropriate place.
I just bought my very first blood glucose meter Thursday and began using it Friday. I believe the readings are inaccurate. I ate the same food at lunch on 3 consecutive days, i.e. salmon, broccoli, and sweet potato. On each day I measured my glucose level two hours after eating and the results differed greatly - 121 the first day, 82 the second day,
and 108 the third day. I discussed this with the manufacturer and was told that glucose
can vary from day to day, even if measured at the same time after eating the same food. I didn’t quite believe this so today, two hours after dinner I took 2 readings – one minute apart. The results were 98 and 122. in my opinion, this is a huge difference.
I can’t understand how the difference could be more than a couple of points. I discussed
this with the manufacturer and was told that there can be differences in levels even a few moments apart, and that the FDA allows for a 20 percent difference in measurements.
Their method of calculation the percentage difference is to take the difference between
the two numbers and divide it by the highest number. This skews the results in their favor. The true difference between 98 and 122 is 24/98 = 24+ percent. Using their
method they calculate 24/122 = 19+ percent.
According to the manufacturer, there can be differences in blood glucose just a few moments apart. So I tried three tests (moments apart) with their “control solution”. The results were 112, 119, and 126. Why there should be any differences in results using a control solution is being my realm of understanding.
They will be sending me another meter in a couple of days, and I am hoping for better results.
My questions to the group are these: Are these types of differences in results common amongst the various glucose meters on the market, or do I just happen to have a defective one? If I get readings of 98 and 122 a minute apart, which one do I believe,
or do I take an average of the two as the best guess? Does this mean I have to take
two readings or maybe more each time I test?

Thanks in advance, Zeppo

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Old 11-26-2013, 02:11   #2
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Yes, these variations are common, and yes, we all gripe about it. But it is what it is. The meter needs to be consistent with itself - comparing to other meters will just drive you crazy.

And another thing: are you testing before you eat, so you know where you started? That's going to have a lot to do with where you end up.




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Old 11-26-2013, 03:54   #3
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Shanny,
Thanks for your reply. Have you found any one particular brand to be more accurate than others? If so, I'd appreciate if you could pass along the name. I haven't been testing before I eat, but my diet has intentionally been consistently the same over the past 3 days. I am trying to pinpoint trouble foods. With the knowledge that carbs are amongst the worst at causing spikes, I have purposely had salmon, broccoli and a sweet potato for lunch the past 3 days, attempting to identify the potato as a trouble-maker. But the 2-hour post-meal readings were 121, 82, and 108 on consecutive days. Hence, I learned nothing, except that I am now totally baffled. Additionally, I took two readings tonight two hours after dinner. The readings were taken one minute apart. Results: 98 and 122. So which one do I believe?
Before I got the meter, I was controlling my diet by researching the glycemic load of foods, and limiting the intake of those that were on the medium or high side. But I was told that the only real way someone can determine how they are affected by particular foods is to use a meter and test regularly. So I bought the meter, only to find out that, in my case, the results only lead to mass confusion. Thus, I have to ask - is there any value to using a meter? Perhaps there is a brand out there that is very high in accuracy, if so I would be willing to pay for that accuracy.
Thanks for your reply,
Zeppo

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Old 11-26-2013, 04:12   #4
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Your meter is fine. With the 20% margin of error a meter could read 110 as low 88 or as high 132. Frustrating I know. That's why it's imperative to keep our levels as consistent and as low as possible. This helps to minimize the error as much as possible. Even your trial with the control, a 14 point difference is fine.

The thing to do is track trends (readings going up consistently, going down consistently) as opposed to actual values.

Remember to check one hour after you start eating as well as two hours after. This will help you find the full impact of your foods. Also, the glycemic index isn't really geared for diabetics so be careful of that. Make sure to test foods and see how it works for you.

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Old 11-26-2013, 13:37   #5
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As the others have said, the standard of accuracy of meters is quite disappointing in itself and unfortunately there is also a great deal of "noise on the line" when you take readings.

Point 1 - Decide to use one meter and stick with it. Your decision on which meter will depend on things like
  • Ease of use
  • Consistency
  • Cost of Test Strips
Point 2 - Contamination of strips is easy. Be careful to store your un-used strips in a good environment. Not in the fridge, the bathroom, the car. The guidance given by the manufacturers has to be taken very seriously or you could trash a whole box in a day or two.

