29 Responses

  1. StephenS
    StephenS September 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm | | Reply

    I recently wrote about this too. Even when I get different readings from two meters, how do I know which one is most accurate?

    I’ve learned to test side-by-side, old meter vs. new for a while, then recognize the new meter’s numbers as (sorry for the buzzword) The New Normal.

    Thanks for the great info.

  2. Lloyd M
    Lloyd M September 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm | | Reply

    1) I suggest testing your glucose right before blood is drawn at a lab, and write down the result. When the lab results come back, you can do a comparison.
    2) We could all use more accurate strips, but at what cost? If it would double the cost of strips, would it be worth it? I hope competition will keep prices in line.
    3) When you test your glucose, ask yourself if the result is believable. Sometimes things go wrong in the testing process. If you are saying to yourself “no way”, then don’t act on the results. Clean your hands and retest.
    4) Many of us could make good use of better technology. That does not mean great results cannot be had with the technology we have. I am a type 2 on a pump, and have switched from freestyle to one touch to contour as required by my insurance. Every one of my 22 A1c’s in the last 5 years has been between 4.9 and 5.4. Current meters are good enough to get the job done. Don’t let meter inaccuracy keep you from doing your best.

  3. Sysy
    Sysy September 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for explaining all this confusing stuff for us, Riva! I’ve always wondered about what the variable causing factors were. I focus wholeheartedly on the variables I can have control over and similar to Lloyd, who commented above, have kept my A1c under 5.7 for the last 6 years. So while meter inaccuracy is an important issue, it’s not someone’s reason for out of control blood sugars. That said, there are MANY good reasons for out of control blood sugar. I do, totally, recognize that. ;)

  4. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth September 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm | | Reply

    Is the difference going to kill us? Maybe not, at least in the short term. But as someone who likes to keep really tight control, and is extremely sensitive to insulin (CF=145mg/dL per Unit) the small differences can make a huge difference in my control. Most upsetting to me was seeing my A1C jump from 5.8 or lower up to 6.3 for an entire year, until I realized it was because Freestyle’s new butterfly strips were consistently giving me a number that was 20-30 points too low on my OmniPod PDM, perhaps even further off for higher readings. It made me feel like Abbott’s changes were made in complete disregard to the fact that our lives depend on these numbers. And if my bg reads 200 before I go to bed, I need to know whether it’s actually 160 or 240, because that 20% difference will make a huge difference in whether I plunge extremely low overnight from an overcorrection, or start rising because of increasing insulin resistance to wake up in the 300′s. Yes, those numbers really do mean more than the strip manufacturers (and even the FDA) seem to realize.

    1. Shanan
      Shanan May 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm | | Reply

      Thanks for the information on the Omnipod and the Freestyle butterfly test strips. I have also watched my A1C creep up over the last year on that system, but did not know the cause. I typically run pretty tight control, so was not really knowning how to adjust to correct that creep. I will mention this to my doctor when I see her next, and thanks for posting about your experience with this system!

    2. Larry Holmes
      Larry Holmes September 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm | | Reply

      I agree with you 100%! I have been struggling with control of my blood sugar due to several other conditions which affect my ability to keep it down. I have at times taken the correct amount of insulin for the reading on the meter, but, after having symptoms of low blood sugar, I’ve tested again, and found my blood sugar was much lower than on previous tests. I now am skeptical about a reading I get until I can verify it against some other standard, such as a lab test. I am very frustrated. I plan to look into some of the brands mentioned here to see if one of them is more reliable than what I use now. The whole situation is very bad, and invites scams and other fraud as customers search in vain for something truly dependable. I hope there will be more information here in the future, as much research doesn’t get published for a couple of years in most places.

  5. Noah
    Noah September 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm | | Reply

    So, standard disclaimer: T2 controlled with diet and exercise. I’m glad various companies are making some progress. All I could think upon reading the announcement of Bayer’s new meter is, “within 15 points while below 100? That’s no improvement at all.” My target range is 80-85 fasting and 90-100 post-meal. I test twice a day (waking and one post-meal). It’s endlessly frustrating not knowing if a single result accurately reflects my current bg or is a fluke. I often end up taking multiple samples and averaging them out (it’s not uncommon to see 15-20 point differences for samples taken with 60s of each other). I’ve tried several meters, and have ended up using Agamatrix Wavesense meters[1], as they’re generally more consistent and closer to the lab results when I have blood draw.

    [1] I have a Jazz & Presto, using the Presto lately, as I was out of work and its test strips are cheaper with no distinguishable decrease in accuracy.

