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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just registered here after repeating an experiment I tried a couple of years ago when a friend was newly diagnosed with type 2 and came to me for advice on blood testing.
I demonstrated how I use my test kit, changed the lancet and checked Tony's BS. Tony then did the same with his kit.
We both seemed to have blood sugars below 10mMol/l but the kits gave results of more than 2 units difference for me and just below 2 for him. We both repeated the tests and found the same kit gave significantly different results on consecutive tests from the same bleed - for both of us with both kits.
I've just tried this again, alone this time.
Three consecutive tests from the same prick read 6.5, 8.1 and 7.9. I'm going to repeat the experiment when I know my blood sugar level is low.
My observation is that whilst these kits look very sophisticated and flashy they are no more useful than the old BM sticks, which required a bit more work and patience but were much cheaper and simpler. It was possible, I found, to cut the BM sticks, lengthways, into three therefore requiring less blood and expense.
I would be very happy to use BM sticks which are now, alas, unavailable.
I would be interested to hear of others results from similar experiments and if anyone knows of any evidence that the modern kits are more than a moneyspinner for their manufacturers.
 

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I think all meters are up to 20% off. I do think the trick is to keep your bgs pretty stable. Most of the times when I test I am in a very tight range, fairly close to 100, so I know my meter is consistent when I test. I never use multiple meters because I know I will get a variance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am in a very tight range, fairly close to 100, so I know my meter is consistent when I test.
I'm not sure what you mean!
My point is that the biosensor kits seem to be no better than the Boehringer Mannheim (BM) test strips of ten years ago but are MUCH more expensive. The BM photometer machines, to use instead of the colour comparison chart on the tub, were marketed for diabetics with eyesight problems - and that's good, of course. The 'improvements' mean I am no longer able to obtain BM sticks and the National Health Service in the UK picks up the tab (I understand you have to buy these yourself in the US).
The British, publicly funded, health service is creaking under the strain of higher costs and diabetic treatment is becoming increasingly significant in this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi! i'm not sure what you call biosensor kits. Could you post a web site for them so I can figure out what you're talking about?

Welcome, by the way!
All the test kits around nowadays use biosensor strips. There is some chemical at the business end of the strip whose electrical properties change when mixed with another reagent (in our case glucose). I'm not sure but this could be electrical resistance. If the meter measures the resistance of the reacted strip this can be translated into a measure of glucose concentration in the blood (in a similar way to a fuel gauge in a car transfers electrical resistance of a rheostat to a meter). The strip must be designed so as to draw (by a 'capillary' effect) the exactly correct volume of blood.

The old BM stick had two chemical reagents whose colour changed in proportion to the amount of sugar in a drop of blood deposited onto it. A result could be read from the colour chart printed on the packaging after a couple of minutes. The chart was printed to be correct for the batch of strips. An alternative photometer was available to those with impaired vision. It was never possible to get a 100% certain measure from the visual assessment but, so what? The results were good enough as are similar reagent strips I sometimes use at work.

The only advantage I know of, in the use of biosensors, is the few seconds instead of the two minutes. A similar pouch will contain a tub of BM sticks, a tissue and a few lancets.

Sorry if this seems a bit technical. I forget some folks here were probably not born when BM sticks disappeared.

As a health care professional I have become aware of the, sometimes, underhand ways in which companies market their healthcare products. If I had the choice I would go for BM sticks. I don't have the choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is not as tech as a Wikipedia entry: " ...Bood glucose biosensor...uses the enzyme glucose oxidase to break blood glucose down. In doing so it first oxidizes glucose and uses two electrons to reduce the FAD (a component of the enzyme) to FADH2. This in turn is oxidized by the electrode (accepting two electrons from the electrode) in a number of steps. The resulting current is a measure of the concentration of glucose. In this case, the electrode is the transducer and the enzyme is the biologically active component."

I'm not sure this is the same as our test strips (which are probably not, strictly speaking, biosensors in this sense). This is a 'technicality'...
 

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I tested a half hour or so after Thanksgiving dinner. Bg 75. This didn't seem right so I tested again immediately using the same fingertip, meter, and strips. Bg 106. Difference 31, within the allowable tolerance of 40. Agreed, glucometers aren't all they're said to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tested a half hour or so after Thanksgiving dinner. Bg 75. This didn't seem right so I tested again immediately using the same fingertip, meter, and strips. Bg 106. Difference 31, within the allowable tolerance of 40. Agreed, glucometers aren't all they're said to be.
Thanks for that! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
As I write I have a nasty viral infection and bronchitis. My symptoms are such that regular testing is essential (I've upped the night time lente insulin). It would be nice to know, at times, if I really am hypo or the disorientation is merely a symptom of the infection.
The difference in your bg results is actually over 40%! This illustrates my concerns - how is it possible to have confidence in the tests - whatever the 'allowable tollerance'? The BM sticks were better than this.
 
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