Measuring blood sugar with a glucometer is a critical procedure for every diabetic. It allows you to control the state of your body and, if necessary, take emergency measures to stabilize it. It is important to use your glucometer correctly. If you ignore the recommendations of the device manufacturer and simple tips, it is impossible to get correct results. In this case, the device will incorrectly show sugar, which can lead to negative consequences.
The principle of operation of the glucometer
To simplify understanding, it is worth considering the principles of operation of the most common devices — these are photometric and electrochemical devices. The principle of operation of the first type of glucometer is based on the analysis of the color change of the test strip when a drop of blood is applied to it. The device, using the optical unit and control samples, makes a comparison and displays the results.
Important! Indications of a photometric type glucometer are of low accuracy. During operation, the lenses of the optics of the device may become dirty, lose focus due to displacement from shock or vibration.
Therefore, today diabetics prefer to measure blood sugar electrochemical meters. The principle of operation of such a device is based on the control of current parameters.
- The main control element is a test strip.
- The strip has contact groups coated with a reagent layer.
- When a drop of blood is applied to the test strip, a chemical reaction occurs.
- The generated electricity forms a current flowing between the contacts.
Glucose meter readings are calculated based on an approximation of a series of measurements. Usually the device works for a few seconds. The analysis continues until the current value stops changing due to the end of the reaction between the chemical composition of the control band and blood glucose.
Blood sugar levels
Despite the fact that the characteristics of the body are purely individual for each person, it is better to measure sugar, focusing on the average statistical norms of its content in the blood. The indicators look like this:
- before meals — from 3.5 to 5.5 mmol / l;
- after eating — from 7 to 7.8 mmol / l.
Important! To use the meter correctly, you need to switch its display to display data in mmol / l. How to do this must be indicated in the instruction manual.
Since the norm of blood sugar changes during the day, depending on the meals and the general physical activity of the patient, it is recommended to carry out glucometry repeatedly during the day.. The minimum schedule of tests is before meals and 2 hours after that.
Instrument setup before first use
Before you measure your blood sugar, it is important to set up your meter correctly. It is recommended to do this according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In accordance with the functional charge of the device, the user, after the first switch-on, sets the basic parameters. These include:
- the date;
- OSD language;
The main part of the settings is setting the boundaries of the general range. They are set according to the individual characteristics of the patient. In simple words, you need to set the security interval. Upon reaching the lower limit, the minimum blood sugar, as well as when rising to the set maximum, the device will beep or use another notification method.
If the device is supplied with control fluidYou can check your glucometer. How to do this, clearly describe the rules for using the device. Usually you need to put a test strip in the slot, make sure that the meter turns on and goes into standby mode, sometimes you need to drop the control compound. After that, just make sure that the screen displays the value specified in the operating instructions for the model.
sugar measurement algorithm
The rules for working with a glucometer are different for each model. This can be true even for products from the same manufacturer. However, some of the rules must be strictly observed. Before checking blood sugar, you will need:
- wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect a convenient place for an injection and a drop of blood;
- wait until the disinfectant has evaporated.
Advice! It is recommended to use alcohol to clean the injection area. In no case should wet wipes be used, the components of their impregnation can distort the readings of the meter.
Further actions of the patient depend on the features of the model of the glucometer that he uses.
Accu-Chek blood glucose meters are quite unpretentious. Most brand products do not need an initial coding procedure. In this case, when preparing for testing, you must:
- prepare test strips without opening the box or case with them;
- lay out all the components of the device within walking distance;
- take the strip out of the container;
- make sure that the glucometer and box with strips have approximately the same temperature;
- insert the control element into the socket on the body of the glucometer.
Important! During this procedure, you need to carefully look at the display. If it displays a code that does not match the one printed on the box of test strips, it is necessary to carry out coding. This is done according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the model.
