Meter Frustrations!

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Meter Frustrations!


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Old 11-19-2015, 11:48   #1
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Default Meter Frustrations!

I have an insurance-approved Accuchek Nano meter (50 strips per month approved, $25 out of pocket for them) and a Relion Prime ($10 for 50 strips out of pocket, no insurance).

Previously, the readings on the two meters were pretty close - within 5 points of each other either way. Now, the Accuchek is giving me readings in the pattern I'm used to (95 to 115 FBG) but every couple days I get an error message and waste a couple strips before getting a good result. (I replaced the batteries and have reset the meter twice now.) When I use the Relion, I'm getting readings a good 20 to 30 points higher than I'm used to. Today, for example, the Accuchek said 100, but the Relion said 131. Same finger prick, etc..

I'M SO FRUSTRATED! I can't afford to throw out $1 to $2 in strips every few days because of error messages on the Accuchek, but the higher readings I get on the Relion give me low-grade anxiety about my BG.

I know there's variability and all... and that I should look for patterns rather than dwell on single numbers... but then there's all the talk about how any BG over 120 is causing damage in my body. It's really hard for me to just shrug off a 130 FBG.

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Last edited by mbc1963; 11-19-2015 at 11:51.
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Old 11-19-2015, 13:28   #2
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First, you can call the Accucheck manufacturer - it may be a bad batch of strips and they should send you another. (I did this one time and they did this).

2nd - I have found Relion to read higher than my other meter (Freestyle Lite). When I get lab work I'll test at the same time, and then there's my A1C average to compare. I now just subtract at least 10 pts from a Relion reading - could be as high as 15 pts higher.

I was slightly stressing about the higher levels with the Relion at first. Now that I know they read higher, and I can mentally lower them, I'm okay. I will stay with the Relion because it is what I can afford.

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Old 11-19-2015, 15:38   #3
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The level at which damage begins is generally accepted to be 140, not 120.

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Old 11-19-2015, 21:14   #4
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I never use the same prick / drop to check on two meters as some of the reagent from the first test remains on the finger / blood drop. So I use two different fingers. Whenever I've got BG tested from a lab, I also test my different meters at the same time (on different fingers) to find out how much error margin I have with my meters. I've found my Accu Chek Aviva to be the most consistent, at 10% higher at levels of 80-125. At higher levels the error is 15%. You're right about being more concerned about the range rather than a particular number.

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Old 11-20-2015, 11:15   #5
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Maybe it's the reagent? Do you always test with Relion second?

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wf, 63yo, 5'4", 110 lbs
LCHF diet-controlled T2
DXd myself with PP BG over 270
DX 12/13 with A1C 5.9
8/26/14 HbA1c 5.5
avg BG: 90 - 95 before meals, 100 - 110 one hour PP, 95 2 hours PP
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:45   #6
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I used the Relion for a while when I was out of Accuchek strips and before I realized the big difference in readings. So no - I don't always use the Relion second. I went back to the Accuchek because I was seeing much higher numbers on the Relion, which used to closely parallel the Accuchek. (The Accuchek is the meter I used all for nine months, and its readings pretty closely match the A1c results the doctor gave me... which is why I would like to believe its numbers are correct.)

This morning Accuchek 97, Relion 120.

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Old 11-21-2015, 12:18   #7
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The biggest problem with meters is that the only long term comparison we have available is against the HbA1c - but that maps (for what it's worth) to the overall average and without a good CGM tool, we don't have an average figure.

Over here I had no option - the meter I can have is an Accu-Chek and my periodic lab blood tests, suggest it reads some 10% low. That's based on the fact that when they draw the blood for my A1c, they also offer a figure for fasting. And it is always about 15% up on the figure my meter gave me an hour before.

Against that, my A1c maps to an average figure of 97 - and based on my snapshots of 1 hour tied in with my own fasting figures, that suggests my meter is pretty much spot on!

Go figure!

Bottom line - and in keeping with your own conclusions; if your HbA1c is ok then you know that your basic strategy is sound. You can then use the one meter (regardless of the figure it returns) as a trend watcher - not an accurate spot value identifier. But trying to see a trend across multiple meters, as you are well aware, is an exercise in futility.

Given the cost of these strips, I have to be disappointed with their accuracy standards but they are a vast improvement on the urine test strips of my youth.

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Old 11-21-2015, 13:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbc1963 View Post
.........This morning Accuchek 97, Relion 120.
Oh yuck! Very stressful! You remind me of one reason I stick to one meter at a time. Sympathies.

I wonder if you have a weird batch of Relion test strips? I had that happen once. The readings did not make sense. I ended up tossing the remainder in the batch and buying new.

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wf, 63yo, 5'4", 110 lbs
LCHF diet-controlled T2
DXd myself with PP BG over 270
DX 12/13 with A1C 5.9
8/26/14 HbA1c 5.5
avg BG: 90 - 95 before meals, 100 - 110 one hour PP, 95 2 hours PP
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Old 11-21-2015, 16:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John.in.France View Post
That's based on the fact that when they draw the blood for my A1c, they also offer a figure for fasting. And it is always about 15% up on the figure my meter gave me an hour before.
John;

I have discussed this very point whith my physician, and he has assured me that one's reading can indeed change that much in the morning, between a finger-stick at home, and a lab draw an hour (or even less) later.

Hope this helps.
Richard

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Old 11-21-2015, 16:30   #10
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Richard,

The only detail that I find funny about it is that the pattern is always up 15% on my own reading - never down and never more that the 15%. My liver seems to be behaving consistently - I take that as good news! Someday I will remember to take a reading myself at the same time as the blood draw!

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