Does anyone know what meter Dr. Bernstein currently recommends. I saw him 7 years ago and he recommended the Bayer Contour. I'm still using it, but am suspicious of the readings lately. Maybe it's time for a new meter.
I must add something to the discussion. Although I want the most accurate meter I can get, I find that the results are always at least slightly different. I've found from multiple tests at a single sitting, something I'm sure we've all done, that my middle finger, left hand is the most accurate. Ring finger same hand, slightly higher, pinky higher again. I don't like to test on my index and thumbs, personally. I also found my right hand to be slightly higher than my left.
These variances are from 3-15mg/dl for the left hand and and 10-20 on the right (from the middle, left hand). Anyone else had this same experience? It makes the accuracy of the meter important, but variance seems to happen to some extent no matter what.
It has never occurred to me to check different hands/fingers. It seems so strange to get different results in different places. What would cause that? Poor circulation?
This is interesting, and I intend to do some experimenting myself. But I do have a question: how do you know that one particular finger is the most "accurate"? Seems to me the only way to know that is to have a reference benchmark (e.g., a lab test) to compare your readings to. Otherwise how do you know which one is the most true measurement? Or did you mean to say "consistent" (which is important, certainly, but not quite the same thing)?
Completely agreed about the requirement of a baseline. I usually try to test when my blood is drawn in order to have said baseline. Which puts the middle off by just a few mg/dl on the meter. This was my old meter, a onetouch ultralink. I won't be able to test the new meter for another feew weeks.
Also, this finger (middle) is the most consistent, which I think is just as important. There's nothing like trying to base decisions on data when you can't get the constant results from the same test (pure sarcasm!).
I never thought to test my bg at a blood draw. Great idea! My Endo was one of the authors of a paper that studied the accuracy of A1c machines that are used in doctors' offices. He only uses lab studies. I try to rotate fingers, but my biggest problem is getting food and hand cream, even facial oil from sunscreen (which I wear everyday) off of my fingers without scrubbing. I cook, do dishes, and cook more with hungry teens who dance and dh and I working out. I have been using gloves to cut down on hand washing with food prep. I keep a clean kitchen, but I'm cooking multiple things at the same time. I use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in my sunscreen....
Agree that Accu chek aviva was recommended when I checked with Dr B/ Steve Freed a couple of months ago. I recently got one and found it reads much higher than the Freestyle lite I use (by around 0.7-1mmol (13-18mg/dl) and both seem very consistent in their values). The Freestyle lite is a great meter - very small, consistent (in my tests and looking around on various trials) and has a light on that illuminates the test stick allowing you to test in pitch black without needing to turn lights on (i.e. at night / camping etc - so convenient). It is therefore extremely useful, convenient and consistent and as Hana says great support from Abbott UK. However for me, having now got an accuchek, the freestyle Lite appears to read (consistently) lower than my actual readings (assuming the accuchek aviva value to be right) (and I have at least 4 of the Freestyle lite meters and it was the same for them all) so I am wondering whether the algorithm Abbott use errs on showing your glucose readings to be on the low side (which would be a safe technique as would warn about hypos a little earlier!). The contin glucose monitor I use (Abbott Navigator - a brilliant piece of kit which uses the same test sticks as the Freestyle meter - hence another reason to have used those meters so long) actually tends to read (consistently) ~0.3-0.5mmmol (6-9mg/dl) below the freestyle lite - so lower still! (Taking a calibration test for the Nav I almost always use the same drop of blood to check on the freestyle lite - uses another stick but if the Nav reads much lower than the Lite, I mark it as a control and try again in order to "fix" the calibration stick to read higher (to match the Lite reading) by letting the blood evaporate for 20 secs or so before applying it to the Nav test strip which seems to work but is a bit trial and error!). I have had 3 of the Navs and at least 4 freestyle lites and these findings seem consistent so I don't think it was just a one off Nav that read lower than others and in fact the finding that all these meters agree with themselves I find very reassuring for the consistency of production of these meters. My only worry is that they are reading lower glucose levels than I actually have.
Why do I think the Freestyle meters read lower glucose levels (rather than them being right and the accuchek reading higher glucose levels than I have)? 1) Dr B recommends the aviva as more accurate and he ought to know! 2) several other quite reliable tests have shown the same thing (searching on line for medical papers etc - tho the freestyles also do well in such trials, the accu-chek aviva is often top) and 3) despite trying extremely hard to control blood sugars - keeping at almost all times between 4-5mmol (72-90mg/dl -see some of my flatline posts/pics etc) with contin glucose monitor and multiple stick tests per day, my (lab) HbA1c is always 5.0 or slightly over and I just can't get into the 4's. I was starting to assume I just had bad deglycosylating enzymes and therefore would always run a higher HbA1c than expected for my average blood sugar (which has stayed at around 4.3 (75mg/dl) long term on both the Lite and the Nav) but now I wonder if it is because i have been running my sugars 0.5-1mmol (9-18mg/dl) higher than I thought???
