Generic Name(s): Glucose test device
Drug Class: Medical supplies
Treats: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes
A Glucometer is a small, handheld device that is used by type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients to test the amount of sugar in the blood. Using a Glucometer can help the patient manage diabetes by keeping track of any fluctuations in the blood glucose level.
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A Glucometer is used alongside test strips, small needles known as lancets and a logbook for recording the test result. A Glucometer Kit can be bought at a pharmacy without a prescription. However, your doctor or pharmacist will help you choose the right kit, help you set it up and teach you how it is used. Using a Glucometer typically involves pricking your finger using the lancet and placing a drop of blood on the test strip. The strip uses a chemical to determine the amount of glucose in the blood. The Glucometer then displays your blood sugar results as a number on a digital display. A Glucometer is used for the following:
- Monitor blood glucose
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
Use a Glucometer as directed by the pharmacist or doctor. Before starting the test, ensure that all test items are within reach because timing is of absolute importance. Be sure to clean the needle prick area with water or an alcohol swap. Dry the skin completely before pricking. Below is the typical results for blood monitoring.
- Before meals: 70 - 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- After meals: Less than 180 mg/dL
Note that values may be different depending on factors such as insulin administration, meals, and physical activities. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your particular test result.
Glucometer Side Effects
A Glucometer is used outside the body and as such it may not cause any side effects. Nonetheless, you should take precautionary measures, particularly when you are pricking your skin. To avoid infections to the pricked area ensure that the needles are sterilized and do not use one needle more than once. Also:
- Ensure that your Glucometer is fully functional before a test
- Check the instructions for the Glucometer and the test strips to find out what substances may affect the testing accuracy
- Be sure to store the Glucometer and test strips according to the manufacturer's instructions. The test strip vials should be closed.
A Glucometer is used externally hence it does not interact with any drug or substance. However, certain conditions may affect the test accuracy. To help make the necessary changes, the testing should be as accurate at possible. You should follow your doctor's testing recommendations:
- If your diabetes medicine changes
- If you change your diet
- If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
- If you are sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.
- If your exercise routine or activity level changes
- If your level of stress increases