Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems
Blood glucose monitoring systems are designed to help diabetic patients keep track of their blood glucose levels as the best way to manage their daily war against diabetes. Each day or often two or three times a day a person with type two diabetes must measure the effectiveness of their diet and exercise program. A relatively small drop of blood is placed on a test strip which then is read by a digital meter. Within a few seconds a reading is made and the diabetic patient can record the numbers, or some systems now allow downloading of the information onto a computer. Monitoring the glucose level is a very important part of the daily regimen for the diabetic and one that cannot be ignored. The many side effects of uncontrolled diabetes are too serious to overlook.
Blood glucose monitoring systems can be purchased at most drug stores and well known department stores and the prices vary from store to store and from system to system. There are some things that a person choosing a meter will want to keep in mind. Since the doctor may want a person to check readings three or four times a day, the system chosen ought to be one that is easily transportable. Some systems take longer for the reading to be made, so how long a person wants to wait on the reading may be of some concern. There has to the ease of use of the system and a person choosing one may want to actually get on line and see how each of the blood glucose monitoring systems under consideration works, some requiring more steps for a final reading than others. Many of the latest monitors enable the diabetic person to actually use the arm rather than the finger as the place to do the testing, which can eliminate painful fingertips from daily pricks of the test lancet.
These monitor devices are really designed so that the patient can begin to learn how his or her body reacts to different foods and to the times of day. Each person is different on how they respond to the disease, and every person is different in response to certain foods. The blood glucose monitoring systems device helps the diabetic to learn over time what issues in life raise the glucose level. For example, stressful times have been shown to be a highly reactive time when sugar levels can certainly spike. Mornings may show lower than normal readings, reminding the person that breakfast is an important meal.
Now how accurate are the readings a person gets from these systems? Testing on different fingers or on arms may give three different readings from the same blood glucose monitoring systems meter. Testing with three different meters may also give three different readings and this can really be a problem if a person uses one brand of meter at work and another one at home. It would seem the best thing to do is get one brand of meter and stick with it, even if a person keeps one in the desk at work and one at home. Surprisingly, the standard for accuracy by the American Diabetes Association is that the ones sold in drug stores just need to be within 20% of an actual accurate reading. No doubt, the burden of diabetes often causes a person to groan over the daily grind of testing so often. The psalmist also shared his groans with God: "Give ear to my prayer O God, and hide not thyself from my supplication...attend unto me and hear me; I mourn in my complaint and make a noise." (Psalm 55: 1, 2)
Blood glucose monitoring systems are small battery powered devices that are easy to carry everywhere with the diabetic patient. The first ones just thirty years ago weighed six pounds and cost six hundred and fifty dollars, but now they weigh a few ounces and can be purchased for less than fifty dollars. A very small sample of blood is placed on a test strip and the strip is placed in the meter. The test strips are coated with chemicals such as glucose oxidate, dehydrogenase or hexokinase. These chemicals combined with glucose in the blood then allow the meter to see how much glucose is actually in the blood. Some meters test to see how much light reflects from the strip while others measure how much electricity can pass through the sample. Many of the blood glucose monitoring systems models now can store a number of readings for several days and others can provide downloads of info onto a computer.
Since there are about twenty five different models of these syste3ms on the market today, there is plenty of information to digest about each model before choosing. Since all of them are under a hundred dollars and many under fifty, close attention should be paid to what each meter can do. But more than that, perhaps the long term cost of certain blood glucose monitoring systems should be considered. And in that case, the cost of test strips should be explored. Test strips run between thirty and fifty cents apiece and if a person is testing three times a day, the overall cost of maintaining a certain system might want to be examined carefully. While most health insurance companies will cover the cost of such test strips, meeting the deductible may be a consideration worth pondering before finally settling on a particular monitoring system.
Free Blood Glucose MeterA free blood glucose meter can make a huge difference in the both the physical and financial health of diabetic patients who struggle with the serious symptoms and high costs that are associated with this life threatening disease. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that impacts how food is digested and broken down for use by the human body. Generally, the food that is eaten is turned into a form of sugar that is called glucose. This process is what supplies energy and growth to the body. It's easy to see why a failure of this system can result in serious threats to a patient's health. Insulin is manufactured in a gland that is located near the stomach called the pancreas. It is insulin that moves glucose from the bloodstream to the cells of the body. When an individual is not able to produce enough insulin, or the body's cells are not receiving the insulin as they should, a diabetic condition may exist. Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential if the effects of this illness are to be kept under control. Since this disease also presents a number of financial challenges, obtaining a free blood glucose meter can help to defray the costs of maintaining good health.
Access to a free blood glucose meter is not limited to a few select individuals. In addition to juvenile diabetes, there are two categories of this debilitating illness, type one and type two. Type one diabetes will usually appear earlier in life, while type two tends to afflict individuals who are somewhat older. Suppliers of these meters will usually not apply any restrictions on the type of diabetes that the patient may be dealing with. Both type one and type two forms of the disease are generally eligible for free or discounted testing supplies. Most companies that supply these devices will require that recipients be citizens of the United States. A valid phone number will usually be required as well. Many providers will also limit recipients to patients who are eligible for Medicare coverage. If a patient meets these requirements, they may be able to receive a free blood glucose meter. It is very important to keep an accurate accounting of the levels of sugar in the bloodstream. Quality meters and monitoring devices can help both patients and medical professionals keep track of this vital information. Maintaining healthy levels can help individuals win the battle against the devastating effects of diabetes.
There are a number of features that can make one free blood glucose meter stand out from among other devices. Numbers that are over sized can be very beneficial for patient's with visual limitations. Many devices will offer features that monitor any changes in glucose levels over a given period of time. Some will even feature a calendar function that shows the user to view a daily history. By utilizing this feature, a consumer can see the daily highs and lows of measurements taken over several weeks. Some meters will also allow users to enter comments regarding how they are feeling through a convenient drop down menu. Additionally, other meters may allow users to post information on meals that were eaten before a reading. This is particularly helpful in the event of a higher than normal reading. The software that is used on many of these meters may be compatible with other products such as palm pilots and cell phones. For patients who are less tech savvy, a free blood glucose meter that can store information that can later be retrieved by a medical professional may be very useful. The Bible offers encouragement to believers along with assurances of the protection from God Himself. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." (Proverbs 18:19)
There are a number of different types of meters that are currently available. A diabetic patient should discuss all of the many available options with their physician before selecting a free blood glucose meter. When a patient feels comfortable with a particular device, they are more likely to monitor and keep careful record of any changes and trends in blood sugar levels. Some meters are geared toward providing medical professionals with an overall view of the trends of the patient's illness. These tools will offer continuous monitoring rather than spot checking levels throughout the day. Meters that are small and compact can be carried inconspicuously on the body and provide continual monitoring. These meters can make it possible for patients to administer insulin when needed through a pump that is also part of the same unit.
In addition to utilizing a free blood glucose meter, there are a number of other steps that a patient will need to follow through on if they wish to take optimal care of themselves. Exercise can be every beneficial for diabetic individuals. A personal physician can usually advice a patient on the level of activity and the type of exercise regimen that will best meet their needs and abilities. Modifications to diet are obviously very important. Dietitians and other medical professionals can help patients to craft a dietary plan that can help to keep the effects of this life threatening illness at bay. Maintaining consistent communication with the medical professionals who are overseeing a patients care is crucial. Treatment and medications will usually need to be modified over time. If a diabetic individual is willing to take the steps necessary to monitor the disease and work cooperatively with their doctor, dealing with diabetes can be much easier.