Glucometer — a device for measuring the glucose level in organic fluids (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.). The meters are used for diagnostics of a condition of carbohydrate metabolism in persons with diabetes.
Diabetes (lat. diabetes mellītus) — a group of endocrine diseases, developing as a consequence of absolute or relative insufficiency of insulin, resulting in hyperglycemia develops — a persistent increase of glucose in the blood. The disease is characterized by a chronic course and a violation of all types of metabolism: carbohydrate, fat, protein, mineral and water and salt.
Improper nutrition characterized by excess of fats and carbohydrates, stress, sedentary lifestyle – these are just the main factors contributing to the development of diabetes. First quite rare, in the 21st century this disease became one of the most common on our planet, so many doctors are starting to speak about the epidemic of diabetes. And forecasts are disappointing: experts believe the UN in the field of health, the number of people with this disease in the near future will only increase.
Today the diagnosis of diabetes is not a death sentence, and people who suffer from this disease, it can lead the same active lifestyle as everyone else. However, the overriding issue that sometimes depends their life itself, is the ability to control the level of sugar in the blood to avoid its uncontrolled recession or lifting, but if sharp fluctuations happen – have to take all the necessary measures.
Treatment and prevention of diabetes involves the use of insulin (for diabetes first type), physical activity and diet. When you use insulin the patient should strictly follow the diet by limiting the consumption of foods high in calories and carbohydrates. When insulin injections are also necessary to measure the level of sugar in the blood. This can be done in various ways. For example, a glucose meter or test strips.
Types of Glucometer
In the late 50-ies of the last century were developed the test strips for analysis of glucose in urine – system Clinistix, and in the blood – system Metrotix. Determination of the amount of glucose was happening visually, by comparing with a benchmark that greatly affects the measurement uncertainty.
In 70-ies were the first devices used to analyze the test strips, they are called glucometers. Their operating principle is based on transformation of signal light reflected from the coloured test strip in quantitative indication of the level of glucose. There are two ways of measurement – photometric-based analysis of the staining of the indicator reaction of the blood and enzyme test strips by spectrophometers; and electrochemical, based on the measurement of the electric current arising from the reaction of glucose with the active substance.
For these blood glucose meters were used the test strips that need to be washed after each use. These were the first generation of glucometers. Now they are not used.
Further improvement of the devices has led to the creation of the second generation of blood glucose meters with indelible test strip. These glucose meters can take blood not only from fingers, but from the hand or forearm, in General, where the patient is. To determine the level of glucose is a small enough drop of blood (1 – 3 µl). The results are displayed on the display device for 5 to 30 seconds.
Not surprisingly, today described the type of glucometer is the most popular and widespread. Until recently many even seemed to surpass them is almost impossible.
However, technological progress does not stand still, and now manufacturers glucose meters has launched the third-generation phones. Their main difference from its predecessors is that now the measurement of blood sugar occurs not periodically, but constantly.
This effect can be achieved in various ways: for example, under the patient’s skin may be a thin needle, through which are made all the necessary measurements with a certain periodicity. The same function is able to successfully meet and a special sensor-implant, implanted under the skin.
In view of the glucometer of the third generation resembles a large clock mounted on the wrist, but can be worn on the belt. In addition to the monitor, which displays a bar graph showing the level of sugar in the blood, on the body there are several buttons. They allow you to make to device memory some important points: the ingestion of food or medications, level of exercise, etc.
How to use a glucometer
Monitoring the lifting or lowering of sugar level in the blood is very important for people with diabetes. The meter automatically stored in memory previous measurements. So, with daily measurement of blood sugar level, it is possible to view the results of past analyses, and to compare results.
To use the meter is very convenient. Regardless of location and time of day ensuring a reliable and fast control blood sugar, contributing to the effective treatment of many other diseases. As a rule, modern models of glucometers is not complex in design, but have a high measuring accuracy. The principle of operation of the meter is quite simple: after puncture of the finger, which is performed automatically, a drop of blood is applied to the so-called a test zone of the strip, which is generally highlighted with another color. After that, information about the level of sugar in the blood is read and after a certain time interval is displayed (this figure is based on manufacturer and type of meter can vary from 5 to 45 seconds).
The usability of a medical device increases due to the fact that his memory retained dozens, and sometimes hundreds of results of previous tests. Based on them, You will be able to get the most complete and objective picture of Your state of health, that the most positive impact on the overall progress of treatment and to avoid the various complications which frequently accompany this disease.
Tips when choosing a Blood Glucometer
When choosing a blood glucose meter should take into account a number of things. Such as a disposable test strip. It constantly model material. Therefore it is necessary beforehand to know what the meter gives the most accurate results and always on sale are the desired test strip.
If You lead an active lifestyle and need the measurement of glucose levels several times a day, you should choose the meter with the fastest readout and compact size.
Do not buy “fancy” device for older people (some blood glucose meters have many features, for example, remembering previous diagnoses), because they can just simply not understand.
Choose a glucometer that has a corresponding certificate. Beware of fakes — it is unlikely they will show You the exact diagnosis.
You should pay special attention to the lancets and the strips exactly matches the brand of meter and had unexpired expiration date. Otherwise the accuracy of readings is not guaranteed. Therefore, before you purchase it, be sure to inquire how Your city is faring with supplies.
- Should pay attention to the speed of analysis.
- For accuracy.
- Device must be easy to operate.
- For elderly people it is better to buy a glucometer with a large screen.
- Should pay attention to the function, as the built-in memory. It will allow us to calculate the average blood sugar level for any particular period.
- Also worth noting, and the opportunity to take blood for analysis not only from the finger.
There is an opinion that only diabetics should constantly monitor the level of sugar in the blood. Healthy person it can’t hurt, at least once a month. For example, it is known that a normal level of fasting glucose is 5.5 mmol/L. If it is more than that value for a long period of time (meal periods do not count), then you should seek medical care, otherwise there is a risk that You have diabetes develops. Regular checking of sugar levels are one of the most effective ways of preventing diabetes.