We’re going to take a look at the past and present of blood glucose testing. We’ll look at meters that are available on the market today. After this review, you can decide which is the best blood glucose meter for you. Read on to learn about blood glucose testing!
When I was diagnosed with diabetes (you know, back in the OLD DAYS!), there were no personal, take-home blood glucose meters.
We had this bottle of strips called “Chemstrip bG,” and a medieval torture device lancet that came in a foil wrapper. It was basically a pointed razor blade, and you had to prick your fingers manually and produce an enormous drop of blood.
Testing your blood sugar back then was a pain in the rear. You had to wait 2 minutes, then wipe the blood off the strip. Then you had to wait another minute to match the colors on the strip to the color chart on the bottle.
Check out these “ANCIENT” devices and test strips!!
THEN if the color was too dark, you had to wait ANOTHER minute to read the bottom line of the color chart.
The first blood glucose meter was invented in the 1970s, but it was difficult to use. It had multi-step processes at each step of the testing sequence, and it was not widely available.
The Glucometer became available in 1981 (the year I was diagnosed), but many insurance companies did not cover it, and it was very expensive.
My First Meter
I don’t remember how old I was when I got my first meter. I know I was in High School. I don’t even remember the brand of meter. I do remember that we didn’t have to use the torture device lancets anymore.
They finally invented a less painful finger-stick device with tiny little needles instead of razor blades.
All I can remember about the meter is that you still had to put the huge drop of blood on the strip, wait to wipe it, and THEN insert it into the meter to read the result.
As the years went on, technology improved, and new meters were developed. Today, most meters work the same. Tiny, TINY needle poke, tiny drop of blood, no wiping, and 5 seconds or less wait time.
Recently, the FDA approved a meter that requires minimal finger-sticks, as it reads a sensor that is placed on your upper arm. The sensor has a small reagent strip that goes just under the skin and continuously reads your blood glucose levels.
When you swipe the reader over the sensor, it tells you your numbers. You still have to do a finger stick when you feel low or high blood sugar, and to calibrate the meter once every 10 days.
Choosing the Best Blood Glucose Meter
Since there are so many meters on the market these days, I’ll go into detail on some of them for you.
One Touch has been an innovation leader in blood glucose since the early-to-mid 1990s. They currently have 5 meters on the market. Three in their “Verio” series, and two in their “Ultra” series.
Verio: Advanced meters that link to your smartphone and upload your results to an app.
Ultra: Not as advanced but still decent meters. The Ultra Mini is compact and fits in a small purse or pocket (even a shirt pocket!) for those of you that like to minimize.
Bayer Diabetes (Now Known as Ascensia)
Ascensia has a line of diabetes products. Their blood glucose meter is called the Contour Next meter. It is slim and compact. It IS a usb drive, so you just plug the charger into the wall and plug it into the charger to charge it.
This is the meter I use, personally, because I am on Insulin Pump therapy. My insulin pump company contracts with Bayer to provide a version of this meter that communicates with MY glucose sensor and pump.
This is a great meter, again, for those of you who like to keep things compact.
Accu-chek has been around the block. You can see an image of one of their first meters (one of THE first meters, ever), the Accu-chek II, in my “Ancient Devices” image.
Their latest model, the Accu-chek Guide, is convenient with a Bluetooth connection to your phone. This meter automatically logs your test results to an app on your phone, saving you a step in diabetes care.
Accu-chek also boasts one of the best lancing devices on the market today. The Fastclix lancing system uses a drum of lancets (instead of a single one) to save time.
It has 6 lancets in each drum so you only have to change it every 6 tests. This product is sold separately so if you don’t like the Accu-chek meters, you can still use this great lancing device!
Freestyle has tons of meters on the market, but their latest is, in my humble opinion, the best blood glucose meter available.
The Freestyle Libre system is a continuous blood glucose monitoring system. You attach a sensor to the back of your upper arm and it stays there for 10 days. When you want to know your blood glucose, you scan it with the reader/meter.
You have to calibrate it with a fingerstick and the meter once after you put it on. If your blood glucose levels are stable, that means ONE fingerstick every 10 days. Sign Me Up, right?
You still need to check your blood glucose levels when you’re feeling a low sugar, or if you’re sick or feeling a high blood sugar.
The Final Word
There are MANY other meters on the market, but these are the top brands. You can do more research if you’re trying to decide which meter you want. The links to the websites are in the first paragraph of each company’s section!
Good luck finding the best blood glucose meter to fit your needs!
If you need a boost in blood sugar control, try Bioterra Herbs’ Blood Glucose supplement! Click the image below for a link to read more about it and purchase the product!