Sugar numbers!!

By momofadiabetic2 Latest Reply 2013-07-11 12:42:18 -0500
Started 2011-03-06 12:43:32 -0600

I'm getting stressed out I use a truetogo meter and my daughters reading was 76, then used the contour meter and got 97 she always uses the accu check advantige meter and that read 102! Does anyone else have these problems with their sugars? She can't use certain meters bc of this issue! The sad part is her encronoligist can't understand why they r like this and it's stressful on me!
Her ins wouldn't pay for the accu check stips just the contour meter and strips that she can't use bc of false lows! I'm tring to get her encro dr to send them a paper stating that the contour meter doesn't register her correctly! They r taking forever to approve it!
The encro dr took her sugar at the office and there was a big difference in the numbers gave false lows on her meter the only one that came close was the accu check meter we have been using!
It's so hard to deal with all these issues and her D ontop of it all!! UGGG!!!!

26 replies

villandra 2011-11-18 21:47:07 -0600 Report

I use the One Touch and my medical coverage recently required to switch to Contour. One Touch is spot on accurate to a little low, as compared to lab tests done at the same time. I have tried two contour meters with two vials of strips from different lots, and the Contour consistently reads 10 to 15 points low compared to the One Touch. Others on line complain that the Contour reads low. I'd be astounded if yours is reading high. But obviously the design is poor.

Other meters aren't as good. You mentioned a brand I've never heard of. The Accuchek goes by the nickname random number generator. I think Life Scan's are particularly inaccurate, unless I have it confused with another brand. The freestyle lite tends to be accurate to a little high when the strips are new but reads ten points or so high once the strips are a month or two old, and the problem just continues to get worse as teh strips get older, all well within the use by date of the strips.


John Millard
John Millard 2011-04-20 21:42:18 -0500 Report

I have 3 meters of the same make! They give different (significanly by my observation) from the same sample of blood and strips from the same batch! I also agreed to test a full size meter and one that fits the container of strips. They disagree by nearly 100 points! No, I don't know which to beleive, and I have not had the opportuntity to compare these readings to a "professional grade" meter. Sure fails to develop confidence in any meter. Yet, what else do we have????? Hasn't diabetes be a known disease long enough to supply us accurate metering devices? And now we are stuck with whatever meter Medicare can get for the lowest bid on the strips that go with the meter (the meter is normaly a give away, it is the strips where the profit comes in for the manufacturer!)

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:28:28 -0500 Report

I use the Ultra 2 & the new USB Contour meter and I have the same problems there can be over a 50 point difference. Makes a HUGE difference when trying to judge how much insulin to take!!! I asked my endo about it she said that there is a problem with all meters. and even when you take your BS with one meter multiple times you will get different results—not a 50 point difference but a difference.
Not sure what the answer is cause I'm not sure which BS was right. How are you sure which meter is giving you the "right" measurement?

jayabee52 2011-04-17 09:14:09 -0500 Report

That's why it's best to choose 1 meter and stick with it. What you're trying to get is the way your numbers are trending.

Insulin can have variation in effects too depending on what's going on in your body at the time.

DLewis316 2011-04-17 19:05:30 -0500 Report

I used my Ultra 2 meter this afternoon. I did 2 tests same spot of blood on both strips one reading was 209 2nd reading was 305. ran a check with the solution & it was within the range it was suppose to be. did try using my USB Contour meter—did 6 tries—ranged from 191-157-178-237-192-191 —then used the solution to check my meter 1st result was 223 2nd was131 and said control test under the number but the first one 223 didn't recognize that it was the control solution—I called Bayer company cause I bought that usb meter not to long ago because I liked the fact that I could plug it into my computer to better track my BS levels—-I like my Ultra 2 meter but the usb cord & more important the software that comes with it to be able to upload your meter readings to your computer doesn't work with windows 7 yet (or at least it didn't in January when I got my USB Contour one—which is why I went with the Contour—) was really surprised by the 100 point difference with the one Touch Ultra 2 —I ended up taking the insulin according to the 191—point—added carb load & went from there—but the Bayer company is suppose to call me back tomorrow because it didn't recognize the solution is the reason I called them—aside from bs range—because I am finding ALL meters do that BUT the way it recognized the solution the 2nd time & not the first—maybe there is something wrong with this meter…we'll see what they say tomorrow—-
what do you think about the 100 point difference with the Ultra 2 meter?