Before first use, you need check glucometer calibration strip code. To do this, turn off the device. The container with the strips is opened, one is taken and the lid is immediately closed. Thereafter:
- the strip is inserted into the socket of the device;
- make sure that the inclusion process has begun;
- when the “-” signs are displayed on the screen, use the up and down control buttons to set the correct code.
The combination on the screen flashes for a few seconds. Then it fixes and disappears. The screen will display the APPLY BLOOD prompt, indicating that the instrument is ready for use.
Before using your Gamma meter for the first time, you must initialize the meter using control solutionsupplied in the kit. For this:
- device include;
- take the test strip out of the container and insert it into the socket on the case;
- waiting for an invitation on the display in the form of a strip and a drop of blood;
- press the main button until the inscription QC appears;
- shake the vial with the control liquid thoroughly and apply a drop to the test strip;
- waiting for the end of the countdown on the screen.
The value that appears on the display must be within the range printed on the test strip package. If this is not the case, you need to recheck the meter.
Before the first use, set test strip options. To do this, their packaging is opened, one element is taken out and inserted into the socket on the device case. A smiley face and numbers in the range from 4.2 to 4.6 should appear on its display. This means that the device is functioning normally.
After that, it is made glucometer coding. For this, a special strip from the package is intended. It is enough to insert it all the way into the connector. The meter will display a code that matches the one printed on the strip packaging. The coding element is then removed from the socket.
Further user actions are the same for all types of electrochemical glucometers. A test strip is inserted into the device prepared for work and a drop of blood is dripped onto its control zone.. When piercing a finger for sampling, a number of rules must be followed.
- The lancet is fixed firmly in the hand.
- The puncture is made to a depth sufficient for the rapid protrusion of a drop of blood.
- If there is rough skin on the fingertip, it is recommended to adjust the lancet immersion depth on the handle.
- It is recommended to wipe off the first droplet that appears with a clean cloth. The blood in it contains impurities of the intercellular fluid and is quite capable of showing an error in glucometers.
- The second drop is applied to the test strip.
Important! You need to pierce your finger so deeply that the drops appear easily and on their own, even if the procedure causes slight pain. When you try to squeeze out the sample forcibly, subcutaneous fat, interstitial fluid gets into it. The analysis of such blood will be unreliable.
Recommendations for a daily schedule for measuring sugar
Tips from thrifty diabetics are aimed at strip consumption minimization for testing. They sound like this:
- determination of blood sugar with a glucometer in case of diagnosing type 1 diabetes should be done 4 times a day, before meals and at bedtime;
- for type 2 diabetes, one or two tests per day.
elta company, glucometer manufacturer Satellitegives other recommendations.
- The first type of diabetes: glucometry before meals, after 2 hours. Another check before bed. If you want to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia — at 3 o’clock at night.
- The second type — repeatedly, with an equal interval, during the day.
Recommended hours for measurements look like this:
- 00-9.00, 11.00-12.00 — on an empty stomach;
- 00-15.00, 17.00-18.00 — 2 hours after lunch and dinner;
- 00-22.00 — before going to bed;
- 00-4.00 — to control hypoglycemia.
Advice! To determine an individual measurement schedule, the patient is advised to consult a doctor. In combination with strict adherence to the instructions for using the glucometer, this will allow you to properly monitor your health.)
Why the glucometer may show incorrect data
It should be understood that the glucometer is not a device that produces data similar to laboratory tests. Even two products from the same manufacturer, when measuring sugar levels at the same time, will show different results. The tolerances to be met by the determination of blood sugar with a glucometer are clearly described in the WHO criteria. They state that the results of studies with a portable express device are accepted as clinically reliable if their values are in the range from -20% to + 20% of the data obtained during laboratory studies.
In addition, the use of a glucometer always passes in non-ideal conditions. The readings of the device are affected by blood parameters (pH level, iron content, hematocrit), body physics (amount of liquid, etc.). In order to obtain the most reliable data, on which the error of the glucometer will not have a decisive influence, it is worth strictly following the above recommendations on the method of blood sampling.
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