Diabetes treatment is made possible by constantly monitoring blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients can do this at home with a diabetes testing machine or blood glucose meter that measures glucose levels in the blood. How often you need to check your blood sugar depends on your particular diabetes treatment and how well the condition is controlled.
People with type 1 diabetes who take insulin may need to check their blood glucose level several times during the day, in which case a diabetes testing machine would come in handy.
The diabetes testing machine is also called a glucometer. Modern glucometers are now small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Diabetes testing machines come with test strips, calibration solution and alcohol wipes. They can be stowed in their cases, making it easy to bring them with you when you travel.
Using a Diabetes Testing Machine
To test for your blood sugar level, a very small amount of blood is taken from your finger. Almost all glucometers use a test strip to absorb the blood droplet for the machine to analyze. The machine comes with a lancet device that makes a small incision in the finger to draw blood for testing.
Older models of diabetes testing machines took up to a full minute to analyze the blood sample, but newer models can get a reading in a matter of seconds.
Newer models are also more sensitive and require only the tiniest amount of blood sample to get an accurate reading. Thus, it is possible to use a smaller lancet and reduce the discomfort of obtaining a blood sample.
Many modern glucometers these days are capable of recording up to 250 blood sugar readings, including the date and time when the reading was made. This feature allows you to keep track of your blood sugar levels for trending.
Types of Diabetic Testing Machines
There are many different makes and models of blood sugar meters but there are only two basic types. One is a small portable glucometer with test strips stored inside the machine. When the diabetes testing machine is switched on, a test strip is exposed through a small slot. The blood droplet is transferred to the strip for testing.
The second type of glucometer uses external test strips which are inserted into a slot in the machine for testing.
More recently, some manufacturers introduced diabetic testing machines that they claim are able to get a blood sugar reading without a blood sample. The device can be worn like a wristwatch to check your glucose level every twenty minutes.
This type of bloodless diabetes testing machine is not approved by the FDA and cannot substitute for a standard glucometer.