Some things to con­sider

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - World Diabetes Day -

IN ad­di­tion to ad­min­is­ter­ing in­sulin and un­der­go­ing other treat­ments, hav­ing type 1 di­a­betes means that you need to con­stantly mon­i­tor your blood glu­cose level, some­times even a few times a day. To do this, peo­ple with type 1 di­a­betes usu­ally use glu­come­ters.

Us­ing a glu­come­ter in­volves prick­ing your fin­ger with a lancet and putting a small amount of blood on a test strip, which is then fed into the glu­come­ter. Within sec­onds, the glu­come­ter will dis­play your blood glu­cose read­ing.

Be­cause you won’t find your­self too far away from your glu­come­ter, it is im­por­tant to choose one that fits your life­style and needs. Sev­eral fea­tures that you may want in a glu­come­ter are de­tailed be­low.

Amount of blood needed – Most glu­come­ters re­quire sam­ple blood vol­ume be­tween 0.3μl and 1μl.

Some peo­ple have trou­ble ex­press­ing blood from their pricked fin­ger­tip be­cause of poor cir­cu­la­tion (which is as­so­ci­ated with di­a­betes), so a de­vice that re­quires a smaller amount of blood for ac­cu­rate read­ings will be more suit­able.

Data trans­fer – It may be con­ve­nient for you to be able to ex­port your blood glu­cose level read­ings to your smart­phone or com­puter.

More so­phis­ti­cated glu­come­ters can even be con­nected to an in­sulin ad­min­is­ter­ing de­vice, en­sur­ing that you do not ex­pe­ri­ence hy­po­gly­caemia from too much in­sulin.

Mem­ory ca­pac­ity – Re­view­ing past blood glu­cose level read­ings to look out for spikes and dips can help you man­age your con­di­tion bet­ter.

If you do not want to trans­fer your glu­come­ter data to other de­vices, it would be help­ful to have one that can store a higher num­ber of read­ings.

Cost – It is ob­vi­ous that you should con­sider the cost of glu­come­ters, but make sure to fac­tor in the cost of test strips/discs/ car­tridges needed to de­liver the sam­ple to the me­ter as well, es­pe­cially since some type 1 di­a­betes pa­tients need to take read­ings up to four times a day.

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