After three weeks of testing, research and evaluation, the Contour Next One emerged as our pick for the best glucometer overall. This meter is exceptionally easy to use, performed better than all the others in our tests and comes with a mobile app for easy data management. In addition, the test strips are available everywhere and are among the more affordable options available.
Before diving into our recommendations for the best glucometers, it’s important to note that Top Ten Reviews is not a substitute for your primary care physician. Our recommendations are made based on common scenarios, hands-on experience, market cost evaluations and a comparison of important features, but they’re not a replacement for advice from your doctor. We are not medical experts. In fact, due to the diversity and features included with glucometers, Kristen Scheney, a nutritionist from CCS Medical, recommends that newly diagnosed diabetics talk with a medical professional about getting the glucometer that best meets their needs.
Overall Best Glucometer
Overall Best Glucometer: CONTOUR NEXT ONE
The Contour Next One doesn't have a large display, but with Bluetooth and a smartphone app, you can sync your readings to your phone and make all the necessary notes from there. For example, you can record whether the reading was taken pre- or post-meal, before bed, etc. The app makes it very easy to track your diabetes and even allows you to share the data with your physician. This is also one of the most affordable glucometers, with test strips that perform well and don't break the bank.
In our tests, the Contour Next One was the most consistent glucometer, never once giving a reading outside the accuracy range, which we set by calculating the average reading across all the glucometers in each round of testing – any meter that displayed a number between 15 percent above and 15 percent below the average was considered accurate. However, this isn't an absolute statement of accuracy; before hitting the shelves, all glucometers must meet FDA standards for accuracy and go through tests that are more controlled and stringent than those we were able to perform.
The Contour Next One received an A+ for test strip availability – we looked for the strips in more than 20 online stores and local pharmacies, and we found them at every single one. That said, each strip costs about 56 cents, which is certainly more affordable than those used by other big-brand glucometers but still more expensive than many other test strips.
Best Glucometer for Value
Best Glucometer for Value: True Metrix Air
Our pick for best value is the TRUE METRIX AIR. This glucometer syncs your test results to a mobile app over Bluetooth, and it performed well in our accuracy tests. Its test strips are also the most affordable and among the easiest to find.
In our evaluation, the AIR’s test strips received an A+ for cost. On average, they cost 23 cents each, and we found them in almost every store we checked, even the brick-and-mortar pharmacies. To put this into perspective, the most expensive test strips we reviewed were $1.22 each, and the average across all the glucometers we tested was 55 cents per strip. When you consider ongoing costs, you'll pay much less with the TRUE METRIX AIR.
In our accuracy tests, the AIR performed well, though not great, receiving a B. Its test strips had a comparatively high failure rate – failed strips don’t drink up enough blood and produce an error message on the glucometer. Still, since it uses the most affordable strips on the market, a few failed ones isn’t as big of a deal as wasting those that cost more than $1 each.
Best for Insulin Dependent Diabetics
Best for Insulin Dependent Diabetics: Fora 6 Connect
Released in February, the FORA 6 Connect is the newest glucometer to hit the market in 2018, and it's an impressive addition to the ForaCare portfolio of products. This Bluetooth-enabled meter is multi-functional, accepting strips to test for both blood glucose and ketones. While most diabetics don't test ketones, it's a critical measurement for insulin-dependent diabetics. This dual functionality is why it's our pick for the best glucometer for insulin-dependent diabetics. Even if you're not insulin-dependent, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your ketone levels, especially if your doctor says you're at a high risk for ketoacidosis. It's also a great tool if you're a type II diabetic following the keto diet to help manage your glucose levels. (You can learn more about the keto diet and how it can be applied by diabetics later in this article.)
Even without the ketone strip functionality, the FORA 6 Connect is one of the best glucometer I've reviewed. In my accuracy tests, all its readings fell within the acceptable range. The device’s display is big and easy to read, and its multiple buttons make it the easiest FORA meter to use. In addition, at about 50 cents each, the FORA 6 Connect’s test strips are affordable, which is a pleasant surprise for brand new strips. The only downside is they aren't widely available – currently, you can only order them online.
