Friday, 25 March 2011

Time for a change

My One Touch Ultra Smart blood glucose (BG) meter has been a trusted friend of mine for about 3 years now. Reliable, accurate and reasonably small it also comes with rather handy, easy to understand and user friendly software which allows me to look closer at my blood sugar level patterns and pick out places where I may be making mistakes or may need to just re-think my sometimes gung-ho approach. BG meters are usually made of pretty tough stuff and can take any amount of knocking, jolting, dropping or occasional launching at walls (it was a very bad week, OK?) without great incident. But alas, my trusty meter has started acting a little weird on me.

Us T1 diabetics have to test our blood sugar levels anything from 4 - 15 times a day depending on the day. These readings then tell us if something is wrong and what action we need to take. If our sugars are low, we need to stock up a bit and have something like fruit juice or high sugar food/drink. It they are perfect, we can do nothing and celebrate this perfect but no doubt fleeting moment. If they are high, we may need to take insulin, check our pumps are working, do some gentle exercise or curl up in the foetal position and sulk for an hour or so. I favour the latter on a fairly regular basis.

But the fact is no matter what they are telling us, these blood tests are key in managing the condition. I am a firm believer that the road to better management for everyone starts long before the insulin pump, CGMs or low carb diets. I would place good money on someone who has bad control and never tests their BGs improving them vastly by doing more blood testing alone, due to the basic fact that unless you know what your sugars are doing, you have to second guess everything. Once you are aware of what is going on, you makle little adjustments like not drinking treacle and or snorting that icing sugar (I'm kidding, just in case).

So when my trusty meter started taking a big old pause before giving me a result, I started t0 worry. I have a tendancy to do quite a few tests, including the times when I tried out CGM and rather than doing less tests (which is one of the key selling points), I effectively tripled how many tests I did, because obsessive crazy diabetic Anna (ah, OCD, I get it now) is never far from the surface. So the thought of being without my testing kit for a while is a little daunting.

But things change a lot in three years. Since 2008, we have seen a new President of the US, Omnipod landed on the UK shores, 24 finished filming (sad face) and who could forget Katie and Peter splitting up!? Who saw that coming....?

Anyway, with all the changes and advancement in technology on the diabetes front, it is fair to expect that blood glucose meters have also changed. While I love mine and it will take some time to adjust to a new one, in the last few years there have been some new editions to the blood testing arsenal over here. Two of these are:

The Bayer Contour USB:

Now this little device is quite nifty. Not only small and smart looking, it can be plugged into any USB port on a computer, where it will then upload results for the similar kind of analysis to which I referred earlier. I've heard people comment that it doesn't have the most user friendly 'interface' (mmm, neither do I depending on the day) but I have to admit, it is pretty high up on my list of maybes.

The next one is the Everymed x3.

Now this one is only used by 2 UK pumpers, and was suggested to me by my good friend Andrew at 'My Pump', who was kind enough to hook me up with an email exchange to the distributor in the UK. Although it isn't as small, it appears to be completely self contained and I believe has a drum of 6 strips held in the device meaning if you were restrained enough to only do 6, you would have a full days worth. My problem is I am more of a 56 a day kinda gal. Will that be enough for me? Not sure. But if the marketing is correct and I will always be 4.5 mmol, then who'd say no? :)

Anyway I will be having a little experiment in the next few weeks as Ultra Smart is known for being rated as 'excellent' for accuracy, so if I am to move away from my current system, I would want to know that my blood sugar readings will be in good hands (no diabetic pun joke intended).

I will definitely keep you posted about my future experiments!

Over and Out


  1. Have a crack on Abbot's FreeStyle Lite - I think it's great! :-)

  2. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the advice. Will check it out



  3. Frequent blood glucose or sugar monitoring is very important if you have diabetes. This check helps in keeping close eyes on blood glucose level at any time. For that you will probably need a good blood glucose meter made by top
    medical device company to measure and display the result accurately. The models and cost of blood glucose meters varies, thus to choose the best one, you should seek doctor’s opinion.