Has anyone seen tried this

By chopi Latest Reply 2010-12-27 20:17:05 -0600
Started 2010-12-01 14:59:16 -0600

Just to see the difference I did an experiment. I have three meters, all only about a month old. I used the test solution sent with each one to make sure they were all calibrated correctly. I then pricked my finger and used the same prick for all three tests. to my surprise all three were different 123 , 144 , 132
in that order of tests. What gives?? which is correct and or which bone do I trust? Any thoughs or any one else ever try this?

30 replies

spirit7 2010-12-27 20:17:05 -0600 Report

I too have had a similar problem and recently had to switch meters due to a change in my insurance company. I noticed that the readings appeared much lower than my other meter and even though it checked out as accurate, I did not trust it. I got another meter, the same brand and it seemed somewhat better but when I had my a1c done and expected a good result due to the numbers I had been taking (6 times per day), I thought I should be at about 5.6.
So, it came to a shock to me when my a1c came out at 6.2. My doctor was also surprised after viewing my numbers so this had given me a false sense of security.
It is hard enough keeping to a healthy diet and then when technology fails you, its like a slap in the face when you work so hard to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. I am now looking to see if the insurance company will allow me to use the meter I had started with as the readings were more in tune with my a1c. It's hard when you cannot trust the numbers because the of the meters inaccuracy. I also used another meter my doctor gave me and the numbers were so far apart it was ridiculous and my PCP was also amazed that the discrepancy.
It would seem like that standards need to improve and that we should be able to use the meter that works best for us.

babygirl04 2010-12-26 23:22:17 -0600 Report

i was told it all depends on were u prick ur self and how hard u squeeze were u prick urself because u will get all different readings

GabbyPA 2010-12-26 23:23:57 -0600 Report

This is true. Something that gets overlooked a lot is how you squeeze your finger. It is supposed to free flow with little pressure. If you have to "milk" your finger to get blood, it does change your readings.

peace13 2010-12-26 17:55:47 -0600 Report

I did that once and got different readings too
Im not sure why there is a difference maybe it has to do with the brands of meters?

BandonBob 2010-12-25 13:18:24 -0600 Report

I only have one meter the Accu-check Aviva. My readings are very consistent and I have always felt the readings could be relied on. With the meter I am using my fasting blood sugar has averaged 91 for the last 6 months and my A1c is at 5.9 so I'm assuming things are okay. Do I atually have to worry about this or is everything okay?

GabbyPA 2010-12-26 22:36:24 -0600 Report

No, no need to worry. If you start getting readings that you think are not in line with your treatment, then start looking into it. An A1c of 5.9 is good and your average sounds like you are under good control. Good Job!!

Jacqueline 2010-12-25 12:31:32 -0600 Report

I understand the frustration regarding meters. Mine has been going crazy by itself when testing from 328 to today at 108. Yet my A1C is 5.8 and my physician said I'm not diabetic anymore - even with a hospital reading of 170. I don't know what to believe. The physician still wants me to continue to take my Glucovance but ti's a very low dose. Don't know why if I'm not diabetic anymore. Anyway - meters don't work and the manufactures know it and are selling us a bad set of goods just to keep us buying strips.

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2010-12-25 15:29:51 -0600 Report

I thought once a diabetic always a diabetic? Even when the numbers are low. You should ask Gabby after christmas.

GabbyPA 2010-12-26 22:33:51 -0600 Report

Diabetes doesn't "go away" it gets better controlled. That is what gives better readings but it is not a "reversible" condition. The symptoms can go away when you are doing a good job or when your body is cooperating, but it really doesn't go away. It bothers me so much when doctors say that kind of thing.

peace13 2010-12-26 17:54:12 -0600 Report

thats what i thought too? thats what i was told once diabetic always diabetic I have pre diabetes and they said i can be under control but i will always have it

MAYS 2010-12-25 16:56:54 -0600 Report

You are correct.
Once you are diabetic, you will remain a diabetic (type 2), you can come off of your medications and manage your diabetes thru your diet, but you are still a diabetic.
Type 1 diabetics can opt for a pancreas transplant, or Beta Cell Transplantation but that is a completely different matter!


Elrond 2010-12-26 23:04:34 -0600 Report

I have heard of some persons with 'mild' diabetes who managed to stop using medication after weight loss and lifestyle changes but that certainly isn't a 'cure'. The pancreas is still at fault; they've just learned to adjust to it. Many others are in much worse condition and can only learn to control as well as possible. It's possible to live a very long, healthy life with diabetes but it requires constant vigilance. Personally, I 'fell off the wagon' a couple times and suffered a catastrophic stroke and a near-fatal heart attack as a result. Others have lost body parts to amputation. But careful blood sugar monitoring combined with proper diet and medication can contribute to a very long and healthy life. It requires discipline and a strong willpower (mostly WON'T power) but you will reap the rewards.

rock_fan12 2010-12-06 13:25:43 -0600 Report

i only have one meter i use its the freestyle lite its compact and the newer strips for it target the blood dose better and with less blood they have improved them immensely and i have the free style card so between insurance card and freestyle card i pay 15 dollars for 100 strips which is good for me ive had strips fail and one meter fail they stand by thier product within days of calling had new strips and new machine replaced

Pynetree 2010-12-04 09:57:51 -0600 Report

Isn't this frustrating?! I too found this out. A 20 pt difference every time I tried it. Made me test less often. Only test regularly in the a.m. Then, once in a while 2 hrs after a meal, or at bed time. Then a week before appointment with my Endocrinologist ( every 6mos.) I run more frequent tests at different times, just so she can see if it sort of matches up with my latest A1c. I get a more secure feeling of how I'm doing with my journaling…can track reasons for up and downs usually.

