Home > Type 2 Diabetes > Type 2 Diabetes – The Accuracy Of Your Glucose Meter

Type 2 Diabetes – The Accuracy Of Your Glucose Meter

Monitoring blood glucose, or blood sugar levels, is at the very heart of great diabetes maintenance, whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The main instrument used to accomplish this is a glucose testing meter. But how accurate are they, and is the error percentage enough to be concerned with?

Since guidelines were first established, the International Organization of Standards (IOS) has put their own regulation in place concerning the effectiveness of these meters. Under their guidelines, these devices can be off as much as 20 percent. That would give you a 40 point difference in the extreme high and low readings that were required on a 100mg readout. For a diabetic, this is far too much of a gap.

Another guideline in place is that they are only required to be accurate 95 percent of the time. That means that 95 percent of the time they can be off as much as 20 percent, and for the remaining 5 percent of the time, it can be an even higher error rate.

Given the seriousness of what your meter can tell you, it is vital you take immaculate care of it. That means keeping it in an ideal location, especially when you are away from home. Insuring that it remains in calibration is also equally important.

But the device isn’t the only area that deserves consideration. There are outside factors that can affect the accuracy of a glucose meter. Ambient temperature and the amount of humidity are important… keep your glucose meter in the same cool, dry place as your other supplies. Your glucose meter will work best when stored between 50 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 40 degrees Celsius). If you take your meter with you, a locked car often becomes hotter than this.

The size and the quality of blood samples can affect readings. The cleanliness of the meter and/or the strips, and how old the strips are also come into play.

Even the brand of strips themselves, can make a difference. Once you become familiar with a particular brand it is better to remain with that brand as some can be a better quality than others. Going with whichever brand is on sale can compromise accuracy.

For those who would still like additional assistance in accuracy readings, they can use the Clarke Error Grid which analyzes and displays the level of accuracy readings based on how the equipment is being managed. It will help you efficiently take all factors into account.

It is extremely important that you check for accuracy ratings when purchasing a glucose testing meter. It will involve doing substantial research and looking at as many reviews as you can get your hands on. The more experience you can rely on, the better off you will be.

POSTED ON July 14, 2011,