Diabetes meters have several features and factors that affect the blood glucose readings. These need to be understood before operating any diabetes meter. Diabetes meters are an invaluable tool in monitoring the blood glucose levels and are used by many diabetic patients all over the world.
Features of diabetes meters
Measurement range: Most diabetes meters have a broad range of 0 to 600 gm/dL. This range is used to provide blood glucose levels. If you get a blood glucose reading that is either very low or high, you need to confirm this abnormal reading by immediately taking another reading with this device. Alternatively, you may also check the calibration of your diabetes meter.
Whole blood Glucose and Plasma glucose: The level of glucose in plasma is normally 10-15 % higher compared to that in the whole blood. Most lab tests measure blood glucose levels in plasma while most diabetes meters measure blood glucose levels of whole blood. Nevertheless, diabetes meters are considered as one of the important health resources for any diabetic patient.
Cleaning: Some diabetes meters require to be cleaned on regular basis. You may clean the meter with dampened soft cloth, but take care to avoid contact with sensitive parts of the device. Unless otherwise stated, do not use alcohol for cleansing purposes. Some advanced devices do not need to be cleaned regularly, but they have an in-built electronic system that indicates when cleaning is necessary.
Factors affecting diabetes meters
The accuracy level of the blood glucose reading will depend on the quality of the diabetes meter and test strips used to measure the blood glucose levels. Apart from this, there are many important factors affecting the reading.
Hematocrit: It is defined as the amount of red blood cells. It has been reported that people having higher levels of hematocrit will normally report lower levels of blood glucose compared to those having normal levels of hematocrit. On the other hand, patients with lower levels of hematocrit will report higher levels of blood glucose.
Other interfering substances: These include uric acid, ascorbic acid, and glutathione. They may interfere and alter your blood glucose levels. You need to refer to the content packaging of each meter to know the substances that can interfere with your blood glucose reading.
Physical parameters of a place: Temperature, humidity of a place can have an impact on the blood glucose readings. Apart from this, altitude can also tamper your blood glucose readings. It is recommended that you store and handle the testing strips and diabetes meter at the physical parameters mentioned in its packaging.