In this blog , I am going to explain how I chose my new Glucometer and what are the common mistakes we make while checking blood glucose at home..please Read on the entire blog and the links to get the right Persepective.
I started my study on Low Fat Plant Based Whole food sometimes in June 2020 during Covid19 Pandemic, when I just casually came across one face book Page on "Mastering Diabetes" by Cyrus khambatta. Since I liked the science, i do visit the face book account frequently & regularly to read the Posts posted by the Practitioners of LFPBWF, mostly people from USA, Europe , Africa ... where they would post the blood sugar readings..on a daily basis ....
What I found 100% T-1's had CGM/Dexcom. Even most T2's on oral medication and newly diagnosed diabetes and Prediabetes had CGM..... The objective is to find out how do different food behaved with blood sugar during last 24 hours and so take action to correct...
Where as in many developing countries like India , the awareness about CGM is very Poor. Forget about T2's, even T-1's don't have CGM/ Dexcom, where it is a must.
Many T-2's at times feel uncomfortable of checking blood sugar even at home often in spite of having a Glucometer. Just hate pricking ! This is a big blunder we are doing I feel..unless you check regularly , how will you know your trend? ....how will you act upon? ...how will you get confidence on your new changed life style or dietary pattern ????. Please avoid acting upon your diet & life style...based upon "Hear Say".
( Well, I am not an exception to this either 🙂) It is perhaps because I never had wide swing in my blood sugar levels- moreover, I always had the option of testing in my neighbourhood Lab/ Hospital at a walking distance from my home and also facilities of Home collection of sample..
In Sept/ October when I started practising LFPBWF, then I felt if I have to eat banana, sweet potatoes, Dal chawal, boiled potato, a lot of fruits , then what would happen to my blood sugar? 😀..those people whom I am going to copy all have CGM.....
So I felt the need for checking Blood sugar frequently..... My old Glucometer was showing huge variation as compared with my neighbourhood Lab. Then I reconfirmed my numbers in a second Lab. which confirmed that my 3 years old Glucometer was defunct.....in a hurry I bought the newly launched No prick glucometer which was still under development stage.....but the variation was still huge....and the manufacturer said work still under progress ...will take time ...anyway , I can not blame them....they had mentioned that the product is still in beta stage...and requested me to keep giving feedback on comparative readings....
While looking for a new reliable Prick type Glucometer , I found there are dozens of different makes available in Amazon , but none of the users have given a 5 star review to any particular make....then which one is the best? I was also searching HU website to find a review of Glucometers....I did not get proper guidance anywhere ....so it made me to make this as a Post.. here price is not important ...reliability is more important.
Was not able to decide on the make!
Then while hunting for the right make, I decided that the Glucometer must meet my specification ISO 15197:2013.. This was my first criteria. As per the standard , even if your RBC's are less ( Hematocrit), then the Blood sugar numbers would not get distorted..and a number of other accuracy related parameters are taken care of if the Glucometer meets the above standard.
Then I came across a review by one Richa Agarwal....very intersting review.....but then against each make she refers to Amazon website for buying ..I was bit hesitant to get guided..may have biased views...though she recommended contour plus one as it meets my ISO 15197:2013.
Then I came across a Pubmed published study which compares some 5 BGMS.
And it concluded Contour plus one from Bayer is the best..while it may not be the same as Contour plus One Glucometer available in India, but Bayer brand name fascinated me....international brand ...it costs only Rs 800..this was also recommended by Richa. The manufacturer provides a beutiful App to track blood sugar and the Glucometer is blue tooth enabled. it is not coded...and if the bood sample drawn is smaller than required amount of 0.5 microlitre, it gives a warning signal and gives a second chance to get more blood on the same strip within 60 seconds...from the review in Amazon , I could make out the Lancet is good ....less pain.....Thus my search came to an end ..
I bought it without a second thought at such a throw away price an international brand......Initially in October one day the Glucometer shown me fasting blood sugar 59... I was terrified...but I was not feeling a Hypo...I immediately ..went to the lab to check ...it was 94.
Thus made me to study more ...and I figured out that I was using spirit before pricking...and so the low reading.
This made me to read more and more...on tips and Do's and Don'ts on Home Glucometer.
That was the first and last time an error occured in my Contour.... thereafter I rechecked 4 times with lab...and it is a variation of 4-5 points ...which is very good by any standard.
Please read the attachment to understand more.
To day, before I check my blood sugar by pricking, wash hand with soap and water. Wipe with a dry cloth and then Dry Palm and fingers with the help of blowing warm air from a Hair drier to warm the fingers and increase blood flow to finger tips...don't squeeze finger to extract blood.... don't touch the capillary end of the test strip...no spirit before pricking ...storage of the strips in cold and dry condition....look for expiry of the test strip before use....look for damages in the strip...never touch the strip end after touching or cutting a fruit....and never use strips meant for another Glucometer in your Glucometer.......just because you were not able to find test strips meant for your Glucometer ...each make of Glucometer have their own calibrated and designed test strip suitable for that particular make .
....please remember that you have your Lab at your finger tip- a minute blood drop will tell you your blood sugar level...so be careful...
At last please remember to apply spirit after pricking....to protect the pricking site from contamination and avoid an infection . May God bless you 🙏