If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetes, one of your first steps will likely be to purchase a glucose meter.
There are some important things to keep in mind as you make your decision because this piece of equipment is likely to be part of your everyday life.
A glucose meter (or glucometer) is a medical device for determining the approximate amount of glucose in a drop of blood obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet. Glucose meters are portable and designed for use by ordinary people with diabetes.
There are now dozens of models of glucose meters. The average size is approximately the size of the palm of the hand, though some are smaller or a bit larger and they are battery-powered.
A consumable element containing chemicals which react with glucose in the drop of blood is used for each measurement. For most models this element is a plastic test strip with a small spot impregnated with glucose oxidase and other components. Each strip can only be used once and is then discarded.
Cost is a major issue for most people, but there’s good news if you have any kind of medical insurance. A glucose meter is typically considered to be a vital part of medical treatment and insurance companies often pay for a portion or the entire cost of the meter.
At the same time, there is sometimes a limit on the amount the insurance company will pay, and that may severely limit your options.
While cost is naturally important, remember that you’re going to be needing a meter from now on. Finding a cheaper glucose meter that requires a more serious stick for blood may seem like the best option when you’re writing the check for the meter, but the tedium of the daily stick may negate that cost in the long run.
There are some companies out there that help with the cost of a glucose meter if you meet specific income guidelines. This may be a good answer if your quandary about which meter to buy is purely based on financial restraints.
Your doctor, druggist or representative of a local medical supply company may also be good sources of information about how to find the best deals and how to get help paying for a glucose meter.
Finding a very inexpensive glucose meter may be the best answer to this situation. If the meter is accurate, it’ll get you through the initial period of adjusting your life to the regular testing of your blood sugar.
Take some time to do research into what’s best and what’s not in glucose meters. You’ll find that some make absolutely ridiculous claims and you may have to ask some questions to find those companies that produce the glucose meter that will work best for you and your lifestyle.