I purchased a new meter and got three different readings from three different meters within five minutes. My old meter (144/174/173). My new meter read (180 & 165). My neighbor's meter read (219/234/238). Why is this?

Patty Bonsignore


By industry standard, any given meter reading can be off by 10 to 20% from the true plasma blood glucose. If your blood glucose reading at one point in time is 145, the next reading can be 28 points higher or lower than this number and still in an acceptable range. The numbers you have provided are all within about 20% of one another, particularly 174, 173, 180 and 165. Also, the readings will not always correlate when switching from one brand of meter to another, which is probably why the readings on your neighbor’s meter were higher. Or it could be that your blood glucose was increasing due to some food or drink you were having. In any case, when looking at blood glucose meter readings, it’s important to realize that they will vary and they are not 100% accurate; however, using the same brand of meter, checking at times when the blood glucose is not changing rapidly (such as before rather than after a meal) and washing your hands before checking, are great ways to make sure your blood glucose readings are as accurate as we can get them given the current limitation of blood glucose technology.

February 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

2 replies

rose12quilt 2013-06-23 10:28:26 -0500 Report

I'd like to add that I have tested on two different fingers at the same time and received two different readings. I have learned to take the glucose readings as a guideline for making adjustments in my diet and exercise regime to maintain a low A1c.

Mclaus 2013-03-20 19:14:45 -0500 Report

It just concerns me because I may have to switch to taking insulin by needle and the reading determines the amount of insulin to take.