Diagnosis Diabetes - six to seven million people in Germany suffer from it. Unfortunately, a cure for this chronic metabolic disease is not yet in sight. However, with regular blood glucose self-monitoring and the creation of a daily profile, diabetics can make sensible use of the possibilities of modern diabetes therapy and help to get their illness under control.
Blood glucose meters - technology with meaning
Many diabetics are initially afraid of the measurements and the associated "technical" problems. Others fear the necessary puncture with which they have to inflict pain on themselves.
However, these fears are currently unfounded. The state of the art and the quality of the devices are now so advanced that both very low-pricking lancing devices and easy-to-use blood glucose meters are available.
Since newer-generation devices have become smaller, faster, and more efficient, and the operation of most devices has been simplified in a few simple steps, diabetics can select their blood glucose meter according to their specific individual needs.
Good advice is important
In general, it is important that the patient is well advised to choose a device. Because he should get familiar with his meter exactly. The majority of inaccuracies in blood glucose self-monitoring are due to operator error. With regard to other possible disruptive factors, one should also be informed in detail.
Handling of blood glucose meters
Blood glucose meters show considerable differences in handling and are tailored to different needs. Some devices will guide the patient through the measurement with a well-designed leaflet and with symbols that appear on the display, while others will need to read a comprehensive manual.
For most devices, when the test strip or sensor electrode package is opened, a calibration of the device using code input or coding strips is required once. Since the sensitivity of the test strips varies, these devices must therefore be calibrated before the start of each test strip pack to the respective test strip lot.
The measurement is then carried out on a part of the devices on the market according to the photometric, that is, a light measurement based on determination method. Another part of the devices works with the sensor technology.
Blood collection to control blood sugar
For self-monitoring of blood sugar, the removal of a small amount of blood is usually required. The amount of blood a blood glucose meter needs to measure varies from device to device, as well as the handling.
For example, part of the equipment requires a drop of blood to be applied to a test strip. In contrast, in other devices, the blood drop is simply held to the measuring orifice of a sensor, and a tiny, firmly defined quantity of blood is then automatically sucked into the chamber of the measuring instrument through a capillary.
Observe measuring times
Different from the devices are also the measuring times, which are necessary for the determination of the blood sugar value. With regard to the measuring range, there are also variations. On some devices, the measurement is started by pressing a button, in some without. Some devices work without buttons.
Most blood glucose meters are equipped with a large display window for good recognition. This is especially beneficial for diabetics with vision problems. How many measurements can be saved, whether they also store the date and time and whether the devices are computer-compatible, depends on the respective device type.
Size, weight and design
The devices are different weight. However, they vary not only in weight, but also in the size between pen, check card or cigarette box format. The design is contemporary and ranges from egg-shaped devices to ballpoint pens and mobile phone formats.
Set is not the same set
Since in addition to the pure blood glucose meter usually lancing devices, test strips, a control solution and lancets are needed, there are different sets on the market. The equipment of the sets differs from each other. Among other things, they differ by the number of test strips and lancets, the type of lancing device and the space in the case.