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If you have diabetes, you will need a blood glucose meter that measures your blood glucose. How is it used?

This is an indispensable equipment for everyonediabetic . Regardless of the type ofdiabetes , also inGestational Diabetes , blood glucose measurement is an essential part of self-monitoring. Thanks to regular blood tests, irregularities can be detected early and react quickly. This is what the meter is for. You will probably use it several times a day: on an empty stomach and 2 hours after each meal. Therefore, it is best to buy it for your own use, some models cost 30-40 PLN. In some diabetes clinics, patients receive these devices for free - it is worth asking about it.

How does the meter work

The meter allows you to measure glucose at home. The device is usually small and portable (you can put it in your pocket), it runs on batteries. To perform the test, you need a meter with appropriate test strips, which are purchased separately.

The camera is activated - depending on the model - by inserting a test strip into it (automatically) or by pressing the power button. The measurement consists in taking a drop of blood (usually from the finger), putting it on the test strip placed in the device and reading the result. The glucose meters available on the market measure the glucose concentration using one of the two methods: photochemical and electrochemical.

The photochemical method, also called reflectometric, consists in registering the amount of reflected light, depending on the color change of the test field, while the electrochemical method measures the intensity of electric microcurrent flowing through the reactive field of the test strip (an enzymatic chemical reaction takes place there under the influence of glucose).

The meter reads the changes, determines their size and shows them in the form of a numerical result. The proper blood glucose concentration should be between 80 and 120 mg / dL.

Record the results along with the time and circumstances of measurement - by comparing the values ​​obtained over a period of time, treatment can be properly assessed and modified.

According to an expertprof. dr hab. Ewa Wender-Ożegowska, obstetrician gynecologist, obstetric diabetologist

At present the meters are so perfect that the management of diabetes is practically gonefrom measuring glucose in the laboratory (in addition to the glucose load test to detect diabetes, including gestational diabetes). Pregnant women with pre-gestational diabetes should measure blood glucose levels at least 4 times a day during pregnancy, and every 2-3 weeks should perform round-the-clock glycemic profiles, while pregnant women with gestational diabetes may perform slightly fewer measurements, especially if all the results are kept while on a diet. are correct. Currently available glucose meters are relatively cheap, and there are so-called banks of blood glucose meters that rent them free of charge, and the pregnant woman only has to cover the cost of buying the test strips.

To make the meter test reliable

For the measurement to be correct, you must learn to use a specific model of the meter and proceed with the test accordingly. Before using the device for the first time, familiarize yourself with your meter carefully, because in some of them you first insert a test strip, apply a drop of blood and then the device turns on, while in others the order of these steps is reversed.

The device checks whether the test strip is out of date or there is no more discoloration of the test field. You should also check that the test strip is from the same series to which the camera was coded. If you use a strap from a different series, the measurement may be burdened with considerable error.

The test strips are extremely sensitive devices, they are sterile and hermetically sealed in the package - after removing one strip, close the package. Before drawing blood, wash your hands thoroughly in warm water - so that you do not have traces of any sugars on your fingers (even a fruit in your hand can interfere with the result), and because warm water stimulates circulation in small vessels, making it easier to collect blood.

Do not wash your finger with alcohol or disinfectant. Then prick the side of the fingertip with a special lancing device and apply the blood drop to the strip. Try to fill in the test strip carefully - a drop of blood that is too small may disturb the correct reading.

After each measurement, wash the meter, because a dirty one may give a false result. Use an approved blood glucose meter that was bought in a reliable place. Note: it is important that the camera is not placed near strong sources of electromagnetic waves (mobile phone, microwave oven, TV set), as this may result in reading errors due to interference.

Some meters are protected against this - if they encounter such interference during operation, they will display an error message. Then you have to move to another place and againtake the measurement. You should be aware that not all meters are equally accurate, they will usually give you a result with some error. Most often, the error oscillates between 10-15%. in relation to the results of tests carried out in the laboratory.


What instead of a prick?

For years, scientists have been trying to develop such methods of testing the sugar level that would not require blood sampling. For example, a device was developed which determines blood glucose concentration on the basis of infrared radiation reflected from the forearm. Unfortunately, it is the size of a printer and calibrating it is very complicated. There is also a blood glucose meter that you wear on your wrist like a watch - it measures glucose almost continuously through your skin. But for it to function well, you need to enter the calibration data from the classical glucometer measurement at least twice a day. The most promising method is testing the glucose concentration in the exhaled air. Engineers at the University of Florida have developed a sensor that can measure this. For now, the device is at the trial stage, but perhaps soon traditional blood glucose meters will become a thing of the past and the test will be completely painless.

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