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World Diabetes Day: Are glucometers or blood glucose monitors accurate?

Should you invest in a glucometer or not? Know what our expert has to say.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : November 14, 2017 5:09 PM IST

It is a common query that most of us might have come across before investing in a glucometer. Most often than not, we hear people saying that a glucometer does not show reliable readings and it is always better to get a blood test done. But getting a blood test for diabetes every now and then is not a feasible option. So is it right to invest in a glucometer? Does it provide accurate readings? Well, all your queries on the accuracy and use of glucometer are answered by Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist, Shreya Diabetes Centre, Mumbai. Read about things your diabetologist wants you to know.

According to Dr Pradeep Gadge, a glucometer is worth an investment if you are suffering from diabetes or if you have a diabetic at home. A glucometer helps you to know your blood glucose level at any time of the day and at any place. So if you are experiencing any symptoms of high blood glucose like dizziness, excessive fatigue or a headache, then having glucometer handy can help you to find your readings quickly and do the needful at the earliest. It is also helpful if the glucose levels drop as you can eat a piece of candy or any sweet to get the glucose back up. Also, it helps you to track changes in your blood glucose levels over time and help you know where you are going wrong with your diet and exercise. Here are tests diabetics should take regularly.

As far as the accuracy of glucometer and lab tests are concerned, lab readings are far more accurate than glucometers. However, the difference between the two is very negligible. A difference of around 20 30 units is usually seen when the readings are either higher than 150 mg/dl or lower than 70mg/dl. And if the readings are higher than 250 mg/dl, then a difference of around 50 100 units can also be seen. In such a case, do consult your doctor or get a lab test done to know the accurate reading of your blood glucose.

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But given the pros, you can invest in a glucometer to check your blood glucose levels at home. Also, remember that investing in a glucometer does not mean that you should not get a blood test done. In fact, a regular check-up followed by a lab test (if recommended) is a must. Here's more on glucometer for monitoring diabetes you need to know.

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