To effectively manage the symptoms and risks of diabetes, people with the disease have to test their blood glucose levels on a regular basis. In the past, glucose meters were big, bulky machines that took a long time to give a reading. In addition, the fluctuation of the readings made them unreliable. Thanks to current technology however, glucose level testing for diabetics has become much more efficient.
Although reliability, accuracy, size, and expense are all factors to take into account when purchasing a test kit, the best kits are the ones that are so user-friendly that regular glucose testing is not a chore. An important resource is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which provides a list of recalls for all medical devices including diabetes test kits.
Here are five test kits that are highly recommended for the management of diabetes:
1. One Touch Ultra Mini: This glucose monitor was rated as excellent overall by Men's Health. It scored 88/100 with consistency and accuracy being excellent, ease of use and features were rated "very good," and testers especially liked the compact size.
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2. FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System Diabetic Meter Kit: This kit has a consumer rating just under five stars. The monitor has a small, portable design, a backlight display, no coding, and requires only a small blood sample size of 0.3 microliter. In addition, test results are returned in approximately 5 seconds making this a quick meter. One consumer reviewer wrote, "My mother was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. We were nervous about her daily testing, but this meter makes everything so easy we recommend this 100 percent."
3. True 2 Go Blood Glucose Meter with Twist and Test Process: With a high consumer rating, this test kit is self-described as the smallest glucose meter that offers results in as fast as four seconds. One consumer reviewer wrote, "These folks got this right. Actually high-tech looking and very thoughtfully designed for on-the-go and very discreet."
4. Prodigy AutoCode Talking Blood Glucose Monitoring Meter Kit: This test kit has the added function of vocal feedback and it can replay the last message or test result. It also provides 7-, 14-, 21-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day averages. According to the manufacturer, "The Prodigy Voice is the only meter to receive an Access Award from the American Foundation for the Blind and an Access Plus Award from the National Federation of the Blind."
5. Bayer Contour Next USB Blood Glucose Monitoring System: This is another test kit with a consumer rating just under five stars. The device connects directly to a computer for immediate access to test results. According to the manufacturer, the meter provides, "An electronic logbook with more information helps foster more productive conversations with your doctor."
One consumer reviewer wrote, "This meter is great. I just came from my diabetes doctor and she was really impressed with the blood sugar reports that I brought with me that were printed out from this meter."
Diabetes Forecast offers some tips to maximize diabetes test kits including keeping hands clean, testing again if the reading is contrary to expectations, taking good care of test strips so they remain accurate and using a control solution to check for testing accuracy. In addition, Diabetes Forecast provides a comprehensive consumer guide containing major manufacturers, contact information, and product specifications on some of the leading diabetes test kits on the market.
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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