Last updated: August 12, 2021

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For people with diabetes, measuring their blood sugar is almost a routine part of life. Having a glucose meter is as important as having a toothbrush. That is what we are going to talk about in today's article. Welcome to the portal with the most comprehensive buying guides on the internet.

In this article you will learn how to choose the best glucose meter and how to use it. In addition, we have selected the best ones on the market for you to decide which one fits your pocket.




The most important things

  • Around 10 million Brazilians suffer from some form of diabetes. This represents over 6% of the population in Brazil.
  • Those who suffer from diabetes need to check their blood sugar level on a daily basis. It is with a glucose meter that this procedure is done.
  • The most common devices are those that use a drop of blood.
  • Nowadays there are devices that no longer need to use blood for measurement, so there are glucose meters that do not need to prick the finger.

Glucose Meter: Our Selection

A glucose meter is an indispensable device for anyone suffering from diabetes. With the device, it is possible to monitor blood sugar levels from home, and thus keep rates within the safe level. We have selected some of the best models for you to choose the one that fits your pocket:

Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about the best glucose meter

Diabetes is a disease caused by a lack of insulin or by insulin not working properly in the body. This absence or inability increases the rate of sugar in the blood, better known as glucose.

In order to keep glucose levels in check, diabetics need to measure their glucose levels daily. To do so, they need a glucose meter. Learn all about them in this comprehensive guide.

Homem mostrando resultado de um medidor de glicose.

Normal glucose levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. (Source: Artem Podrez / Pexels.com)

What are the benefits of having a glucose meter at home?

Having a glucometer at home, better known as a glucose meter, is one way to keep diabetes under control. This is because you can check your blood sugar levels daily, without relying on any health service.

This regular monitoring provides better treatment. This allows you to take your medication correctly and maintain a more balanced diet.

As stress also affects the blood sugar level, the glucose meter helps to check for a possible peak at a moment of sudden stress. What's more, it inspires a healthier and more active lifestyle. When diabetics have this regulated control, they often exercise more, as physical activity also helps regulate glucose levels.

Advantages
  • Proper, regular control of blood sugar levels
  • Helps keep treatment on track
  • Inspires better dietary control
  • Doesn't rely on health care for check-ups
  • Influences a more active life
Disadvantages
  • May cause daily discomfort when pricking the finger
  • Need to purchase the meter
  • Need to purchase regular lancets

How does a common glucose meter work?

The common glucose meter has a display where it shows sugar levels in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).

The meter has a lancet at the tip. The lancet is where the needle for piercing your finger is located. The lancet is a strip that collects this drop of blood and analyses the levels. In turn, the device reads this strip and shows it on the monitor.

Did you know?
Normal values are between 70 and 100 mg/dL. When a person has results between 100 and 125 mg/dL, it can indicate pre-diabetes. If they are frequently above 126 mg/dL, then they may have diabetes

Lancets and strips should be discarded immediately after use.

How to use a glucose meter correctly?

The first step is to wash your hands with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue and dry your hands.

Then, insert a lancet into the lancing device, which may or may not be separate from the meter. Turn the glucose meter on and wipe a cotton swab with alcohol on the finger you are going to measure.

Hold your fingertip against the lancet and squeeze the meter so it pierces your finger. You can squeeze your finger to make a little more blood come out. Wait for the strip to absorb this drop of blood. The result should appear on the monitor after a few seconds.

Mão usando lancetador de medidor de glicose

On some machines the lancing device is separate. (Source: dmitriy888 / 123rf.com)

How does the finger-stickless glucose meter work?

For diabetics who can't get used to the discomfort of piercing their fingers, there is already a device that measures glucose through a sensor. Although it is not so common yet, and costs more than the common one, the FreeStyle Libre glucose meter is fixed on the skin.

The sensor lasts for 14 days, without the need to pierce your finger during this period.

It is circular, the size of a real coin, and when attached to the skin it feels like a prick. The difference is that this single sensor lasts 14 days, without the need to pierce the finger during this period.

After two weeks of use it needs to be replaced. To generate the result, just bring the device close to the sensor attached to the skin.

It is possible to take a bath normally with the device. Just do not use it in a swimming pool for more than 30 minutes, for example.

Purchase criteria: What to consider when comparing glucose meter models

If you opt for a glucose meter that does not prick your finger, these criteria do not apply. Although the solution is very interesting, it is still much more expensive than the standard one, so it is not affordable for everyone.

Check out the buying criteria we've selected for you to ensure you get the best glucose meter:

Reading time

Reading time is the number of seconds it takes for the glucose meter to process the result after receiving the blood drop and showing it on the display. The industry average is only 5 seconds. Check that the meter you want shows this result at this speed, it may be important in an emergency situation.

Mão segurando medidor de glicose

The average reading time is only 5 seconds. (Source: Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels.com)

Lancing device

Some devices have the lancetator external to the meter. Others have the lancing device attached directly to the meter. It is a matter of taste and adaptation to use, but it is a criterion that should be considered before choosing. Prices do not vary much for this reason.

Lancets

Lancets are the strips that come with the product. They must be discarded after use. Therefore, the number of lancets that come with the product may make the offer more interesting.

Important: Even if you are the only one using the meter, do not reuse lancets or test strips

Battery

Glucose meters require a battery to operate. Usually this battery comes with the meter, but check that it is included. Also, check to see what kind of battery the meter requires and how easy it is to find one to replace. Some batteries, like watch batteries, may be harder to find.

Test memory

Digital meters have a test memory. This means that the last measurements are stored and can be accessed. This memory ranges from 200 to 500. Think about your need for test memory before you choose.

Extras

An interesting extra is the possibility to set an alarm to remind you of the measurement. So there is no excuse for not making the strict control of your diabetes.

Summary

Diabetes is a disease that affects more than 10 million Brazilians. Those who suffer from this problem need to control their blood sugar levels and the glucose meter is the device used.

The common model makes this measurement through a small drop of blood that the diabetic removes from his own finger with the help of the meter. However, there is now a model that works through a sensor attached to the arm that does not need to pierce the finger for 14 days.

Both do the measurement precisely, the second option only generates less discomfort. We hope this guide has been enlightening for you who need a glucose meter. Follow our portal for more tips.

(Featured image source: Artem Podrez/ Pexels.com)

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