By Louri Latest Reply 2011-06-11 10:47:30 -0500
Started 2011-06-09 18:50:08 -0500

I tested myself w/ 3 different meters before dinner and came up with 3 different readings. . . 117, 136, and 141. How do you know which one is accurate? Is there a way to calibrate them?

8 replies

Louri 2011-06-11 10:47:30 -0500 Report

another good Idea Harlen, thank you! I had just received 2 free meters from my job and they didn't have the control solution to test them out originally. I wanted 1 for home & 1 for work so I didn't accidently forget to take it with me. I was trying to see how close they were since I couldn't use the solution. I was extrememly shocked with the 117-141 variance!

Harlen 2011-06-11 10:38:23 -0500 Report

I would pick one use only it and see what your A2c is by using only that one meeter and if your #'s are higher then what the meeter would sey use the next lower one ????
Best wishes

Louri 2011-06-10 18:38:25 -0500 Report

Thank you, Tige­reyz­e209! That is awesome information! I have printed it off to refer back to! That answered several ??'s for me!

Tigereyze209 2011-06-10 15:33:16 -0500 Report

The general rule of thumb is, unless it is too high, or too low, no individual reading means much all by itself. What you are trying to do is figure out the pattern of your readings over time, keep a record of them (very important) and watch the overall trend to see if your numbers spike at any particular time of the day, and if your average trend is going up, going down, or staying pretty steady.
The first finger stick you do after first waking up, but before eating or drinking anything is called your fasting reading. That is considered the best indication of your bodys' overall ability to process sugar and insulin.
It is fine to test yourself just before a meal, just to get a baseline. One should generally wait two hours after eating before doing another finger stick, as everyone's blood sugar spikes a bit after eating.
It helps to wash and dry the area that you use to draw blood, and it helps if you don't move your testing site around a lot.
(In other words, don't take one reading with blood from a forearm, then the next from a finger, and so on. That is because since we are trying to see the trends, we need to be consistent with our sticking sites, as two readings taken back to back from two different sites can vary, as can using different kinds of strips. A particular strip can be off by a certain range, but all the strips in a single pack should be off by the same amount, so the pattern of readings will show a consistant trend.)
anything in the range of say 70 and under is considered too low, and anything over about 150 to say 200 is high, but occassional readings in this range is not considered dangerous. anything over 200, I'd say, call your doctor on advice for what to do, as treatment can vary.
low blood sugar is almost universally treated with eating a small about of something sweet. Say, 3-5 jelly beans, one cheese cracker, a teaspoon of peanut butter, one life saver, etc. One thing to watch out for thoughis that while the sweet WILL bring your blood sugar back up, it is only a temporary measure, as your body could also put a little more insulin into your system, causing another, and worse, sugar crash. Point being, don't wait too long before you eat a proper meal or at least a snack, so that all that extra insulin will have somethng to work on.
Apologies, I know, it is a lot of information to absorb at once.
Just go over it slow and carefully, and don't worry, you will soon get the hang of it, and don't be afraid to ask many questions.
Good bless, good luck, and welcome to Diabetic connect.

Louri 2011-06-09 20:35:45 -0500 Report

Thank you, I did not realize that there was that much room for variance. This makes it interesting when it comes to managing your levels! I will have to keep an eye on this!

kdroberts 2011-06-09 20:25:56 -0500 Report

The thing to remember is that home meters are not accurate, they give a general guideline. Within 20% of your actual blood sugar is considered acceptable. Those results would pretty much be 'accurate' for any blood sugar between 120 and 140

JoleneAL 2011-06-10 08:19:06 -0500 Report

Didn't know that kdroberts — thanks for the information! I'l stop panicing when it gets to 130 now …

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