Meter Recommendations

Does anyone know what meter Dr. Bernstein currently recommends. I saw him 7 years ago and he recommended the Bayer Contour. I'm still using it, but am suspicious of the readings lately. Maybe it's time for a new meter.

Accu-Chek Aviva.


I can confirm that. I checked with them just about a week ago and that is the current recommendation.

Yup, I checked with Steve (his publisher) about 3 months ago and it was the accu chek aviva.

How long did you see him for and how was it?

I don't know about Dr.B's meter, but I'm more than happy with my Freestyle Lite. I'm in England and get all my supplies through Abbott Diabetes Care. Their service is exemplary and they gave me a free upgrade from my Freestyle Mini a little while ago. I don't need loads of bells and whistles. All I need is a FAST reading, AST and a minimal blood drop. the Freestyle butterfly strips require LESS blood than any other and allow for "Top-ups" if you don't immediately get enough. Not many meters do this.
I also prefer to test on my forearm. As a Stable T2, I'm not tracking rapid changes, so that's more than accurate enough.
There's more to the meter than just accuracy. I think consistency just as important.
Then of course, the Lite is small and discrete.

I'd like to know, too. I have three Accu-Checks, and a coupon to get a free mini meter from another maker. The Accu-check is made in the USA. I'd like to know how Dr. B. ranks the meters. My purse gets very heavy, and you aren't supposed to leave a meter in the hot car in the I'm looking for a small option.

I know Dr. B checks the accuracy of the meter. He checks his blood sugar multiple times and wants the meter to give the same reading each time.

I only went to see him once, as I live in the West and it is a long haul and very expensive (for me). However, one appointment is 3 days long! About half the appt. is spent talking, and about half is spent checking for diabetic complications. I had lots, and had only been diagnosed 5 months prior to seeing him. Of course, no other doctor has ever told me have any complications, nor have they done any testing beyond poking my feet. He is a sharp guy, and the fittest 70+ year old I have ever seen.

Yes, he makes a big point of that in the book. Consistency is one of his most important criteria. Accuracy without consistency is a contradiction in terms. You can't have the former without the latter; it's meaningless. And about that frequent checking . . . Until I read his book I was only checking once or twice a day. Now I track it in detail throughout the day, and it has been a tremendous eye-opener. My fasting readings and A1C scores had me convinced that my BG was "reasonably" well behaved. Nope. Not even close. I too live in the West and I'm seriously considering buying some plane tickets and making an appointment.

It is quite expensive, but seems very worth it. He's the first Doc I've ever heard say you can beat D with tight control. Thanks for the info!

I bought th Accu-Check 360degrees. It is software that will allow me to download data from my three meters. The data can be collated and put into graphs that will help the Endo and me see patterns. I also expect to see breaches of consistency among meters. I have RA and have found that I need multiple meters to ensure that I never avoid testing because I don't want to make the stairs. I am buying another meter to put in a grab and go bag to go to my dd's house/or gym bag. My third meter that I own is supposed to travel with me in my purse. BTW, for those of you who have Walgreen's drugstores in the US - they have a sale going on til Sat May 12 for Accu-Check meters at $9.99 with $9.99 rebate, or free. In the past, I've received rebates from Accu-Check for $15. I'm bad about testing at the gym and while out shopping or watching my grandson, but I still make some insulin (LADA) and last week, my A1c was 5.1 no insulin, no pills - thank-you Dr. Bernstein.

When any store runs out of meters on a sale. you can ask for a rain check that can be used when they restock.

I must add something to the discussion. Although I want the most accurate meter I can get, I find that the results are always at least slightly different. I've found from multiple tests at a single sitting, something I'm sure we've all done, that my middle finger, left hand is the most accurate. Ring finger same hand, slightly higher, pinky higher again. I don't like to test on my index and thumbs, personally. I also found my right hand to be slightly higher than my left.

These variances are from 3-15mg/dl for the left hand and and 10-20 on the right (from the middle, left hand). Anyone else had this same experience? It makes the accuracy of the meter important, but variance seems to happen to some extent no matter what.

Thanks for the sale tip! I will head to Walgreens.

It has never occurred to me to check different hands/fingers. It seems so strange to get different results in different places. What would cause that? Poor circulation?

This is interesting, and I intend to do some experimenting myself. But I do have a question: how do you know that one particular finger is the most "accurate"? Seems to me the only way to know that is to have a reference benchmark (e.g., a lab test) to compare your readings to. Otherwise how do you know which one is the most true measurement? Or did you mean to say "consistent" (which is important, certainly, but not quite the same thing)?

Completely agreed about the requirement of a baseline. I usually try to test when my blood is drawn in order to have said baseline. Which puts the middle off by just a few mg/dl on the meter. This was my old meter, a onetouch ultralink. I won't be able to test the new meter for another feew weeks.

Also, this finger (middle) is the most consistent, which I think is just as important. There's nothing like trying to base decisions on data when you can't get the constant results from the same test (pure sarcasm!).

