Glucose readings

So this might sound silly but im a little confused about how glucose readings work… so we will use my daughters most recent fasting glucose for example, it was 120. Now when i look up glucose readings everything always say +/-… i use the contour next one machine so theres says +/- 8.4… do these machine read on the higher side normally or lower when compared to lab results? If her reading was 120 does that mean it could theoretically be 130 or 110? How do these home readings differ from the lab ones? Sorry if this sound silly but I’m just trying to understand this

To a certain degree, it depends on the purpose of the readings.

Can you elaborate on the reason for the meter readings and what you intend to do with the data?

That may help to provide a more appropriate and relevant answer for you.

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We are monitoring for possible lows in the morning, my daughter has a history of hypoglycemia but we are still in the " watching and testing" phase no true diagnosis yet. It seems we may have stumbled onto early T1D as well but that is unconfirmed right now

Depends on the individual and the lab. You can go to different labs and get slightly different results, although all labs worldwide are getting closer. When I used One Touch Meters for over 25 years, my BG’s were always showing about 20 points higher at the lab than they were based on my glucose meter. Since I converted to Contour Next, my BG’s are always either exactly same as lab or within 2-3 points maximum difference.

Your daughter has a long life ahead of her so you should research and talk to her endo about going onto a CGM. That would give you BG reading every 5 minutes and you can then manage her diabetes much easier than with finger sticks. Additionally, you can set various alarms on a CGM to take action before BG’s go out of control either high or low. And lastly you can follow her results on your cell phone when she is at school or other activity to give you additional peace of mind.

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Basically yes, but the way they rate the meters is what percentage of tests are within x% or x points of lab.

Here is a study with nice summary.

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When you see “+/-”, think “approximately”.

Don’t forget that finger-stick blood glucose readings (often called capillary) are usually lower than venous blood glucose. This is normal.;year=2012;volume=16;issue=8;spage=248;epage=251;aulast=Kotwal