The meter uses Bluetooth to sync your readings with the iFORA HM app. While this app was edged out by Dario’s for the best data management system, it's still one of the best on the market. The interface is easy to navigate, and you can add notes to your readings and see the data in graphs and charts. The iFORA HM app also lets you share this information with your physician.
Best Glucometer for Diabetics With Poor Eyesight
Best Glucometer for Diabetics With Poor Eyesight: FORA TN'G Voice
The FORA TN'G Voice is our pick for diabetics who have poor eyesight because it has a loud voice feature that reads out your glucose levels. The voice guidance system also walks you through the meter’s other features, so you can use each one without consulting the display. Very few glucometers have voice guidance, which is surprising considering how many diabetics have vision impairments. In addition, the glucometer has Bluetooth and the best data management app available.
The glucometer’s voice guidance is loud and easy to understand. Even though I can see just fine, I successfully navigated the features and took readings without having to look at the display. That said, the voice system isn't without its faults. We struggled to turn it off and adjust the volume, which can be annoying in a public space. It also begins every test with "Thank you for using ForaCare products," which is nice to hear the first time you use the meter but not every time you test your blood.
In our evaluation, the FORA TN’G Voice’s test strips received a B+ for cost when compared to those used by other meters – they only cost 40 cents per strip, on average. That said, we only found the strips on Fora's website and Amazon, so you need to track your supply and order refills well in advance.
Best Glucometer for Data Management
Best Glucometer for Data Management: Dario
Dario is one of the newest brands and most unique glucometers to hit the market in recent years. Unlike other glucose meters, the Dario meter plugs into your smartphone. You download the companion app, and it acts as the glucometer’s interface. The app is also a well-designed data management system that helps you track your diabetes. There's no need to sync data via Bluetooth or connect the glucometer to a computer with a micro-USB cable – the data uploads as you take your reading. This is why Dario is our pick for the glucometer with the best data management app.
The app is well designed and easy to navigate. It has animations that let you know it's reading your sample, and the display is only limited by the size of your smartphone’s screen. This makes it far superior to other glucometers in terms of visibility – the numbers are big, and the screen is colorful but with enough contrast that it's not distracting.
However, the Dario requires a 3.5mm audio jack to work, which means it isn’t compatible with the iPhone 7 or newer versions of the smartphone. That said, the company has developed an iPhone-compatible version that plugs into a Lightning port, but it's currently awaiting approval from the FDA.
Another drawback is the availability of its test strips. Dario is not a huge brand with wide distribution, so the test strips aren’t available many places outside of the company’s own website. That said, it offers a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee to have an unlimited number of strips shipped directly to you.
Top Ten Reviews has been reviewing glucometers since 2014, and I've been reviewing them since 2016. While I don't have diabetes, I have diabetic family members and friends. I know firsthand the important role their glucometers play in helping them better manage their diets and keep their glucose levels from getting out of control.
With diabetes being such a serious disease, I've approached my research and testing with a sincere desire to get it right. Unlike most other consumer products I review, a bad glucometer can profoundly affect your life, which is why I emphasize the need to talk to your doctor about what type of glucometer is best for you. Don't just take my word for it.
I've been an expert reviewer since 2013, but I've never intentionally bled for my reviews until now. In my tests, I pricked my fingers between two and five times per day for three weeks. These tests had two purposes: to see if the glucometers produce the same readings when tested on the same blood sample (they don't) and to empathize with the process. I only did this for three weeks, and it wasn't pleasant. The pain of the lancet isn't terrible, but by the end of it, my fingers were sore enough to make playing the drums and the guitar unpleasant. However, many diabetics do this every day with the knowledge that they'll continuing doing it for the rest of their lives.
What We Tested
Before a blood glucose meter reaches the market, it must receive FDA approval. The process involves manufacturers submitting reports to the FDA showing the glucometer's accuracy is within 15 percent of lab-tested glucose levels in 95 percent of the readings, and within 20 percent in 99 percent of the readings. Unfortunately, just because a glucometer receives FDA approval doesn’t mean your readings are also as accurate. In fact, independent tests performed by the Diabetes Technology Society suggests many glucometers failed to reach FDA standards even after receiving approval.
