5 must-have glucose monitor accessories

Has your doctor instructed you to use a glucose meter to keep track of your blood sugar levels? If so, you might have been given a meter to get you started. There are several others items that you might need to help ensure good, accurate results.

Five glucose monitor accessories

The glucose meter itself is not the end game for testing your sugars. There are actually five glucose monitor accessories you should have on hand both to conduct a test and get accurate results.

  1. Test strips. Without the test strip, your glucose meter is useless. These strips have a special combination of chemicals on them that reads your blood sample. The meter then displays the result. Keep a good supply of strips on hand.
  2. Lancing device. The lancing device makes it much easier to prick your finger to get a blood sample. Lancing devices often come with interchangeable heads that allow you to use the device for traditional fingertip testing or alternate site testing.
  3. Lancets. These are tiny needles that work in the lancing device to obtain a blood sample. Simply insert a lancet, put the head on the lancing device, prime it and do a quick stick.
  4. Control solution. This is helpful if you are unsure of the numbers you get from your glucose meter. To use it, simply insert a test strip like you normally do, and apply control solution as you would apply a blood sample. Read the ranges on the control solution bottle to determine what the results mean.
  5. Carrying case. The carrying case is usually tailored to the size of your meter. If it doesn't meet your needs, shop around for a carrying case with plenty of small zippered pockets, loops to hold your test strip vials and other features that make life easier for you.

In most cases, all of these items come in the box with your meter. The box also typically include an instruction manual, batteries (which are usually already installed in the meter) and possibly a log book to get you started on recording your blood sugar levels. Some advanced meters might require other things, such as a USB cable to download results to your computer.

No matter how simple or fancy your glucose monitor might be, the purpose is always the same: To track your blood sugar levels and keep your diabetes under control.

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