One of the key ways to manage diabetes is to establish a blood glucose monitoring regime at home. This means having your own meter and using it regularly to determine how diet, exercise and lifestyle affect your blood glucose levels.

This gives rise to a phrase often used by experienced diabetics on the forum: ‘Eat to Your Meter.’

Thankfully, there is a range of blood glucose monitoring devices available in the UK, not to mention a wealth of online knowledge regarding their use.

Day to day decisions

The day to day decisions that make up a life all have an influence on blood glucose levels. By monitoring blood glucose, people with diabetes can keep their levels stable.

This is an essential goal to achieve as a diabetic, as it significantly lowers the risk of developing serious diabetes complication such as neuropathy and stroke.

Stable blood glucose levels achieved by a combination of diet, exercise and medication or insulin if necessary should be considered a major goal of diabetes management.

The latest technical innovations mean that blood glucose monitoring is fast, effective and relatively pain-free. Advancements in lancing technology mean finger-pricking is nothing like it used to be. Furthermore, meters are now small and discreet, functional and brilliantly linked to other technology like computers.

This allows long-term plotting of blood glucose averages and the ability to share this with healthcare professionals.

What the community is saying about blood glucose monitoring

  • Fergus : Analysis is a doddle as you can check everything you need and see it all on screen. Backlight. Fast response time, a matter of a few seconds. Free software and cable to link to PC. Fantastic on-screen graphing capability for glucose levels etc, etc. My Endo couldn’t put it down and was fascinated by it’s features! 7 to 90 day averages easily read
  • Caspararemi : Anyway, it just arrived today and wow I’m impressed! It’s so small and compact, I think it may be the best meter I’ve used in the last 14 years. I love the screen being so bright and easy to see and the software giving you a graph (though given I’ve only done two tests since getting it, it’s not very useful just yet!).
  • IanS : The accuracy of BG meters is adequate for the purpose for which most of us use them: that is establishing what food we can eat and what we can’t without pushing our BG levels where we don’t want them to be. If you are using your BG meter for purposes where greater accuracy is required (i.e testing to see if you are close to a hypo), then you should follow the manufacturer’s advice and perform a repeat test if you get a reading that indicates trouble.
  • Peachymac : Could some of you more learned than I tell me why from samples of blood taken from different fingers, within seconds of each other give readings of a full 2 points difference on different monitors?
  • Adrian29459 : The tester is slightly bigger than a usb stick with a full colour screen, three function buttons, a power button on the side and in a glossy black finish. The screen has full text and animation indicating blood sugar in clear bold text, time & date. Blood testing is very fast about 5-3 seconds I think, using the contour strips and their no coding technology. Following a test an option is given to explain when the test was take, pre meal, post meal and also asks how the user is feeling, tired, ill etc.

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