What is a Blood Glucose Meter?

A glucose meter, also referred to as a “glucometer”, is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It can also be a strip of glucose paper dipped into a substance and measured to the glucose chart

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Dr. Eugene Mar, BSC Pharmacist, discusses blood glucose meters.

Quiz: Do You Understand Blood Glucose Monitoring?

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You don't need to monitor your blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes.

Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of any type 1 or type 2 diabetes management plan. If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your blood sugar levels as prescribed by your doctor. This will determine if you have low or high blood sugar and show you how your medication and lifestyle are affecting your blood sugar levels.

A traditional blood glucose meter uses lancets to puncture your skin.

You’ll need to get a blood glucose meter from your pharmacist or diabetes educator and learn how to use it. A traditional blood glucose meter uses lancets to puncture your skin, drawing a drop of blood that you then test on a blood glucose strip.

There may be a link between blood glucose and depression.

Research suggests that there are links between unstable blood sugar and depression. Also, patients with diabetes may feel depressed due to the stress of managing a chronic health condition or having to miss work or activities for doctor's appointments.

Exercise increases blood sugar.

Exercise lowers blood sugar. When you work out, insulin sensitivity is increased, allowing your muscle cells to optimally use available insulin to take up glucose. Also, when the muscles contract during exercise, the cells can take up glucose and use it for energy.

Blood glucose helps supply energy.

Blood glucose is a sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply it with energy. Blood glucose levels change throughout the day, depending on what you eat and how active you are.
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Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Diabetes Educator, discusses what glucose monitors are available.

What Blood Glucose Meters Are Available?

There are several different blood glucose meters available on the market.

All of them have a very basic level of monitoring blood sugars: you stick in a test strip, you put a drop of blood on it, you get a number.

Many tools have been developed by several of the companies that can aid in diabetes management or pattern management or helping you understand your insulin dose. Those are the standard types of tools that people with diabetes use; they’re available at local pharmacies.

Sometimes when people are having bigger challenges in terms of managing their blood glucose, or perhaps if they’re wearing an insulin pump, they may go to a bit more sophisticated system, which is a continuous glucose monitoring system.

And there are a couple of those available, and what that will do is, a small sensor is placed under your skin and it tests your blood sugar about every five minutes for 24 hours. And you can typically wear those for between four to six days.

Sometimes you can read the results, but often it’s a device that’s taken in and downloaded for your healthcare professional to help you look at the highs and lows that you’re having throughout the day.

What’s important for you to remember is putting all the pieces together. So if you’re using blood glucose monitoring and you write that down, write down food, write down activity, write down medications, and write down illness or stress.

Bring that to your healthcare professional when you’re trying to understand how your diabetes is being controlled, and that will be very helpful for everybody involved. Diabetes Now Blood Glucose Meter Patient Communication System. Local Endocrinologist

Presenter: Lori Berard, Nurse, Winnipeg, MB

Local Practitioners: Nurse

What is a Blood Glucose Meter?

Regards to which blood glucose meter you decide on and you and your healthcare provider decide on, all of the components are very similar across the board.

They all consist of a blood glucose meter. They all have different types of displays of course. Many of them have memory. Many of them also have a cord that you can apply and you can relay the information into your computer.

For this particular one it has a test strip, which is very easy to use, and you actually just insert it from the bottom in this case. And when you put it in it actually turns on by itself, and once it sort of recognizes the test strip, it will display a blood droplet and that indicates that it’s prepared and ready to accept your sample.

When we’re ready to do the testing what we want to make sure is that the patient does have clean hands, because any sort of residue on the hands can affect the actual outcome of the sample. So we want to make sure that they wash their hands with warm soap and water and dry it very well before they proceed.

Once we take your lancet device we just take off the simple little top, and then we grab one of these little lancets, we insert it, and then we just take off the top, exposing the needle. Once that’s ready to go we can put the cover back on and cock the mechanism so that it’s ready to get your blood sample.

Now that’s prepared what we would want to do is have your finger making sure that it is washed and clean. The best place to do it is on the side of the finger. We try to avoid the middle because that’s where you have the most pain and perceptions, so we try to do it on the side of the finger.

So when you’re ready you just put a little bit of pressure with the sampling device onto your finger. Press the button and you get your blood sample. You don’t want to squeeze your finger too much, because that can affect the reading.

But if you have trouble getting your blood droplet out, you can gently massage your finger until the blood droplet comes out. You can take your meter that is ready to accept the sample, bring the test strip up to the blood droplet on your finger and then the test strip will absorb or draw in that blood sample. And after about five seconds or so, depending on the meter type that you have, you’ll get your blood glucose reading.

If you have any further questions about how to use your blood glucose monitor, please ask your pharmacist for any further questions. If you have more information that you need about your diabetes, you can always ask your doctor or your diabetes educator. Diabetes Now Blood Glucose Meter Patient Communication System

Presenter: Mr. Eugene Mar, Pharmacist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pharmacist

Drug Identification Number ( DIN ) is a computer-generated eight digit number assigned by Health Canada to a drug product prior to being marketed in Canada.

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