With this in mind, I developed a simple range-based test based on the FDA requirements to evaluate the comparative accuracy of the glucometers I reviewed.
What the Accuracy Grade Is:
The grade is the culmination of 60 rounds of tests and approximately 500 drops of blood performed over a three week period. It reflects how well the glucometer performed within a 15 percent range calculated from the average reading of each round. I also consider failed test strips into the grade, as sometimes test strips don’t work.
That said, testing glucometers for accuracy is not without difficulty, and shouldn't be viewed without skepticism. At best, you should view the grades as an anecdotal evaluation of performance. But the logic behind the test is simple - if the meters meet FDA requirements, each should produce similar readings on the same blood sample. If a glucometer’s reading in a round falls beyond the 15 percent range determined by the average, I flagged it as being more likely to fail FDA requirements.
What the Accuracy Grade Isn’t
The grades aren’t representative of the meter’s true accuracy. Such conclusive tests can only be done by sending blood samples to a lab. In addition, our test is small and consists of just one person’s (non-diabetic) blood sample – mine. As such, the tests also aren’t a reflection of how accurate the meters are when blood glucose levels are abnormal.
After making sure every glucometer was calibrated according to its instruction manual, I started each round of tests by washing my hands. This is important because dirt and other contaminants can cause a reading to be inaccurate. Once my hand was dry (also important because water can dilute the blood sample and produce an inaccurate reading), I used the deepest setting on a lancet to puncture one of my fingers and create a drop of blood from which I could test all 11 meters.
Usually, when you touch the end of a test strip to a drop of blood, the strip drinks up the necessary amount like a paper towel soaking up water, but sometimes it doesn't because the strip is faulty. In some cases, the strip seems to drink it up, but the meter produces an error message that there wasn't enough blood. I made a note of these failed strips, then tested the meter with another one. Some strips are more prone to failure than others.
In each round of tests, I averaged all 11 results. I then calculated an acceptable range of accuracy with the maximum set at 15 percent above that average and the minimum at 15 percent below it, similar to the FDA requirements. For example, if one round of tests produced an average reading of 108 mg/dL, then the acceptable range for accuracy would be 92 to 124 mg/dL.
While I couldn't know my true glucose level without a lab test, it's reasonable to think that it was within that acceptable range and likely closer to the average than otherwise. This means it's also reasonable to think that any readings that fall outside of this range have a high likelihood of being inaccurate. Every round of testing produced at least one inaccurate reading. Most had two or three.
After 30 rounds of these tests, I consulted with a medical expert in the diabetes industry (who declined to be named for this article) about my testing methodology. At this point in the testing, seven of the 11 glucometers had already produced inaccurate readings more than five times, but to meet FDA regulations, they couldn't have more than five failed readings out of a 100. The expert suggested that I may be introducing too much lymphatic fluid into the blood sample when I squeezed my finger to get the blood sample, which would throw off the accuracy.
He recommended that I test each glucometer on drops of blood produced without squeezing the prick site. In other words, I'd have to prick my finger 11 times for each round instead of once. He suggested that I'd get more consistently accurate results this way. So, I continued with this more painful methodology for the remainder of the tests. However, the results were no different than when I tested each meter on the same blood sample. The readings weren't more closely grouped and each round had between one and three readings that fell outside the acceptable range.
In addition to accuracy, I also routinely tested consistency by using each glucometer three times in a row on the same drop of blood. Usually, if you get a reading you suspect is inaccurate, it's recommended you test again – sometimes the sample is contaminated or the test strip is bad. However, my consistency tests showed that the glucometers were usually consistent, with only a 5 to 10 mg/dL difference between the lowest and the highest readings, with only a few exceptions.
After all the tests, I graded accuracy, noting whether each meter tended to read high or low, though some had no distinguishable pattern and were all over the place. It's important to make it clear that this was a small-scale test and not an absolute indication of accuracy. And it's perfectly reasonable to think that my methodology has issues. In fact, I hope that's the case because it would explain the worrying lack of consistent readings. In other words, trust what your doctor says.