rscarder 2011-04-16 10:06:40 -0500 Report

I use an One Touch UltraSmart. According to the specifications, the meter has an accuracy of + or- 20% The reason for this is that there are so many variables in testing, Such as temp., when you take your test, such as right after you exercise. even changing which finger you stick can vary the results. Also you want to keep the test strips away from light, they are light sensitive. Make sure you wash your hands or test site before you test. The best way to check accuracy is to test with your meter no more than 15 min. prior or after you have a blood sample drawn at a lab. then compare the results. Remember the meter only provide a snap shot of your blood sugar. The 1A1c test is a true test of what of your overall blood sugar really is.

mjdee14 2011-04-16 09:28:06 -0500 Report

I had the same problem with 2 contour meters. Called the mfgr and they had me run tests. Both checked within range. I have found the only true test ie to use the same blood drop to test both. Try that and then see if they that far apart. Mine are much closer .

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:31:55 -0500 Report

I tried this too using the same drop of blood. Not only on the two machines (one touch ultra2 & USB contour meter) but on the same machine twice—all 4 readings came out differently & were MANY points away from each other.

Gripper907 2011-04-16 09:26:14 -0500 Report

There many factors that affect meter readings. It's not an exact measurement but a measure of highs and lows before you eat and after. Depending on what one eats, the reading should read high immediately after you eat but should fall 2 to 3 hours later. I also think temperature variations will affect your meter readings. The 20% margin of error allows for these variations.

krallison 2011-04-16 09:09:10 -0500 Report

Every meter seems to have its range. As I understand it they actually read the color, not the content of your blood. I went to the doctor's office with two meters (had been sent one by a new company and it read 20 points higher than the old one) and had them do a blood draw to compare. THREE different results! I think the answer is that you have to use the same meter and check the variances from day to day.

Mrs. R
Mrs. R 2011-04-16 08:27:53 -0500 Report

I only have one meter and when I test in the morning and my number looks too high I immediately test again and get a number 10 points lower…can't understand that. I do understand different meters giving different readings, but the same meter within seconds of each other is confusing.

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:38:49 -0500 Report

I've had the same problem. both with different meters & the same meter. even with the One touch ultra that has the "TRUE BLUE" coding strip that is suppose to check the results twice on it's own.

bethann1962 2011-04-16 07:18:39 -0500 Report

I too am struggling with getting different results with different meters and it's much more than 20% and a real problem because I am on sliding scale insulin 3 times a day !…Also my blood sugars don't really correlate with my A1C and the endo Dr. says there can be many reasons for that…I hate to keep rechecking a result and using up extra strips but I have to be safe?…anyone else having these issues?…Beth V.

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:43:03 -0500 Report

I am and I am also on a sliding scale insulin schedule. The other night the difference was 50 points!!!! that makes a HUGE difference in how much insulin to take. I ended up taking it a total of 6 times between two meters and averaging it out & kinda guessing at how much to take based on past usage & how I was feeling.

PetiePal 2011-03-07 14:45:42 -0600 Report

I remember reading a ton about meters early on close to my diagnosis. The main thing I took away from that was:

-Test Don't Guess!
-Test Often
-Test with the same meter(s) if you can help it
-Stick with one brand
-See if you can have your meter callibrated or at least know if there's an offset.
-Make sure that you use the right "control number" on the bottle of strips you're using!!!

I use the OneTouch Ultra Minis and Ultra 2s. I've got one at work, one in the car, one at home and one for travel spread out between them. The recommendation is that you're supposed to use one or two meters at the most because sometimes results can vary. Results between manufacturers can DEFINITELY vary.

