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Old 01-23-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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Meter Accuracy?

I have been using a True Result meter for some time. Last year when I had a lab drawn FBG I used this meter to test myself immediately after the blood draw, and my results were within 2 mg/DL of the lab results. This meter seems to be a really good correlator to my occasional hypos and when I eat too many carbs it definitely shows that.

Recently I got a free Precision meter with 10 test strips. I've ordered some blood ketone strips to try out benign nutritional ketosis. I'm still waiting for my strips. Out of curiosity I used one of the glucose test strips from the Preciion meter, and the results seemed high, so I tested again with BOTH meters using the same drop of blood. The Precision meter was 23 points higher!

So tonight I got a bottle of control solution for the True Result Meter ($8???) and it tested fine. I used the same control solution and tested the Precision meter and it read 40+ points higher than the True Result meter--Waaay out of range.

I know the control solution isn't supposed to be used with other brands of meters, but I don't really understand why not, since the glucose amount is going to be the glucose amount regardless of what meter is testing it. I'm getting the feeling that the Precision meter is WAY off. It read 80 and the range for the testing solution was supposed to be no higher than 59.

How do I tell for sure if this meter is any good? I know that there is about a 20% plus or minus variance in BG meter readings, but that seems crazy. I'm fortunately not an insulin dependent diabetic--that could be a big margin of error for someone calculating an insulin dose. How is that permitted????

If I can't trust the meter for blood glucose, is it still trustworthy for blood ketones? I suppose the basic idea is to see trends in any case, but it still makes me doubtful.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:59 AM   #2
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I know that Dr. Bernstein on his monthly web/teleconferences was talking about the variances in meters and test strips a few months ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember which was the best. I'm sure older teleconferences could be listened to to find out. Not much help but a thought.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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I'm sorry, I don't have a response to your question; I just wanted to say that I also use the True Result meter. I'm not diabetic, but my A1c was creeping up so I decided to test myself to see what was going on with me. Using the True Result meter, I found that I'm very carb sensitive. I didn't question its accuracy until a few months ago when I came home after having a fasting blood test in my doctor's office. I tested my glucose with the True Result meter and it was quite low for me, something like 72. Then I got my lab results from the doctor and my glucose reading (taken about 20 minutes earlier than I tested myself) was 98. Upsetting to say the least. I don't understand why they can't make these meters more accurate. They keep adding bells and whistles, but they don't work on the accuracy.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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It seems to be you should order the control solution from Abbott before assuming the Precision Xtra meter doesn't work. The meter specifically says you must calibrate it every time you open a new pack of strips. After you have done that, and if you still have concerns, you should contact the manufacturer.

As an aside, I got a 64 fasting bg this weekend on the Precision Xtra, so I don't think mine runs high. My usual fasting bg on the Precision Xtra and at my doctor's is 83-84, so that was a low reading for me. My ketones on it range from 0.4-0.8 the times I have tested.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 01-24-2014 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
I tested my glucose with the True Result meter and it was quite low for me, something like 72. Then I got my lab results from the doctor and my glucose reading (taken about 20 minutes earlier than I tested myself) was 98. Upsetting to say the least. I don't understand why they can't make these meters more accurate. They keep adding bells and whistles, but they don't work on the accuracy.
That 20 minutes or so COULD make the difference, depending on what's happening. For example, if I eat too many carbs my BG will go up until the body finally responds to insulin, and then my BG drops really fast. I can easily go down more than 20 points in 20 minutes. When I tested the accuracy of my True Result meter against the lab, I used my meter within about 2 minutes of the lab work. And it was only a few mg off.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
That 20 minutes or so COULD make the difference, depending on what's happening. For example, if I eat too many carbs my BG will go up until the body finally responds to insulin, and then my BG drops really fast. I can easily go down more than 20 points in 20 minutes. When I tested the accuracy of my True Result meter against the lab, I used my meter within about 2 minutes of the lab work. And it was only a few mg off.
I didn't think the 20 minutes would make much difference since I had been fasting since the night before. I could understand if I had eaten something, but I was still fasting.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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If you don't eat every 5 hours your liver releases glucose in a higher amount than if you had eaten something. This may have happened during that 20 minute time frame. Just a thought.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by haferchamp View Post
If you don't eat every 5 hours your liver releases glucose in a higher amount than if you had eaten something. This may have happened during that 20 minute time frame. Just a thought.
I'm not sure what your source is on this, but I don't think it's true. People with diabetes and insulin resistance can certainly "ride the metabolic roller coaster" if they eat too many carbs. What happens is you eat a lot of carbs and your blood glucose rises until the body finally responds to insulin (the insulin resistant body needs more insulin to respond than people with normal metabolisms). Once the body does respond, it drops your blood sugar like a stone, resulting in becoming very hungry and grumpy (some people refer to this as "hangry"--hungry plus angry). This happens on about a 2 hour cycle for most people during waking hours, but not so much during sleep.

If, on the other hand, you eat fewer carbs resulting in much lower post meal blood glucose levels, the cycle can be overcome, and blood sugar stays pretty even throughout the day. Some people can intermittently fast for 6 or up to 24 hours with no problem if their body is adapted to burning fat for energy (ketosis) rather than sugar.

What Ronnie is describing is something else. Every person experiences a surge in hormones early in the morning to prepare the body for wakening. One of the effects of this surge is an increase in blood glucose--you need that energy. In a person with normal metabolism, the body's own insulin will keep this surge in blood glucose in a normal range, but for those of us with impaired insulin metabolism, we can't do that, so our blood sugar rises in the morning. This is known as Dawn Phenomenon.

I find that my blood sugar keeps going higher and higher UNTIL I eat something in the morning, and it can sometimes rise 20 mg in 20 minutes, especially if I've been up for a while and haven't eaten yet. If I have to go in to the hospital lab for a fasting blood glucose, my breakfast can be very delayed, plus there's some stress of getting there, having the needle stick, and worrying about what I will get to eat afterward. Those things can raise my blood sugar, too.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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Definitely contact the Precision manufacturer. They can either send you another meter or some control solution.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:38 AM   #10
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The reality about meters is that they *all* have a +/- error factor of 20 because industry standards only require that they fall within industry standards. Everything I've read says it doesn't matter whether you have an inexpensive meter or expensive meter or whether your strips cost $18 for 100 or $150 for 100. They are all pretty much the same.

As a result, I learned early on that if I got a reading that I thought was off the wall, I'd immediately take it again. If I got a totally different reading, I'd take it again and generally, two would be close enough to 'match'. To be honest, except for a handful of times, the meter was pretty accurate and I've had both ends of the spectrum as far as 'expense'.

Read Bernstein. Food is not the only thing that will cause spikes in your blood sugar. Illness, stress, a bad night's sleep...all can have a dramatic affect on your BG readings.
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