Data Management & Connectivity
I asked Angelica Khachaturova, an EVP with GlucoMe (which currently has a glucometer in the final stages of the FDA-approval process), what she sees as the most common mistake people make when choosing a glucometer. She said they often don’t pay enough attention to data management systems and the way glucometers connect to those systems.
Since diabetes is a chronic disease without a cure, people need a good data management system that provides them and their doctor with the relevant information to best treat the disease and minimize long-term health effects. She explained that "[t]oday's glucose monitor manufacturers are developing different features to solve the connectivity issue. So it is highly recommended to check how the monitor transfers the data and its usability for this particular patient."
With this in mind, I closely evaluated the data management apps and desktop software that come with these glucometers, paying particular attention to connectivity and ease of use. Mobile apps are preferable to desktop software because Bluetooth allows the glucometer to almost instantly sync data to your data management system.
Using an app also makes it easy to add notes to readings from your phone just moments after testing your blood, which makes for more accurate records. You don’t need to worry about a cord or having to enter notes for readings directly into the glucometer, which isn’t easy to do and may discourage you from writing important things like "ate an apple" next to a reading. However, Bluetooth has connectivity challenges as well. Bluetooth-enabled glucose meters aren't always so easy to pair to your phone.
Test Strip Costs & Availability
Two very important aspects of buying a glucometer is the cost and availability of the test strips. Test strips are the most expensive part of using a glucometer. Just because you chose a $20 over a $50 glucometer doesn't mean you picked the most affordable option. If the test strips of the cheaper meter cost $1.50 and the strips on the expensive meter cost $0.50, the long-term costs make the cheaper meter far more expensive. In addition, you have to consider availability. If you're not on top of how many strips you have and you run out, you have to run into a pharmacy to find strips. But if you choose a meter with test strips lacking in distribution, you won't find it. Some test strips have to be ordered online, which aren't ideal for emergencies.
To evaluate price and availability, I compiled a list of the most common online stores and five local pharmacies. I then noted whether the stores carried the test strips and for how much, including the prices if you purchased strips in boxes of 50 or 100. Some test strips were available everywhere, while others were only available in one or two online stores.
How Much Do Glucometers Cost?
Most glucometers cost between $20 and $50. Within this range, you can get an advanced and accurate meter with Bluetooth and a companion smartphone app with excellent data management features.
Insurance coverage varies a lot. The meters most likely to be covered by insurance providers also tend to be the most expensive, like the OneTouch Verio IQ that cost over $100. However, the performance and feature-value of these more expensive meters was not significantly different in my tests from the cheaper models.
How Much Are Blood Glucose Test Strips?
The most important cost consideration when choosing a glucometer is the test strips. Since you can’t get cheap off-brand test strips, you have to consider the long-term costs and price fluctuations. When I reviewed glucometers in 2017, the lowest average cost for the cheapest test strip on the market was $0.12 per strip, while the most expensive test strip was $2.06 per strip. But in early 2018, the cheapest test strip averaged around $0.23 per test strip while the most expensive averaged $1.22 per strip. The difference in cost is extraordinary when applied to a year of using the meter, especially if you frequently test your glucose levels.
One explanation for the change in test strip costs is the fluctuating value of gold. Most test strips are made with a circuitry of gold, due to its superior conductivity, so as the value of gold moves, so do the manufacturing costs.
Another explanation is shown by Daniel Jennings in “Is Insurance Driving Up Healthcare Cost?” It's the ever-changing ways health insurers cover, or don't cover, glucose meters. One way to save yourself from fluctuating prices is to sign up for a test-strip subscription. These subscription-based programs are becoming more popular, allowing you to pay a flat fee for test strips each month.
What Else You Should Consider When Buying a Glucometer?
Glucometers vary quite a lot with concern to features and cost, which means it can be easy to choose the wrong one. Kristen Scheney, a nutritionist for CCS Medical, recommends not using price as an indication of quality. She continues, "just because one glucometer is more expensive than another does not mean that it will be more accurate. Moreover, just because a device includes more features than another does not mean that it is the device for you. Sometimes simple is the best way to go to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need out of your glucometer."