  6. lilen
    lilen September 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm | | Reply

    Medical Science has got immense growth in modern world. But still diabetes is treated as a chronic disease. It is established that diabetes can be controlled, but it prevails in the body till the death. Diabetes is a metabolic disease due to the level of blood sugar (glucose). In other words it is the inability of the body to convert glucose in to energy.
    actos class action lawsuit
    After the digestion food is divided in to fats, protein and carbohydrates. These carbohydrates cause the formation of glucose. Glucose is transferred to blood and it is used as the energy for cells. Patients with diabetes this process i.e. the conversion of glucose in to energy, doesn’t work properly. As a result the level of glucose in the blood becomes high. This phenomena in the human body is happens when the insulin secretion comes under defects. Insulin is a hormone which produced by pancreas that control the glucose level in the human body. In a normal physical condition when the glucose level bumps up in the body, the pancreas release adequate insulin to regulate the glucose level. This insulin converts the glucose in to energy for cell and thus it keeps sugar (glucose) level normally. But in patient with diabetes this type of auto regulation system doesn’t happened. The deficiency of insulin may come as the reason for hyperglycemia. Excessive thirst, excessive urination, extreme hunger, fatigue are some the common symptoms of diabetes. Studies reveal that diabetic people are more prone to heart diseases than other people. That is why people with diabetes need more care in daily life

  7. Aileen
    Aileen September 7, 2012 at 2:46 am | | Reply

    Great article! A lot of people are actually depending on the results of their home meters when it comes to identifying their current blood sugar level. Knowing now that somehow, meters may vary in significant percentages with the results will be able to let people know that depending fully on what their meters reflect may not totally be useful, though it could be helpful in keeping track of fluctuations on our sugar level. In fact, I still believed that regular checkup would recount a more accurate blood sugar level.

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  8. las artes
    las artes September 10, 2012 at 3:59 am | | Reply

    While “experts” suggests that blood glucose meter accuracy be within plus or minus 20% this meter boasts plus or minus 15%. Until meters get within plus or minus 1%, 15% will do for now.

    1. Shanan
      Shanan May 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm | | Reply

      You are right. We would never accept that kind of reliability from our iPods, iPads, cell phones, or other fancy electronic devices. Too bad we can’t put that kind of engineering and research dollars into the medical instruments that help us live and manage our daily lives. I am sure we would be better off for it. Priorities??

  9. Meters Beware! | Solutions For Type 2 Diabetes

    [...] Our meters, the ones we literally give out blood to several times a day to help us make decisions on medication, diet and managing Diabetes have an error factor of +/- 20%.  That’s huge.  Plus of minus 20%!  Let me put that into perspective for you.  Say you get a reading of 100.  Well, it might not really be 100, your true glucose level can be anywhere between 80 (great) and 120 (not so great).  That’s a 40 point swing that takes you from ‘normal’ to Diabetes.  You can get a good sense of what is going on here. [...]

  10. Manoel
    Manoel November 20, 2012 at 2:41 am | | Reply

    I am sorry for the cross postings but I just realize this post here is more appropriate for me to relate my experience with the iBGStar. I have used the IBGStar to compare with lab results during two separate Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests, by reading the IBGStar immediately prior to drawing blood sample at the lab. During the first OGTT done in October 31st this year, the IBGStar read 7%, 9% and 13% higher than lab values at start of test, 1h and 2h intervals, respectively. During the second OGTT done in September 20, 2012, the IBGStar read 7%, 6%, 12%, 13%, 32% and 46% higher than lab values at varios time intervals. The number of data may be few but from this data I conclude this device to be consistently higher than lab results, with a couple of readings out of the +/-20% FDA range. I would like to switch to a more accurate reader and would appreciate your recomendation. Thanks again.

    1. Noah
      Noah November 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | | Reply

      I’ve generally found the Wavesense products (Presto & Jazz) to be fairly consistent and accurate (at least in comparison tor others I’ve tried). The Presto has been around for a while, so is noticeably cheaper for test strips, but has been just as consistent as the Jazz.

      1. Manoel
        Manoel November 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm | | Reply

        Thank you.

  11. Eric Martin
    Eric Martin January 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm | | Reply

    I recently tested two meteres, the Abbott Freestyle and the Nano with the same drop of blood. I did not re-squeeze my finger as I had enough blood to activate both meters. I was a 1/10 of a point of being 40 points apart, the Freestyle being the lesser of the two numbers. I called Accu-Chek company and the rep began telling that they use a different technologies. That just make any sense to me as we all want to know the most accurate bottom line. Regardless of the different technologies, you want to know the “number”. A forty point spread could mean the difference in doing something about it or not. That seems to be the bottom line; so what do I do? Do I consume some sugar or go for a run?

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 15, 2013 at 11:43 am |

    [...] [...]

