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[Time for a rant]

Who the heck decided that measuring whole blood was a good thing?!? Especially without a reference chart! I'm not sure if they think you're actually supposed to treat these the same as plasma numbers, but they're not! I don't even know the brand of meter I've been using, but it's the medtronic sponsored one that communicates with my pump. When I first tested the meter, I noticed that my sugars were always about 2 mmol over ALL my other meters (3 of the 4 were super close, but not this one). I went through the customer support and they verified that my meter was working and that whole blood is usually higher than the previous type of testing. Long story short, I was told to just use the meter and trust what it said because they're results are more accurate than any other meter I've ever used.

The only time that meter has read under 7mmol this last week or 2 has been when I was sitting on my new kitchen floor right before chugging back a glass of orange juice, in a cold sweat and fumbling with the strips. My glucose at that moment was 4.4 (before juice). YA RIGHT!

The only reason I've been using the strips is because, moving across the country, I can't afford to waste the strips. I've been assuming that I should just add 2 to every number I get and that seems to work fine.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?!?
Totally not cool...

Now that I'm running out, I'm back to the old school meters.

Is it also possible that over 20 years, my body has been used to having higher sugars, so I experience lows at a higher rate? I know the answer is no, but I'm trying to justify this poopy meters poopiness...

Views: 27

Tags: blood, plasma, whole

Comment by Sarah on September 1, 2009 at 9:02am
Yikes.. whoever told you that was dead wrong.. whole blood calibrated meters read LOWER than plasma calibrated meters!

That was a big thing when everyone switched about 7-8 years ago, suddenly everyone saw numbers on their meters that were approximately 12% higher... no one was happy about that.

I do find it *quite* difficult to believe that you don't know what brand your meter is though. It's right there ON the front of the meter? Medtronic has only been through 3... the BD Link, the One Touch Link, and the Contour Link. Not to mention that the brand is on the strips...
Comment by Michael Park on September 1, 2009 at 11:51am
Ya, it's the contour link - I didn't have the meter with me. I've had about 20 meters over my diabetes life, so unless it's one of my favs, I don't keep track of names.
My rant was more about the technology of how the meters measure the glucose, not about this brand or that.

So, when you use whole-blood meters, do you just shift your target range up by 12%?
Anyway, thanks for your feedback. It's good to know that this is not just a problem with my particular meter.
Comment by Theodore Quick on September 1, 2009 at 1:37pm
In any case you shouldn't just add a given number to the reading since it's proportional. You need to multiply by a factor. It varies somewhat from 1 meter to another, but as was said, if you assume a 12% difference then you either multiply or divide the reading by 1.12.

It's possible that your body is used to somewhat higher readings so when you go down to what should be a safe enough lower number your body doesn't appreciate it, so the hypo symptoms start. The other possibility that can happen to any diabetic is that your level dropped too fast, which kicks off the alarms at whatever level. The body doesn't understand bg numbers, but it reacts to rates of change in most situations.


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