Before we get started with how to choose best sugar check machine (Glucometer, short for Glucose Meter) for home use, let us understand what blood sugar level is, why you should monitor it and how blood sugar concentration measurement works.
WHAT IS BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL
Glucose is a monosaccharide (also called simple sugar) which is most basic unit of carbohydrate. The amount of glucose present in the blood of your body is called the blood sugar level or blood glucose level. Glucose is precious for your body (when present at normal level) as it is the primary source of energy but it can also act as a slow poison when present in high concentration.
WHY YOU SHOULD MONITOR YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Sugar concentration in the blood may get higher or lower than the normal level, and is harmful to your body in both the conditions. Let’s see how it affects your body:
1) HIGH BLOOD SUGAR (HYPERGLYCEMIA)
Your pancreas cells slowly looses the ability to create insulin (which regulates metabolism by promoting absorption of blood glucose to cells). Blood vessels may also get hardened because of high blood sugar.
Any of your body part can get affected due to high blood sugar. You may face problems such as:
- Heart attack or Stroke
- Kidney failure
- Vision loss
- Damage to immune system
- Nerve damage
2) LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL (HYPOGLYCEMIA)
Some early symptoms include pale skin, racing pulse, headache, hunger, sweating, weakness etc.
If not treated, it can cause:
- Poor concentration and coordination
- Passing out
- Numbness (near mouth and tongue area)
- Coma (yes, that sounds scary!)
HOW BLOOD SUGAR MEASUREMENT WORKS
A device called Glucometer for measuring the blood sugar level. Glucometers comes with test strips which contains an enzyme (glucose oxidase) that reacts to glucose in blood drop. When the strip is inserted in the meter (containing electrode), reaches causes an electrical signal. The strength of the signal tells the amount of sugar concentration in the blood.
CHOOSING BEST GLUCOMETER (BEST SUGAR CHECK MACHINE) FOR HOME USE
To choose best sugar check machine for home use, one should keep following factors in mind –
If the device is not accurate, it won’t serve the purpose. Choose the glucometer of a well known brand, which meets the FDA standards and are reliable.
2. GLUCOMETER COST
The prices for all glucometers vary depending upon the brand value and features. But it doesn’t mean that if one have more cost than it’s better than the other. Choose the one that fits your budget and does the job.
3. TEST STRIPS COST (IMPORTANT)
Most of the glucometers come with only 10 test strips included and you need to keep buying the strips regularly after purchasing the device for using it. All the glucometer manufacturers sell test strips separately (like set of 50 or 100 strips) and the price of single strip may vary from Rs 15 to Rs 22 or even more depending upon the device. As you will be spending regularly on the strips, make sure to check the strips cost when choosing the device.
4. RESULT TIMING
Most of the devices are able to give results within 5-6 seconds of inserting the test strip in the device with blood sample, while others may take around a minute. Choose the device that can accurately provide the result with good speed.
If you travel often, and want to continue monitoring your sugar level, make sure that the size of device is small enough to be easily carried. Also check if the device comes with a carrying case or you need to get one separately.