Blood Glucose Tester

To manage diabetes successfully, one has to have on-hand several testing tools.  Frequent testing of sugar levels may be necessary.  Consult with your doctor to be sure that the test frequency is adequate.  Initially, I was testing daily, but over the years, the frequency of testing has increased.  Currently I am doing two to three times per day.

There are many testers in the market.  While most meter manufacturers compete with each other on several fronts such as the amount of blood needed for the test, no coding needed or the speed of the test results, the new generation of testers recently released use wireless technology to connect test results to a Smart Phone.  The OneTouch Verio® Sync Meter from Johnson and Johnson’s LifeScan Company is one of them.  You would need their free app, OneTouch Reveal®, as well. This is available from the Apple AppStore. (http://www.onetouch.com/support/products/veriosync)

Another high tech tester competing with OneTouch Verio® Sync is the BG5 by iHealth Labs from Mountain View, California. (http://ihealthlabs.com/glucometer/wireless-smart-gluco-monitoring-system/).

There is close to 100 different types of glucose meters in the market.  Many of the meters provide connectivity to a computer to download test results.  Most meters in this category require a USB cable to connect the meter to the computer.  Another recent development in meters is one that looks like a USB drive.  To download the data, you just plug the meter into the USB port of your computer.

Without any of this connectivity to a computer, one is left with a manual logbook.  This means that you have to write down your test results on piece of paper.  Of course, one could always maintain such a list using Microsoft Excel or similar software.

To a consumer like myself, one is faced with the decision:  Which one to buy?  Just visit any pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens and you will see a wide array of products displayed.  What is interesting is that these stores have their store brand as well. Some of the more notable brands include   Bayer Contour, Accu-Chek, OneTouch, etc.

Consult with the pharmacist to help you decide.  Most likely many considerations are needed to assess the meter suited for your needs.  These include meter cost, insurance payments, supply costs (tests trips and lancets), connectivity to a computer, ease of use, size, etc.

Blood Pressure Monitor

Another important tool to help manage my diabetes is a reliable blood pressure monitor.  There are many available in the market.  Keeping track of your blood blood pressure cuffpressure is very important to properly monitor your health.  For diabetics with elevated blood pressures (hypertension)  maintain healthy blood pressure levels is essential.  Diabetes adds additional stress to your body and if one is to avoid advanced coronary disease and heart attacks, it is important to monitor blood pressure in additional to tracking blood sugar levels.

Companies such as Omron known for their blood pressure monitor products and there are many choices available.  All of them are equipped with sophisticated electronics similar to the ones found in the machines at the doctors’ offices.

I use an Omron BP742.  I have been using this unit for over 5 years and the results are consistent with the ones from my doctor’s office.  In fact, I have taken the unit to the doctor’s office to calibrate the results and they are the same.  Thus, when I am home taking my blood pressure, I know that the results are accurate.