Diabetes Mellitus is a common disease that is caused by high levels of blood sugar:
However, it is not difficult to treat and if caught early enough patients should be able to continue a normal life.
There are several ways to monitor and control diabetes. Urine has been used as a way to check the level of glucose in the blood for a long time, but now it is no longer considered unreliable and blood is now used in its place.
Now a machine that is very commonly used to evaluate blood glucose levels is the blood sugar tester or blood sugar meter.
Blood sugar testers are small portable battery-powered electronic devices that now come in several models. Blood sugar meters are used to determine the deviations from the normal blood glucose level. The blood sugar tests and the glucose reading are used to diagnose and control diabetes.
The blood sugar tester provides blood sugar readings from 0 to 600 mg/dl. There are newer models which allow people to use blood from other parts of the body rather than the fingertip – the most common place from which blood is extracted.
Some models have a large digital display and may even have spoken instructions for people with visual problems. Other models require smaller drops of blood. However, one must take care when choosing a blood sugar meter, and it may be advisable to discuss the purchase with other users before buying a blood sugar meter as all models have their pluses and minuses.
A blood sugar meter is an instrument that can be used even at home. This blood sugar meter is used for taking blood sugar tests and it is a must have for those undergoing diabetes treatment. There is usually a special coated strip on which a drop of blood is placed.
The blood is usually taken from the fingertip by shooting a small lancet into the skin. However, blood can also be taken from other parts of the body such as the forearm, thigh, calf or upper arm. This may be an option as the fingertip can often get calloused and sore.
The blood is placed on the opposite side of the strip though this depends on type of blood sugar meter. Then this strip is inserted into the blood sugar tester.
The blood reacts with chemicals on the strip and the blood sugar meter receives an electronic pulse. The blood sugar meter then calculates the level of sugar in the blood and displays the glucose reading on the digital screen. Keeping a record of the blood sugar readings will assist in helping the doctor decide on the kind of treatment they needs to be given to the person.
There is also another simpler way of detecting the blood sugar level in the body. Here, a drop of blood is placed on a special strip that changes color, depending on the level of blood sugar. The color the strip changes to is then compared to a color-coded index that comes along with it. There will be different colors for different amount of blood sugar found in the blood. However these types of blood sugar tests are not very accurate, as they do not give you the exact amount of glucose present.
Blood sugar tester machines (as opposed to the strips mentioned above) give accurate readings if used properly. Blood sugar meters have to be maintained as they may become old and dirty, and if they are kept at a high temperature or high humidity, the blood sugar meter’s reading may become inaccurate. It must be occasionally be cleaned with a damp cloth to keep it dirt free. The hand from which the blood is taken must be also be clean and dry, otherwise, the dirt may interfere with the blood sugar tests’ results.
Blood sugar tests will help people keep track of the sugar level in their blood and help them continue their diabetes treatment effectively. Blood sugar tests will also help patients to make dietary changes by monitoring their adjusting of their consumption of fat and carbohydrates. This will help them maintain normal blood glucose level and undertake any glucose treatment if necessary.