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Blood glucose meters are devices that are used to monitor blood and are about the size of a cell phone or smaller. The monitors come with lancets that are used to poke the finger as well as diabetes test strips. A drop of blood is placed on the strip that is inserted into the meter, which gives a blood sugar reading. Knowing their blood glucose levels can help a diabetic make appropriate decisions on their insulin, diet and exercise in order to properly control the disease and stay as healthy as possible. It is vital that the meter be regularly calibrated and kept very clean to make sure it is not putting out false readings. Responding to incorrect data can have a detrimental effect on a diabetic's health.
Various companies give blood glucose meters away free because their money is made on the diabetes test strips. When choosing a new blood glucose meter it is important that you know how much the test strips will cost even if the monitor is free. Cost will vary depending on what type of monitor you get though generally they are all pretty expensive. Some monitors are pretty basic while others have many sophisticated features. For example, some of the more portable meters are small and fit easily into a small pocket. Others have a little memory and can store as few as 10 previous tests while some of the more costly glucose meters can keep a record of 2000 tests and sync with your computer. This is a very convenient feature for those whose physicians want to keep track of your blood sugar over the period of many months. In addition, you will also be able to back up your data in the event you lose your monitor. Some of the meters have larger screen readouts to make reading the numbers easier. Another very convenient feature for some is to have a meter that has an exceptionally fast read out. This is especially important for those with hypoglycemia. If blood sugar is dangerously low, they need to find out fast and eat glucose to offset it.
Many of the newer meters use very little blood and some will even allow you to take blood from your forearm, upper arm, thigh, calf or fleshy part of the hand besides the finger. The blood drop can be put on the diabetes test strips as usual. A monitor like this is especially good for those whose fingers are very sensitive.
It really does not matter which meter and diabetes test strips you get as long as you get accurate readings and respond accordingly. The results from not dealing seriously with diabetes can be devastating to ones health and well-being.