  13. Paul
    Paul May 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm | | Reply

    Wow this is very insightful.I have noticed sometimes my CGM and meter are 20 points off and sometimes times they are 2 points off. And 90% of the time the meter always reads higher then the CGM.

  14. lola g.
    lola g. October 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm | | Reply

    I am only on oral meds with ac1 at 6.6 so i am not in panic about getting big differences in readings. i currently use the bayer contour meter with contour next strips and as backup a cheap riteaid goto2 with their strips. today the metters showed 40-50 pt diference. should i worry ? guess not but but i hate this. im on medicare and only allowed to test 1 x day (where they pay for supps) due to low ac1. so any 2nd 3rd meters etc are on my dime – especially buying strips $$$$$$$. any feedback welcome! :D NJ

  15. Pone
    Pone December 26, 2013 at 3:28 am | | Reply

    Does anyone have data comparing accuracy of the three Agamatrix units against each other and the IBGStar?

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    real estate listing April 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm | | Reply

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  17. Ange
    Ange July 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm | | Reply

    I just got out of the hospita for DKA (related to my pump not telling me that it wasn’t delivering insulin, but that’s another story). While I was in the ER, I thought I would test my meter against theirs. 70 points off. SEVENTY!!! I use a One Touch Ultra Mini and I am absolutely flabbergasted.

  18. Jerry
    Jerry August 19, 2014 at 11:52 am | | Reply

    I have type two diabetes and virtually gave up on portable meters a few years ago.

    This week I got out the old meters just to see what kind of results I would get comparing them.

    In fairness the strips were from current to a few years old but all passed their self testing with the test solutions.

    Using the same large drop of blood and immediately testing with each of the 5 meters I got the following readings:


    I have never been able to get consistent results between any 2 or 3 meters even when they all had new test strips.

    If there are new better meters with more accurate and consistent results I would love to hear about them.


  19. TerriS
    TerriS August 25, 2014 at 8:16 am | | Reply

    I am a type 2 diabetic and stopped checking my blood glucose several years ago because of this issue. Just for the heck of it, last week I began checking my blood glucose levels using 2 different meters–Bayer Contour and One Touch Ultra 2. This morning the Bayer Contour read 245 and the One Touch read 339. That’s a 94 point difference! Just as Jerry showed there is quite a discrepancy between meters. This amount of point difference could be the deciding factor in taking oral medication and using insulin. I am on oral medication and have just started using an otc supplement called WellBetX PGX plus Mulberry. I had read that this is a supplement recommended by Dr Mark Hyman to lower blood sugar levels. I have been taking it about 4 days now and my morning reading has gone from 315 to 245. I am not an employee, sponsor (paid or otherwise). I am just a type 2 diabetic trying to reduce my blood sugar to a normal range and also lose weight. Read info and reviews (over 200) on the product at Amazon and decide for yourself. I purchased mine from there. When someone finds a meter that is fairly accurate, please post the information on here.

  20. katrina
    katrina September 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm | | Reply

    Hi Guys pls check this site it offers different kind of meters

  21. Mitch
    Mitch September 30, 2014 at 6:09 am | | Reply

    Lack of accuracy? How about cost? Test strips continue to increase in cost, with retail prices at or above $1.25 per strip, with such poor accuracy.

    Poor accuracy, high cost: a rip-off by any measure.

    At the same time, while accuracy may be off compared to lab results, how many would want to go back to urine test strips?

  22. Dirk
    Dirk November 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic after coming down with thrombocytopenia and being on huge doses of steroids for a year. The steroids really mess with your blood sugar. Any way I was using a Bayer contour meter and was comfortable with my results 2x a day…it seemed very consistent. Well my insurance dropped the Bayer product line and so I switched to the Accu check NANO Meter and strips…holy crap! that meter and strips are all over the map…I can get a reading of 305 one test and 205, 3 minutes later! It’s done this repeatedly. many times off by 50 points to as much as 110. I do not trust this product at all. MY contour…while not as well made IMO was always accurate…it tested very well when I took my BS before doctor appointments and then in the doctors office it was always on the money or to within 20-25 points. And once I was off the steroids after a few months my blood sugar was always between 130 and 210…never higher….but with the accu check it seems always over 200…Not a happy camper.

  23. qwerty
    qwerty November 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

    What happened to the low cost testing system that India was going to release? It was a big news item about one year ago.

  24. Michael
    Michael December 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm | | Reply

    I looked here because we just checked my mother in law (who is old and stopped checking for no good reason 2 months ago) on my husband’s One-Touch and then her Accu-Check about 20 minutes apart. The difference was huge the first was with One-Touch and was a scary 322 and the second was a less alarming, but still she’s going on Monday to the doctor, 255 on the Accu-Check. This is disturbing.

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