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Double duty: glucose meters that test ketones

The glucose meter. Test strips. The daily checking of blood sugar levels. Urine test strips. Check the ketones. Two separate processes to test your blood sugar levels and ketones. Today, a couple of companies have honed in on the significance of providing consumers with the ability to test their ketone levels with their blood glucose meters. Both Abbott Diabetes Care, with its Precision Xtra glucose meter, and Nova Biomedical, with its NovaMax Plus® glucose meter, are at the forefront of the blood sugar plus ketone testing.

Three questions about ketone testing meters

  1. Are blood glucose meters that test ketones accurate? WebMD suggests that blood ketone testing gives more accurate readings than traditional urine testing. According to Abbott Diabetes Care, accuracy of its Precision Xtra meter depends on proper calibration with each new box of test strips.
  2. Are special test strips needed for ketone testing? Both the Precision Xtra and the NovaMax Plus® require separate test strips for glucose and ketone testing, as the processes of testing blood for glucose and ketones involve different chemicals. Both manufacturers assert ketone test strips are available at most pharmacies where diabetes products are sold.
  3. Why is it important to check for ketones? Monitoring ketones in the blood can help prevent serious complications from ketoacidosis, including coma and death. Being aware of ketones in the blood can help patients provide doctors with long-term information about their condition and allow them to immediately respond to a diabetic emergency.

The process for blood ketone testing with either of these meters is very similar to blood glucose testing. The meters require a small drop of blood, which is then chemically analyzed by the meter with a special strip to determine the level of ketones in the body.

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About Laura Isaacs

Laura L. Isaacs studied at Indiana University and has worked in print and online media for almost 10 years. Laura has provided health-related content for media outlets including Fox Interactive (via Canvas News and EndPlay). Additionally, she has a family history of diabetes and is passionate about sharing information to help readers cope with this disease.

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