Meter numbers

Just a quick question/observation…

I took my BG reading twice and the numbers were quite different. I washed my hands before and noticed that one reading was 8.4 (151) and then right again I took another reading and it was 6.4 (115)?

Is this normal? How can one reading be well below the "safe “140” and another be over that?

I know that the home glucose meters are not 100% accurate but if I’m only taking one reading at a time then how do I know if its the higher or lower reading?

Also, has anyone any thoughts on using algave nectar instead of sugar for baking? My wife bought some and I wanted to know if its ok to use?

As always thanks for your feedback… Paul

The inaccuracy of meters is staggering. I’ve had differences like yours, taken a third reading & used an average. Frustrating & confusing, not to mention wasting a lot of strips. Even harder for those of us on insulin who dose according to readings. Just curious, what’s your meter brand?

Sugar is sugar is sugar, regardless of the form. I don’t buy the claims that agave is lower glycemic index, especially when it’s used in baking & broken down. Of course, try for yourself to find out.

I have had very few issues with BG numbers being that divergent. When they were, I had inadvertantly touched something sugary (sugar tablets etc_ with the finger I used for the test). Even though you washed your hands, perhaps you touched something. Other issues I had were when I used a new strip without coding the meter poperly. Lastly, there can be a difference if testing a finger versus an alternate site - I have had up to 10 points difference.

Not sure any of these apply to your situation, but that was some of my experience.

Our bg reacts the same as our bp it goes up and down constantly.

Hi Gerri,

My brand is a Bayer Contour… Its the only one I’ve had (it was given to me) and not sure how it compares to other brands… Maybe I should ask my new Dr (who I meet on Tuesday :)) if he can give me a better one…

My wife has made some muffins using the algave nectar and almond meal so I’m going to give a couple a try and see what my numbers are (albeit confusing numbers)…

Thanks, Paul

Hi Paul,

Good to have a second meter as a back-up & doctors have freebies. Don’t make yourself nuts by comparing one meter’s readings to another brand because they won’t be the same. More confusion! Meters can malfunction. If you call Bayer, they’ll send you another.I was getting wacky readings from my Accu-Chek & got another one free from the company.

Hope the muffins are good to your BG!

Paul , please remember also to wipe first blood drop ( I use a kleenex ) …before testing . Interstitional fluid may give a different reading outcome .My Nurse Educator taught me this " trick " .
Did you wipe after number one test to perform next test ??
And if you are not happy with your glucometer …Pharmacies will also give you another brand , when you purchase 100 strips, at least they do in BC, Canada …just ASK .
Another suggestion for your Doc to include a meter test , when you have your A1C done at a Lab …a bit of a comparison and allow 20 percent leaway ( sp ?)
I am with Gerry …I have 2 meters with me, wherever I go .
Can’t answer the baking question …just have no clue !

The accuracy of meters is actually only 20%, so guess what, your readings are within spec! The average of your readings was 133 mg/dl and +/- 20% represents the range 107 to 159 mg/dl. That is pretty crappy accuracy. You can imagine how that can drive an insulin dependent diabetic crazy. Now that being said, my experience is that the accuracy is much better, more typically 5% and that most of my errors are operator errors. As others have noted, residual things on your hands can really affect readings. I’ve also found that some soaps are problematic, particularly those with glycerin. Wash your hands with these soaps and you will contaminate the readings. Washing them again to “fix” the problem, and it may get worse. Even alcohol if used for cleaning can cause an artifically low reading if you don’t let it all evaporate.

Hi Paul

Glad that you checked twice. I have compared many brands of meters and have received similar results. My readings from an Accu-Check to a Bayer are typically 25 points difference (164 vs 140)

As well as whatever is noted in this discussion (wiping hands, cleaning first blood spec, coding) your meter should have come with a test liquid. Use that to see if your meter reads the 106 that it’s supposed to. Also, check the battery.

I use my trusted Medtronic meter with Accu-Check strips. I had an instance, about a year ago, though, where I received a random meter in the mail and tested the two- my old meter read 330 and the new one read 120. So, using my fiancee’s blood (because he’s not diabetic) he confirmed that the new meter was accurate. Good thing! If I had treated the 330, I would have overdosed!

So, yes, it is typical to have a difference in meter readings. yes, it is frustrating. but, yes, we all go through it. :slight_smile:

Hi Paul…wow, this is ALL scarey. I was reading the replies to your question. From 2 meters, diff. fingers, diff. meter brands, how can you really be sure what’s what?? I’ve done same as you, only one minute I got a read of 323, then re stuck, got a 170, though, oh no, not right either, too diff., so, did a third, like someone eles said, alot of test strips later…got a 130…I settled, but, again, what if you’re dosing according to your meter #'s???



It took me a while to figure out that I had to wash my fingers before testing. I still see diffs but not that big. With ‘contaminated’ fingers I expect higher readouts. When squeezing my fingers I expect lower readouts.


There can be quite a few reasons for the difference in the readings. It may have been an inaccurate reading (1st or 2nd BG). Additionally…you may have to calibrate the BG meter (happened to me quite a bit). Also…many different things can cause your BG to go higher…pain, sickness, stress, etc…just saying.

Keep at it…especially now with the holiday season here.

Good luck…


Why is it lower if you squeeze your finger? Sometimes it’s hard to get enough blood.

Hey Kathyann>> Iam w/you. WHY would you get a lower reading if you “squeeze” a stick site?? Anyone have ideas on this??


By squeezing you will get more tissue fluid than blood fluid. The meters are calibrated for blood fluid and therefore their results will be different in this case.

Thanks, Holger for the heads up, but, if you don’t squeeze just alittle, how do you get enough blood to test? Iam not saying, squeeze alot, just a time or 2> would that still make the blood not pure for the reading?


Hey Michael> thanks for your input as well. Can a person do a CGM for just , say, several days to see exactly what your bs is doing 24/7? I wouldn’t want one on ALL the time, less extremely necessary, my lifestyle wouldn’t handle it I don’t think!


Good question. I guess the manufacturers gave some thoughts to this by looking at many blood samples. So normal squeezing is okay. If you need a second squeeze or very high pressure then this may be too much.