Anyhow I will see what happens using the Accu-chek which I have gone over to for now. Not sure if I can "fix" the Nav to read that high - will have to experiment. (May instead have to use the Dexcom (as you can simply type the accu-chek readings into that) but it is no where near as reliable as the Nav (and much shorter range) so I'll have to see what i can do).
(incidentally I am not sure whether the Freestyle reads low at all values - it may be that the algorithm errs on the low side for lower values (which would be safe) but acts differently at higher values so all I can say is that for values between about 3.5-5.5 the freestyle meters (at least 6-7 of them with consistent agreement) seem to read lower than the results from my (single) accuchek (and one other meter I then used to see if the accuchek was way high which in fact agreed with it). I have no idea how values compare at higher glucose readings trying to avoid them at all times!).
In summary, I love the Nav and the freestyle lite (both are just brilliant especially the Nav). I try to "fix" the Nav calibrations so they are the same as the Freestyle lite meter (as the built in Nav glucose meter seems to read slightly lower than the freestyle lite) but in fact it looks like both read lower than my actual BG according to the Accu-chek. As I feel fine on the Accu-chek readings (i.e. I don't think it is reading falsely high making me run too low) I am going to stick with this for a while in the hope i can at least once get a (laboratory) HbA1c in the 4's! Now I have to wait 3-4 months for my next labs!
I keep my readings LOw[my Freestryle Lite currently shows an average of 4.9 mmol/l.] So far, my HbA1cs have been consistent with my meter. I did try a Code Free, for a while, which gave MUCH higher readings. It nearly gave me heart failure. However it was Far out of the range I expect my Hba1c to be [always in the 5%s.
I know meters are designed to be accurate to within 20%, but my F Lite will still do me.
PS didn't dDavid Mendosa do a bit on meterr accuracy a while ago?
Yes he did - I found it at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=880 many thansk for this. See also http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/dia.2011.0170. In both of these the accucheks and freestyle meters did very well. Best wishes
Based on everyone's recommendations, I got the Accucheck Aviva. It gave me a reading of 93 and my Bayer Contour gave me a reading of 78 with the same drop of blood. I don't know which one is right, but I'm going to go with the Accucheck. I will compare it to my labs next time I get them done,
I do not like that I have to code this meter. I also don't like that it's bigger and the carrying case doesn't fit my needs. I reuse my syringes throughout the day and suck insulin out of an insulin cartridge (the kind meant for a pen but I don't use the pen). The syringes and insulin cartridge fit perfectly in the zipper compartment of my Contour case, but not the Accucheck case. And the darn Accucheck meter is so big it doesn't fit in the countour case. I might have to try to make my own.
I used a Contour initially but soon changed to Wavesense meters because the strips are more reasonably priced and they have a good reputation for accuracy. I noticed that the Wavesense also read higher than the Contour. As a T2 not on insulin I figured this was a good thing in that it would prompt me to keep stricter control of my diet.
I download my readings to my computer and print out reports before each Dr. visit. For what it's worth the average of my readings, converted to an A1C always match my actual A1C down to the tenth. Interestingly the 30 day average is the best predictor as opposed to the 90 day, which is what the A1C is supposed to measure.
I checked with David Mendosa and the articles he pointed me to all show the Freestyle Lite [ which I use] to be one of the most accurate meters.
I Agree with GlacierLily's comment above re the bulky case! The accuchek case is much larger and less useful than the freestyle Lite I had (let alone the loss of the light on the Freestyle which was helpful for night testing). However I have changed to Accuchek for now despite this for the reasons given above. Like you I also take a days worth of insulin into a syringe from a 3ml cartridge and carry the syringe around (for the day leaving the cartridge at home in the fridge). I have got a syringe carrying case (looks like an insulin pen that you can clip the prefilled syringe in) and now I slide that through the elastic strap on the back of the Accuchek Aviva case to carry them together but, as you say, more bulky and not as convenient as when i had the Freestyle.
(Incidentally I have managed to fix the Nav to the higher readings of the Aviva (see above comment) too - just putting in 17 instead of 16 as the code for the calibration strip (plus the evaporation technique I described above) seems to make it read higher and so far it is agreeing with the Aviva fine so good news there!). Regards