Again, you should consult with your physician about what type of glucometer is best for helping you manage your diabetes. That said, here are some additional considerations:
You don’t need a prescription to purchase glucometers, test strips or lancets. These are all over-the-counter products. However, since the long-term costs can be high, many insurance plans cover the meters and the test strips. While co-pays and coverage may vary, you should contact your insurance provider and talk to your doctor about what brands are covered under your insurance plan.
The one downside to using insurance to offset some of the costs is your plan often dictates which brand you can use. This is one of the most common complaints among diabetics because too often the only glucometer brands approved by their insurance providers have very expensive test strips.
Medicare Part B covers some diabetic supplies, including test strips, with a 20-percent Medicare-approved co-pay. However, this only applies if your physician and pharmacy are enrolled with Medicare.
A backup glucometer allows you to double-check a strange reading you think may not be accurate. For example, if you have a very high reading but you feel fine, you can check your blood again with a second glucometer. If the reading is high on both, then you can act accordingly. But if the backup glucometer gives a normal reading, you know that your primary glucometer needs to be calibrated.
Backup glucometers also help in situations when you run out of test strips. For example, if your primary glucometer is made by FORA, you'll likely have to order test strips online. And if you don't order them with enough foresight, you could easily run out before the refills arrive. A backup glucometer can be used to fill the gap.
Every glucometer we tested came with its own lancet – a device with a spring-loaded needle that you use to prick your finger, palm or forearm. Unlike test strips, you don't have to use the lancet that comes with your glucose meter; you just need something that draws enough blood to test with the glucometer, so use whatever is easy and affordable. I used all 11 lancets that came with the devices and found no difference in pain, but some are easier to load and unload. (It's important to use a new lancet needle for each test.)
What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring?
Continuous glucose monitoring systems, or CGMs, have been around since 1999, but until recently, only a few were approved by the FDA, so they were almost solely used by people with type 1 diabetes. Now multiple CGM’s are receiving FDA approval each year, making for a growing market where even type 2 diabetics tired of finger-pricking can have an affordable CGM. The Freestyle Libre, for example, costs between $40 and $75 per month, depending on the insurance.
CGMs work by implanting a sensor under the skin. The sensor continually monitors glucose levels and sends the data to an app on your phone. It’s usually used by type 1 diabetics, and often in conjunction with insulin pumps. But CGMs are growing in popularity among type 2 diabetics who want something to help them better manage their diabetes.
However, while CGMs have a lot of clear advantages for data and health management, they are not without cons. The experts at Diabetesstrong.com suggest CGMs tend to be less accurate than a glucometer because it measures glucose based of the interstitial fluid rather than the blood, so you may have to still use a glucometer when you suspect the sensor is off. In fact, Christel Oreum recommends you always trust what your body tells you and don’t rely too much on the CGM readings. She even suggests taking breaks from them every once in a while so that you’re not too over reliant.
Another con is it does require an outpatient procedure to put the sensors under the skin. And while the procedure is generally very safe, it doesn’t come without risk or potential side effects, like bruising or skin sensitivity. In addition, the sensors have to be switched out. Some last a week. Some two weeks. The most recent CGM sensor lasts 90 days.
Why Should You Consider Clinical Trials?
To better treat, prevent and potentially cure diabetes, scientists have to run clinical trials for new technology and medicines to ensure products are both effective and safe. However, recruiting participants to these clinical trials is one of the major obstacles researchers face to progressing new treatments.
According to Nicole Kofman from diaTribe.org, recruiting participants is difficult because of several reasons: access and inconvenience, fear of risks, lack of understanding, and awareness. The first two reasons are somewhat difficult to overcome, as it’s not easy for many people to get to a trial or to convince them to join in a process that could have undesirable consequences. However, perhaps the biggest obstacle is the last, as Kofman points out that 85 percent of people don’t even realize clinical trials are an option.
Kofman notes how a significant portion of participants benefit from trials due to the intrinsic value of knowing they're helping advance science and improving lives, but she also argues that participants often receive better care, since they are treated by “some of the top researchers” at leading centers. In addition, many trials provide compensation for time away from work and travel.
