Getting Accurate Blood Glucose Test Results

Written by Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE

For the most part, blood glucose meters—devices that measure and display blood glucose levels—are simple to use and provide readings you can trust. But they aren't perfect and inaccurate readings are possible. Extremely high or low readings that are made in error can have serious consquences. Inaccurate readings happen for a variety of reasons, including human error. But the error can usually be corrected without much effort. Here are some common mistakes users make along with tips to help you improve the reliability of your device and your test results. 


But first, it's important to note that if you get a reading that seems way off—especially one that doesn't match your symptoms—always perform a re-test. When re-testing, take your time to ensure you are using the strips and the device correctly and repeat the procedure. If you get a similar reading again, call your healthcare professional or the phone number on the back of the meter as malfunctions can occur and product recalls happen periodically.

The following factors can impact meter accuracy.If you find you are contributing unintentionally to the problem, take the necessary steps to get the right results:

Other Tips for Getting Accurate Blood Glucose Test Results

To make sure your meter is working properly, bring it to your next doctor's appointment and take a reading using the meter. Compare your reading to the doctor's lab test result.

Ask your healthcare provider to check your technique. He or she can observe you as you test your blood and may provide valuable feedback and other helpful tips. If your doctor spots a problem with your meter, he or she can help you address it.

For additional help with your meter, remember you can always call the phone number on the device or consult the manufacturer's website for information such as answers to frequently-asked questions.

Taking simple steps to insure blood glucose reading accuracy should be part of your routine. Successful diabetes management depends on accurate readings so don't hestitate to contact your health care provider whenever you are concerned.

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