Components of a Diabetes Meter

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 - Category: Diabetes Equipment, Glucose meter information.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects many people. While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways to keep the disorder under control. Diabetes negatively affects the body’s ability to produce insulin and may sometimes heighten the body’s resistance to any insulin that is made, thus leaving blood glucose levels to go unchecked. One of the most useful and necessary pieces of equipment for people suffering from diabetes is the diabetes meter. A diabetes meter determines the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. This is crucial for people with diabetes because it allows them to monitor their glucose levels at home and ensure that it remains at a normal level. The individual pricks their skin with a lancet and a small drop of blood is obtained. This drop is placed on a disposable test strip that the diabetes meter then reads and utilizes to calculate the blood glucose level. A diabetes meter is an absolutely necessary device for people living with diabetes who want to certify that they keep their glucose at appropriate levels and thus prevent any other serious short-term and long-term health conditions from occurring.

The diabetes meter is composed of a number of components. The first of these is the monitor. An individual’s blood glucose level is displayed in number format on this monitor screen. The monitor works by observing the color change that occurs when a drop of blood reacts with an enzyme. The more advanced monitors can even store previous readings or download them to a computer allowing the individual to keep track of their blood glucose level over a period of time. Monitors range in price from $10 to $100, with the larger screened models costing more.

The lancing device is the next part of the diabetes meter. This component makes obtaining the blood sample easier for the patient. The lancelet is a very small needle that is enclosed by plastic to decrease accidental punctures and make the use of the diabetes meter less painful. After loading the needle and sterilizing their fingertip with rubbing alcohol, the individual holds the lancing device tightly against their finger. Next, the button located at the end of the lancing device is pushed down, extending the needle and allowing it to puncture the fingertip. This process retrieves a small drop of blood that is used to read the body’s blood glucose level.

The last components of the diabetes meter are the monitoring strips. These strips are created to work with a specific diabetes monitor and should be utilized in this manner to ensure accurate results. These monitoring strips possess an enzyme, usually glucose oxidase or hexokinase that reacts with the drop of blood obtained by the lancing device. The testing strip is inserted into the diabetes monitor and then the reading can begin. After a few seconds the results are determined and displayed on the monitor. The testing strips are the most expensive part of the diabetes meter. For an individual who tests their blood four times a day, the strips can range from $520 to $1,240 each year. Despite the cost of the diabetes meter and its components, it is necessary that a person with diabetes measure their blood glucose level to ensure that it remains within a safe range and their diabetes are under control.

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