Without clinical trials from past generations, we wouldn’t have glucometers, continuous glucose monitoring systems, diabetes medications, insulin pumps and more. These trials are essential for the next generation of diabetics. To get involved in a clinical trial, here are some resources to check out:
What Is Hypoglycemia?
When your blood sugar is low, you experience hypoglycemia. Diabetics are at a high risk for hypoglycemia because of the medications they take to keep their glucose levels down. Since your body either doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin, you have to be careful to not let your glucose levels get too high. This means you either take medications or you limit the carbohydrates in your diet. Diabetes is largely a balancing act of trying to keep your glucose from going too high while also making sure it doesn’t get too low.
Typically, any glucose reading below 70 mg/dL is considered low enough to begin immediate treatment for hypoglycemia – getting glucose into your system. Still, it’s important to read your body. Just because your glucometer reads 80 mg/dL, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. If you’re feeling the symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should treat it. Here are some symptoms:
- An irregular heart rhythm
- Pale skin
- Dry mouth and throat
- Tingling sensation around the mouth
- Crying out during sleep
Severe hypoglycemia results in confusion, abnormal behavior, visual disturbances, seizures and, ultimately, unconsciousness.
Fast-Acting Glucose Products: The Best Liquids, Powders, Tablets & Gels
When you’re starting to feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia, it’s important to get glucose into your system before the symptoms become severe. This means having fast-acting glucose products on hand at all times, and potentially carrying a glucagon kit for instances when your symptoms are so severe you can’t swallow effectively.
Check out this list published by Diabetesforecast.org of the best-tasting and most-effective glucose liquids, powders, tablets and gels. The handy guide also provides the nutritional information, dosage and which stores carry the various brands listed.
If your body is not responding to glucose supplements, you need to seek a doctor’s help immediately.
Understanding Your Numbers
Diabetes may not have a cure yet, and it may make life more difficult, but you can live a healthy life despite your diagnosis. And you can improve your health. But doing this requires a great understanding of your condition and an even greater attention to your health.
According to Lindsey Wahowiak from Diabetesforecast.org, understanding and tracking your numbers is the key to mastering your health because these numbers tell you what action is needed. However, there are lots of numbers to think about with diabetes. And it’s a lot more complicated than simply knowing when your blood glucose is too high or too low.
Here are some other numbers you should pay attention to:
- Average glucose levels while fasting: This tells you how your body is functioning with little food in your system.
- Average glucose levels before and after eating: This helps you evaluate how certain foods affect your glucose, and it can help determine whether you need insulin and how much.
- A1C: Your average glucose levels over two to three months. This provides a bigger picture of your overall glucose.
- Carbs consumed: Since carbohydrates have the biggest impact on your glucose levels, it’s important to record the carbs you’ve consumed throughout the day. By comparing this to your glucose readings, you can better determine how your diet affects you.
- Insulin-to-carb ratios: If you require insulin, you have to pay attention to how much insulin you need for the carbs you’ve consumed.
- Insulin doses: Tracking the insulin you need helps monitor your progress.
The Keto Diet & Ketone Meters
The keto diet is a popular diet fad, and while the concept has been around for decades (used primarily to treat epilepsy and similar conditions in children), the diet’s only become mainstream in recent years for weight loss. The diet consists of eating foods with high-fat and very low carbs – meats, fish, avocados, nuts, cheese, seeds, eggs and the like.
The diet works by putting your body into a constant state of ketosis, a metabolic condition where the body lacks enough carbohydrates to convert to glucose for energy and must rely on converting fat cells to ketones for energy.
Benefits of the Keto Diet for Type 2 Diabetics
In a 2017, the National Center for Biotechnology Information spent 32 weeks studying the effects of a high-fat, low carb diet on people with type 2 diabetes. The results showed the diet significantly improved glycemic control and A1c levels. In addition, participants lost an average of 5 percent of their weight. In other words, the keto diet can be an excellent tool for helping you successfully manage your blood glucose while minimizing the progression of the disease, as well as for losing weight.