chopi 2010-12-04 09:53:56 -0600 Report

I don't use insulin, But with a chance of being 20+ points off either way on your BS how can you be accurate on the amount to use ??

bizzach 2010-12-04 08:59:44 -0600 Report

I also have 2 different meters a regular and a compact for my purse and they have about a 20 point difference to them, i never know which one to believe.

davbon 2010-12-03 09:17:22 -0600 Report

I agree. I've used my parents meters (my mom has the same one I do and my dad's is different) and all three readings are different. What I find amazing is that all of us go to 3 different doctors and are told 3 different things. Mine says anything under 200 is fine! my mom's wants hers under 90 and my dad's says anything under 120. I realize other health factors affect what is good for each person, but I get disgusted with the vast differences. My mom has a pacemaker (recent) and I have heart disease and had a stent put in 2 years ago (I'm only 47) My parents were diagnosed years ago while I was "assumed" to be type 2 because of my heart disease (my A1C is less than 7.0). What I cant' stand is when I eat very, very good and the reading is worse! Yet times when I eat really "bad", I get good readings! I'm to the point that I think that the whole medical community is just guessing and don't really know what affects our levels.

hoss07 2010-12-02 19:30:44 -0600 Report

I have tried that, i also have 3 different ones, i did my fasting blood work, and right there i poked my finger and used the same blood for all 3 meters, when my fasting came back all 3 meters were wrong my meters were showing #1. 145, #2 119, #3 158… my fasting came back as 90. i tried it again yesterday on all 3 meters #1 99, #2 109, #3 100, once again my fasting was 145. we all depend on these meters, are life depends on these meters, what do we do when the meters are always wrong we treat are selfs the wrong way. we are hurting ourselves. Do the manufactures care, the answer is no, i called and they said by law they can have more than a 25% margin in are readings. So why have a machine…

chopi 2010-12-03 08:41:17 -0600 Report

I feel the same way. Especially with the cost of test strips! I dont have insurance.
If they are that inaccurate it's like throwing a buck in the trash for every test, and I can't afford that three times a day!! Right now I'm going to just radom test. My numbers are always right around the same. If I start to see a change I wil go back to 3 time.

svhirk 2010-12-02 17:54:39 -0600 Report

i've seen the same results using different model testers all from the same brand. they were all from one touch using strips from the same vial. this is one thing that you must always take into consideration with using any tester. my dr. has always told me to treat each test result as if it were about 15 points lowers than the display shows you. for the mos part this little bit of advice from him has served me well.

Doc 720
Doc 720 2010-12-02 10:43:47 -0600 Report

I have done this same experiment. and have much the same results. I did this while I was in the Navy as a Hospital corpsman and had the luxury of being around a medical facility. I had the person drawing the blood draw an extra tube and used the fresh blood right there to verify my readings with that of the hospital's test.

You can also obtain a calibration solution from the manufacturer.

It is a pain in the caboose! You expect it to be correct and then you find as noted in Gabby's post a 20% deviation.

And people have the nerve to ask why I am disgruntled (This is not the only reason!)

GabbyPA 2010-12-02 06:48:44 -0600 Report

I have done this with some meters and I also do it when I go to the doctor and compare my meter to their reading. As KD mentioned, the % allowed is rather large, but our home meters are not absolute. They are tools like everything else we use.

chopi 2010-12-01 16:08:57 -0600 Report

Well of course I'm going to use 1 with the lowest number that would make me feel better but makes me kind of nervous 20 + points between 3 meters.
seems like it big difference

GabbyPA 2010-12-02 06:52:27 -0600 Report

See, I would choose the meter in the middle. It does no good to have one that shows low or high if you have that choice. It could tell you that you are having a low, when maybe you are not. That could lead to an over treatment of a lwo that doesn't exist.

However, if you did the test a few more times, you might find that the meters change places as to what they read. Use the one you can afford to use the most and use it often.

kdroberts 2010-12-01 16:29:58 -0600 Report

Say your blood sugar is 100, a home meter could give you results anywhere between 80 and 120 and be considered accurate. Even then they only need to do it 95% of the time, the other 5% you could get any number that will show on your meter.

A home meter isn't about being spot on every test. It's used for finding trends, getting an idea about what's going on and helping you along with all the other things you are doing. It's not perfect but it's what we have. THey are trying to tighten the accuracy up to 15%, one company is aiming for 10% but it's difficult to do. There are meters out there that can be lab accurate but they are very, very expensive to buy and run, need specialized strips that require a very large amount of blood and are not easily portable.

By picking the meter you like best I mean pick the one you like the feel of, like the way it works and the features it has. I have tried a lot of meters and I like the OneTouch UltraSmart and Bayer Contour USB the best because their features work best for me.

Dev 2010-12-02 09:11:01 -0600 Report

Wow! did not know that.
20 points is a lot. Especially when we are trying to figure out how the morning readings can be lowered. right now they are 130-140 and he is trying to bring down to 100. If I tell him what I learned here, he is going to assume it is because of the error allowed by the meter and decide that his BS must actually be much less. lol

When he goes to the doctor she downloads that data and comments on it. She never said anything about the meter being accurate within 20% . she comments as if it is the god's truth.
We learn all this statistical analysis and talk about reliability and significance of the test at .05. We always write results highlighting that it is true 95% of the time and results can be + - these many counts. But when using the data in everyday life we seem to forget that the test results need to be taken with a pinch of salt as just pointers and not the ultimate truth.

Sorry for the rant. It just kind of hit me right now that I was blindly believing without thinking through.

kdroberts 2010-12-01 15:57:25 -0600 Report

Home meters only have to be accurate to within 20% of your actual blood sugar so will very rarely tell you your actual blood sugar. with 100% accuracy. Pick the meter you like best use that one, think of the numbers as a best estimate and guide to what you have done and may need to do.