When you do a test, wash your hands carefully with a non cosmetic soap and rinse thoroughly. Then dry carefully with a clean towel. Do this even when you think your hands are clean. The sample size is so small that tiny bits of food or cosmetic will screw your reading. So will your hands if they are wet.

Point 3. Contamination of ourselves happens. What we ate yesterday will leave its legacy today, so our baseline changes. For instance, yesterday I woke to a nice low 80 and was a good boy all day. This morning, I woke to an 88. Why? Don't know - me? or the meter?

Any infections you are harbouring will mess you about even before you detect the symptoms yourself. Perhaps I'm nursing a cold and will find out tomorrow. I can't let blips worry me - I'd go insane - or more insane

As David said, we are tracking patterns, not individual readings.

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Old 11-26-2013, 14:10   #6
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David,
Thanks for your reply. You mention testing one and two hours after the start of a meal. I've been testing two hours after completion of a
meal. It generally takes me from 15 to 20 minutes to eat a meal, so there is a difference there. I'll start taking my tests related to the start as opposed to completion of a meal.
Zeppo

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Old 11-26-2013, 14:14   #7
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John
Thanks for your reply. I'll be sure to take your advice to wash the hands thoroughly before testing.
Zeppo

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Old 11-26-2013, 18:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John.in.France View Post
As the others have said, the standard of accuracy of meters is quite disappointing in itself and unfortunately there is also a great deal of "noise on the line" when you take readings.

Point 1 - Decide to use one meter and stick with it. Your decision on which meter will depend on things like
  • Ease of use
  • Consistency
  • Cost of Test Strips
Point 2 - Contamination of strips is easy. Be careful to store your un-used strips in a good environment. Not in the fridge, the bathroom, the car. The guidance given by the manufacturers has to be taken very seriously or you could trash a whole box in a day or two.

When you do a test, wash your hands carefully with a non cosmetic soap and rinse thoroughly. Then dry carefully with a clean towel. Do this even when you think your hands are clean. The sample size is so small that tiny bits of food or cosmetic will screw your reading. So will your hands if they are wet.

Point 3. Contamination of ourselves happens. What we ate yesterday will leave its legacy today, so our baseline changes. For instance, yesterday I woke to a nice low 80 and was a good boy all day. This morning, I woke to an 88. Why? Don't know - me? or the meter?

Any infections you are harbouring will mess you about even before you detect the symptoms yourself. Perhaps I'm nursing a cold and will find out tomorrow. I can't let blips worry me - I'd go insane - or more insane

As David said, we are tracking patterns, not individual readings.
John what would you consider a cosmetic vs non-cosmetic soap? Is there a way of knowing? I've always worried a little about the possibility of the soap I use affecting my results.

I thought I would add to John's list Don't ever use alcohol swabs to clean your fingers- this can show a positive result- or so I have read.

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Old 11-26-2013, 18:38   #9
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Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose: The Use of the First or the Second Drop of Blood

Oops I'm guilty of squeezing my finger to get blood sometimes

While on topic...does anyone know how to prevent little callouses on the side of the fingers? I assume doing it in the same place multiple times would cause it...But does the intensity of the lancet stab also contribute?

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Last edited by 50257; 11-26-2013 at 18:43.
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Old 11-26-2013, 18:45   #10
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One of our members was in the habit of using a high quality liquid soap and found he was getting some "interesting" readings. He checked the bottle carefully and found the ingredients list. It included glucose.

He now uses a plain soap and foregoes the gentle care offered by the liquid soap.

As a simple Scotsman, I keep it simple and avoid all cosmetic soaps on the grounds that my eyesight is no longer capable of reading a carefully crafted list of chemicals printed in gold on a pale yellow ground (or other wonderfully contrasting colours). My definition of "cosmetic" basically boils down to "beautifully packaged, scented and expensive".

On the other hand, it is probably true to say that if you rinse thoroughly the issue should not arise. But I'm a lazy so and so .

On callouses, I tend to rotate round three fingers of my left hand. I've never found any issues with that routine.

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Last edited by John.in.France; 11-26-2013 at 18:49.
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