According to Healthline, it’s important for type 2 diabetics to monitor ketone levels if their glucose levels are 240 mg/dL or more. This is especially important if you’re on the keto diet because too many ketones in your system results in diabetic ketoacidosis, a fatal condition where ketone levels in your blood become toxic. The risk is especially high for type 1 diabetics, but even some people with type 2 need to pay attention to their ketone levels.
If you want to try the keto diet to help manage your diabetes symptoms and lose some weight, please make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Ketone meters are common among type 1 diabetics, but they haven’t been widely available in stores until recently. Now you can find them in almost every pharmacy. This is a direct response to the popularity of the keto diet.
The Fora 6 Connect was the only glucometer I reviewed to measure both blood glucose and ketone levels. It’s why this meter was my pick for the best glucometer for insulin-dependent diabetics. However, if you’re a type 2 diabetic and you want to try the keto diet, it’s the best meter right now for managing both glucose and ketone levels. In fact, I’ve been using the Fora 6 Connect throughout my time on the keto diet to help monitor my own ketosis levels. It’s been my primary tool for maintaining optimal ketosis for weight loss. I even use it to evaluate how different foods affect my ketone levels.
Glucose Meters: Newsworthy Headlines About Diabetes
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 422 million diabetics in the world. The health-care industry is constantly developing new technology and methods for diabetes self-management. Below are the most notable headlines from this year:
FDA Approves First Fully Implanted Glucose Monitoring System
On June 21, 2018, the FDA approved the Eversense CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) for diabetics over 18 years old. It’s the first fully implanted glucose monitoring system approved by the FDA. Requiring just a 5-millimeter incision in an outpatient procedure, the Eversense CGM is completely hidden, unlike other implanted sensors. In addition, you only have to replace it every 90 days instead of every week.
The Eversense CGM uses light-based fluorescent polymer technology to measure glucose levels, eliminating the need to prick your finger for blood, and the sensor wirelessly sends the readings to a mobile app every five minutes. A great advantage of this over traditional glucometers is the automatic alerts it sends when your glucose levels are too high or low, allowing faster treatment and greater potential for minimizing the progression of the disease over time.
Before approval, the FDA required a clinical study of 125 diabetics, comparing the device’s accuracy to lab-conducted glucose readings while evaluating the potential risks, which are listed as allergic reactions, bleeding, bruising, infection, pain and discomfort, scarring, sensor fracture during removal and skin inflammation. However, the FDA found these risks occurred less than 1 percent of the time.
Upon the study’s completion and the unanimous approval for the U.S. market from the FDA Advisory Committee, the commissioner, Scott Gottlieb M.D. described the device as a “vivid illustration of the potential for these mobile platforms.”
Diabetic Complications: A Glossary of Terms
While diabetes itself is a problem with your body’s ability to produce insulin to regulate glucose, it comes with complications that affect other aspects of your life. In this way, diabetes is a disease of complications.
The good news, according to DiabetesForecast.org, is most complications are preventable if you know what to do and you’re careful about controling your blood glucose through diet and exercise.
Microvascular: These conditions are caused by damage to the small blood vessels, and they affect the eyes, nerves and kidneys.
Macrovascular: These conditions are caused by damage to the large blood vessels, and they affect the heart and brain.
Diabetic Retinopathy: A microvascular condition affecting the blood vessels in the eyes. Eventually, the condition damages the vessels supplying the retina with blood, causing blindness. This is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., with between 12,000 and 24,000 new diagnoses per year.
Peripheral Neuropathy: A condition that affects the nerves in the feet, legs, hands and arms. It starts as a tingling feeling, similar to what it feels like when your leg falls asleep. However, it progresses to a numbness and burning sensation. This condition affects around 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. While you’re at a higher risk of neuropathy the longer you’ve had diabetes, even the newly diagnosed can experience it. Often, neuropathy requires amputation.
Autonomic Neuropathy: Similar to peripheral neuropathy but less common, autonomic neuropathy affects the blood vessels in the heart, digestive system, sweat glands, sex organs, urinary tract, eyes, feet and lungs.
Nephropathy: A type of disease caused by damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys, which makes them unable to filter waste from the body. Severe cases result in failed kidneys and require dialysis or a kidney transplant.