Meter Help

The monitor my doctor’s office gave me is a Freestyle Flash. The day I was diagnosed, I also applied for a free OneTouch Ultra Mini. I waited till I was out of strips for the Flash before starting to use the Mini. I have NEVER had such great readings as I have had with the Mini. I really feel like it’s reading low. But I don’t have any more strips for the Flash. I do have some control solution for the Mini. Should I use that to test its accuracy or should I take it to my doctor’s office and have them check me with both kinds of meter?

The two meters use different control solutions, so your readings may be off if you try to test the Flash with the UltraMini’s control solution.

All meters have accuracy of +/- 20% at the extremes of their ranges. Many have accuracies of about +/- 10% in the 70-200 range or as low as +/- 5% in the 80-120 range. This means that being off 10 or 20 points (and that change being random from test to test) is considered to be reasonably accurate.

Still, you might wish to check both meters at the time the doctor draws blood for your normal bloodwork, and compare the results when the bloodwork comes back.

It could be the meter, or it could also be because your BG levels are responding to changes you’ve made. That happened to me pretty suddenly, shortly after I was diagnosed (and stopped eating so much toast!). Asking your doctor to test both meters is a good idea; since that’s where you got the Flash meter, maybe they’ll have more strips at the office that you can use.

A related question: how important is it really, to test my meter with control solution? I almost never do it, and when I do the readings are always within range. My problem is that the range is so wide, the results seem kind of meaningless … and I kind of hate to waste the strips. I usually only do it when I open a new box – 1 test per 100 strips. Is that bad?

I use a freestyle meter and it reads higher than the One Touch Ultra Smart that I use. it sucks but it’s ok…lol WE use to tell people at my old job not to compare meters and I was doing the same thing…

Interestingly, the One Touch meters I’ve been testing read either the same or higher than my Flash, and the same or lower than the Freestyle Lite.

OK, the control solution is just to make sure the meter and strips are within spec. I did use it and it was fine. You are supposed to do it once for each vial of strips. I doubt many people do that.

I have done tests with both meters on the same blood, and the Freestyle is always 10 points or so higher than the OneTouch. The problem is I don’t know which one is closer to accurate!

The usual comparison is to fasting-bg lab draws when you get blood drawn at the doctor’s office. Based on recent publications indicating the pre-prandial numbers are the most important in calculating A1C, I might also consider using the A1c to eAG (estimated average glucose) on the ADA site and comparing that with the averages of both meters to see which comes closer. Again it won’t be a perfect test, and for most people 10 points is “noise”, but it should give you a higher confidence level.

Another thing I find is that room temperature and batch of strips will often affect the average blood glucose readings, and these readings will often remain consistent across multiple meters of the same model or brand.

You are not paying attention to the problem I have. I’m not talking about my BG meters being different than the doctor’s office. I’m talking about them being consistently different from each OTHER. And the draw at the doctor’s office is venous, which is not accurate to a finger stick at all.

Now, if you want me to compare my meters to my A1C, I would believe the OneTouch, because with the Freestyle I have numbers over 140 all the time, but my A1C went DOWN during the time I was monitoring (From 6.1 to 5.9) which tells me my BG is probably NOT very often above 140 right now.

Meters generally will be different from each other, by up to 20 points… but if they are consistent across multiple batches of strips, and your A1c fasting/preprandial numbers are closer to the eAG on the One Touch, then the One Touch is probably the more accurate for you.