How does my blood glucose meter measure how much sugar is in my blood?

Blood glucose test strips contain a capillary that sucks the blood up into the test strip. The glucose in the blood reacts with chemicals on the strip. The meter runs an electrical current through the test strip. The total charge passing through is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood.

Why batteries and control solution are important

When you understand the process you can see why batteries and control solution are important. Batteries generate the current. Control solution assists you in making sure that the chemicals on the test strips haven’t been damaged by heat, water, cold or anything else.

Important things to remember

Most blood glucose meters were originally designed to be used with blood taken from a finger prick. Some, including all of the meters we carry, have been approved for alternate site testing. Read your personal meter’s directions to make sure you are following them, especially with regard to where you’re getting the blood you’re using to perform a test.

What exactly are you measuring?

It’s important to remember that when you test your blood sugar using any glucometer the result shows you an estimate of the amount of glucose in your blood.

How accurate are they?

The accuracy standard for all meters says that glucose meters must show results that are within 20% of a laboratory standard 95% of the time. If you think about it, that’s actually not very accurate! Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can rely solely on your glucometer to know your blood sugar levels. You should also visit your doctor regularly and he should order laboratory tests to assist you both in managing your blood sugar.

What factors affect accuracy?

Many, many factors can affect the accuracy of your glucometer’s results. They include: temperature, levels of other substances (such as ascorbic acid) in your blood, whether you washed your hands, water, heat, the age of your test strips, temperature and many more. Read your meter’s directions for the most accurate result.

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