Opinions on glucose monitors please


(Amy) #1

My 12 year old son was recently diagnosed T1 and I know you all can understand the roller coaster we’ve been on since then!

We are looking at blood glucose monitors for him and would love your opinions on which ones work the best. He’s very active.

Thank you!
-Amy


(wadawabbit) #2

I’ve used several over the years and find all of them to be pretty accurate - given what they do I’m sure they have to agree to strict standards. Some people may have issues with a particular meter; so as an aside, it could be that body chemistry or even use of a particular pain reliever affects a person’s response to a particular one - but that’s probably unlikely to happen, and finding one should be fairly simple and a matter of personal preference more than anything else, for most people.
I used to use meters in the One Touch family, and used the One Touch Mini for several years simply because it fit easily into my purse or pocket. My new insurance switched me to the Accuchek Guide this year. I wasn’t thrilled about the change until I found that this meter, uses a much smaller sample of blood.
Some insurances may require a specific meter, but if you have options you may want to consider the sample size required. Some meters come with their own lancet devices but you can get your own, and many allow you to adjust for “prick depth,” so a smaller sample will be at least relatively less painful for your son. I use the Accuchek FastClix, which has a wide range of depth settings. There is also one called One Touch Delica but it didn’t work for me. I’ve been pricking my fingers for so many years even its maximum depth wasn’t enough for my fingers. But for a newbie such as your son that may be fine - and the device is much smaller.
Here’s a link to a site with reviews of some meters. Happy hunting:


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #3

Hi Amy @Ahott, as @wadawabbit says you have many choices for a BGM [blood Glucose Meter] and I would advise that you check studies such ad the one posted above, one published by American Diabetes Association, and other “trusted” sources and pick the most accurate. For the last couple of years all meters in the US Market are required to meet the “15% rule” - i.e., if actual BG = 100 mg/dl the meter must read between 85 and 115 mg/dl. There are many that perform better than that standard.
I’m also wondering if you might be asking for recommendation for CGM [Continuous Glucose Monitor]? If so, your choices currently are limited to about five - more nearing approval soon by the FDA. You have your choice between the type that the require the user to insert a sensor under the skin every few days or the type where a physician “implants” a sensor every 90 or 180 days. Each type has certain advantages so I would first consult with your son’s endocrinologist. For many people with out-of-pocket cost is a big factor and many CGM are not covered by insurance.
Years ago I used a non-invasive CGM [a Glucowatch] which didn’t perform to my standard but there are others now nearing the market - so I suggest you don’t rush in. I currently use a DexCom G5 which I find very good, but I waited until my 62 years with diabetes before I began with that - and somehow I got through more than 30 years with diabetes before home BG Meters came into use.

A LLLooooooonnnnngggg reply to a short question.


(wadawabbit) #4

Hi Amy - me again (I’m baaack!).
I imagine that as a loving mom, eager to get your son started, you may have found a meter to use now. So I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts:
Check which battery your meter uses and be sure to pick up a set. They last a while but do give out eventually. The meter will display a battery icon when it’s starting to get low - I don’t recall how many tests you have left once you see it, but it’s best to keep some on hand so you’re not caught off guard.
if you’re able to, invest in an additional meter or two. In addition to the main one which stays in my kitchen, I keep one in my purse, and another in my bedroom in case I need to do a reading overnight. It saves the worry of “Oh no, I left the meter at the house!” which happened to me frequently when I first started multiple tests. You probably will have to pay out of pocket for extra one/s, and depending on which you use they may run betweeen $20-$50 or so; but it could be worth it for peace of mind, especially if you’re as forgetful as I am.
Be sure to get all of the same make and model - even though meters all have to conform to standards of accuracy - as @Dennis pointed out, I think doctors prefer comparing apples to apples, as it were. And if you use software o download and analyze readings, it helps to have all of them on the same platform.
With the extra meter/s you may want to purchase an extra supply of strips so you won’t have to worry about whether you have a pack with you when you switch meters. Even if you do pay out of pocket they should last you a while and you’ll be ahead if the ones you use aren’t available when you order them from your pharmacy.
Speaking of which - just to be on the safe side - especially since you’re a mom to a child who I gather was recently diagnosed - if you get your supplies locally rather than by mail, check with your pharmacy to see if they have issues getting the strips you need. When I started using my current meter - the AccuuChek Guide - they were constantly on back order at my local CVS. I tried several other pharmacies (CVS and others) in my neighborhood and surrounding area and apparently they all use the same supplier, who was having issues. I was able to get them at another CVS several miles away, but I also bought some out of pocket so I would always be ahead of the game. It’s probably an unlikely scenario but I’m sure as a mom you want to have all your bases covered.


(Amy) #5

Thank you for your long reply!

You are correct I was talking about the continual monitor. I have really only heard about Dexcom


(Amy) #6

Thank you! You are correct that I wasn’t to be fully prepared. This is all brand new and very overwhelming


(Amanda ) #7

Freestyle is a very easy one to use. :smiley:


(wadawabbit) #8

Glad to help. If you click on the Resources tab you’ll see some different topics that will be of interest to you. There’s one on Support - I haven’t used it myself but apparently there are individuals who serve as resources on different topics, and there is one for parents.
How old is your son? I hope it helps you to know there are people on this site who have had diabetes far longer than I have (55 years for me) and are still going strong. There’s technology now that didn’t exist when we were growing up, so you have a lot of advantages. Depending on your son’s age, check out diabetes summer camps - it’s a great place for kids to get together, find diabetic friends, and learn how to manage things (at their own level).
I’m sure it’s overwhelming but you can do this. Don’t forget to breathe, and find some resources for support in your area - your doctor or diabetes nurse educator can probably give you some suggestions.


(RichardV) #9

I have the FreeStyle Lite meter, and it is rated as one of the top four meters for accuracy. I have used that meter for many years, and I am completely satisfied with it. I recently ordered extra test strips from Amazon at a reasonable price. My insurance does not pay for all the strips I want to use, so I order extra every few months.
Another meter among the top four on accuracy is the Relion Confirm. It is a Walmart meter and the prices of the meter and strips is very very reasonable. Insurance does not cover that meter, but it is a good choice for people who do not have insurance coverage.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #10

Hi Amy @Ahott, I also suggest that you go to the main JDRF website [JDRF.org] and click on the tab “JDFR near you” and use that to connect with people in your area affected by TypeOne.
If there is a TypeOneNation Summit listed [free events] that you can get to I suggest that you and your entire family register and attend - they are awesome events. At each that I’ve attended there have been many manufacturers willing to explain products [and often hand out free meters and other devices]. You will also get to meet other families and PWD who will share what has worked and has not been helpful.


(debholmes) #11

I switched from a meter that used free style test strips to the verio style when we changed pumps and I HATE the new meter. Its got some nifty fancy features but it takes about 5 times as long to output the reading and requires a lot more blood. I throw away test strips due to errors in reading (usually not enough blood) about 5 times as often. argh