Your best bet is to see what your Diabetic doctor or Endocrinologist says, or have them check it with a little higher-tech machine and you check it then too and see if there's any offset. If you're getting wildly inaccurate readings you may need to stop using multiple meters and just rely on one. Even if the meter isn't EXACT on what your glucose is, at least it will accurately measure the rise and drop in your blood sugars.

Actually since I'm taking home the work one tonight you make me want to check it from the Mini vs. the Ultra 2 just to see if they're on par.

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:47:09 -0500 Report

try testing yours multiply times with the same meter, I found mine was different even with the same meter. not as big a difference as between the two different meters but a difference still.

realsis77 2011-03-07 12:26:06 -0600 Report

Hi. Have you checked any of the meters accuracy? They usually ome with a red dye and its placed on the test strip and the number reading is compared to the numbers on the back of the test strip bottle telling you weather or not the meter is reading high low or normal. No two meters will read the same however they should be pretty close. If you have done the tests and the meters are not reading correctly they should pay for a new meter! Or you could call the manufacture and tell them the problem and the test results on you accuracy test and perhaps they will send a new meter free of charge. The results should always be within the normal range on the back of your test strip bottle during an accuracy test. Id do the test with the dye and see how far off it is. Then as I said call the manufacturer of the meter. My insurance wouldn't pay for my contour strips either so I went with a meter and strips they DO cover. I performed the test on my contour and came to find out it was reading extremely low anyway. Do the performance test and see where the meter compares and take it from there. I wish you the very best and hopefully you will get a new meter that's covered by your insurance! God bless!

kdroberts 2011-03-07 11:51:47 -0600 Report

Well, technically all of those numbers could be within the acceptable margin of error you get with home glucose meters. The standard only requires that they be within 20% of actual blood sugar. Say her blood sugar was actually 90 then 72 is 20% low and 108 is 20% higher so anything in the range is considered accurate. Generally speaking a certain meter will be pretty consistent with how it reads, if it reads low then it will always read about the same low, if high it will read about the same high. Having said that, you may also find that if you test twice on the same meter using the same drop of blood you will get different readings. There are also many other factors like age of the strips, battery in the meter, storage of the strips and meter, location of blood sample, etc, etc. It's also very hard to accurately test a meter against a lab test since they measure completely different things and blood sugar changes constantly.

The biggest question I have is are the readings actually causing problems with treatment (eg injecting too much/not enough insulin) or is it more of an annoyance?

DLewis316 2011-04-17 00:54:07 -0500 Report

…"The biggest question I have is are the readings actually causing problems with treatment (eg injecting too much/not enough insulin) or is it more of an annoyance?"…
really good question…I'd say for **ME** it is an annoyance because I still injected insulin based on how I felt…I have had real HIGH sugar readings before & this time it DID NOT feel like it was as high as one of the readings said it was.

MOMMY_OF_AN_ANGEL 2011-03-07 11:18:06 -0600 Report

Well, with my own personal experiences, I have had the same problem. I noticed the difference more with the machines that require you to enter the test strip code each time you open a new bottle of strips and require to be calibrated with the dye. The one I have now, doesnt reuire neither. Whenever I open a new bottle of strips, I just put the strip in and the machine reads and calibrates itself.
(Freestyle Lite machine)

momofadiabetic2 2011-03-07 00:17:21 -0600 Report

It is actually off by almost 70 with the encro drs and they can't understand why! Her ins is covering strips for her accu check advantige so that problem is solved that meter is right on with the drs. Just ran low on strips so I got another meter until the new one comes in! Thank you for the reply!!

jayabee52 2011-03-06 23:56:17 -0600 Report

The 97 using the contour meter is not Low. It is almost ideal. What was the difference between the endo's meter and the contour? Was it + or - 20%? That is the range which is acceptable according to the FDA.

I don't expect exact numbers or my meters to agree with one another, as long as they are in that % range. I stay with one meter and get how my BG#s are trending.

Harlen 2011-03-06 17:50:15 -0600 Report

Wow that is hard just keep fighting and you will get there
It just takes time the ins comp dont like to spend any money .
Best wishes

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