I never thought to test my bg at a blood draw. Great idea! My Endo was one of the authors of a paper that studied the accuracy of A1c machines that are used in doctors' offices. He only uses lab studies. I try to rotate fingers, but my biggest problem is getting food and hand cream, even facial oil from sunscreen (which I wear everyday) off of my fingers without scrubbing. I cook, do dishes, and cook more with hungry teens who dance and dh and I working out. I have been using gloves to cut down on hand washing with food prep. I keep a clean kitchen, but I'm cooking multiple things at the same time. I use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in my sunscreen....

Agree that Accu chek aviva was recommended when I checked with Dr B/ Steve Freed a couple of months ago. I recently got one and found it reads much higher than the Freestyle lite I use (by around 0.7-1mmol (13-18mg/dl) and both seem very consistent in their values). The Freestyle lite is a great meter - very small, consistent (in my tests and looking around on various trials) and has a light on that illuminates the test stick allowing you to test in pitch black without needing to turn lights on (i.e. at night / camping etc - so convenient). It is therefore extremely useful, convenient and consistent and as Hana says great support from Abbott UK. However for me, having now got an accuchek, the freestyle Lite appears to read (consistently) lower than my actual readings (assuming the accuchek aviva value to be right) (and I have at least 4 of the Freestyle lite meters and it was the same for them all) so I am wondering whether the algorithm Abbott use errs on showing your glucose readings to be on the low side (which would be a safe technique as would warn about hypos a little earlier!). The contin glucose monitor I use (Abbott Navigator - a brilliant piece of kit which uses the same test sticks as the Freestyle meter - hence another reason to have used those meters so long) actually tends to read (consistently) ~0.3-0.5mmmol (6-9mg/dl) below the freestyle lite - so lower still! (Taking a calibration test for the Nav I almost always use the same drop of blood to check on the freestyle lite - uses another stick but if the Nav reads much lower than the Lite, I mark it as a control and try again in order to "fix" the calibration stick to read higher (to match the Lite reading) by letting the blood evaporate for 20 secs or so before applying it to the Nav test strip which seems to work but is a bit trial and error!). I have had 3 of the Navs and at least 4 freestyle lites and these findings seem consistent so I don't think it was just a one off Nav that read lower than others and in fact the finding that all these meters agree with themselves I find very reassuring for the consistency of production of these meters. My only worry is that they are reading lower glucose levels than I actually have.
Why do I think the Freestyle meters read lower glucose levels (rather than them being right and the accuchek reading higher glucose levels than I have)? 1) Dr B recommends the aviva as more accurate and he ought to know! 2) several other quite reliable tests have shown the same thing (searching on line for medical papers etc - tho the freestyles also do well in such trials, the accu-chek aviva is often top) and 3) despite trying extremely hard to control blood sugars - keeping at almost all times between 4-5mmol (72-90mg/dl -see some of my flatline posts/pics etc) with contin glucose monitor and multiple stick tests per day, my (lab) HbA1c is always 5.0 or slightly over and I just can't get into the 4's. I was starting to assume I just had bad deglycosylating enzymes and therefore would always run a higher HbA1c than expected for my average blood sugar (which has stayed at around 4.3 (75mg/dl) long term on both the Lite and the Nav) but now I wonder if it is because i have been running my sugars 0.5-1mmol (9-18mg/dl) higher than I thought???
Anyhow I will see what happens using the Accu-chek which I have gone over to for now. Not sure if I can "fix" the Nav to read that high - will have to experiment. (May instead have to use the Dexcom (as you can simply type the accu-chek readings into that) but it is no where near as reliable as the Nav (and much shorter range) so I'll have to see what i can do).
(incidentally I am not sure whether the Freestyle reads low at all values - it may be that the algorithm errs on the low side for lower values (which would be safe) but acts differently at higher values so all I can say is that for values between about 3.5-5.5 the freestyle meters (at least 6-7 of them with consistent agreement) seem to read lower than the results from my (single) accuchek (and one other meter I then used to see if the accuchek was way high which in fact agreed with it). I have no idea how values compare at higher glucose readings trying to avoid them at all times!).
In summary, I love the Nav and the freestyle lite (both are just brilliant especially the Nav). I try to "fix" the Nav calibrations so they are the same as the Freestyle lite meter (as the built in Nav glucose meter seems to read slightly lower than the freestyle lite) but in fact it looks like both read lower than my actual BG according to the Accu-chek. As I feel fine on the Accu-chek readings (i.e. I don't think it is reading falsely high making me run too low) I am going to stick with this for a while in the hope i can at least once get a (laboratory) HbA1c in the 4's! Now I have to wait 3-4 months for my next labs!

I keep my readings LOw[my Freestryle Lite currently shows an average of 4.9 mmol/l.] So far, my HbA1cs have been consistent with my meter. I did try a Code Free, for a while, which gave MUCH higher readings. It nearly gave me heart failure. However it was Far out of the range I expect my Hba1c to be [always in the 5%s.
I know meters are designed to be accurate to within 20%, but my F Lite will still do me.
PS didn't dDavid Mendosa do a bit on meterr accuracy a while ago?