Which should I believe

This morning I checked my blood sugar 4 times from the same lance using 4 meters

  1. Freestyle Flash #1 : 146mg/dL
  2. Freestyle Flash #2 : 166mg/dL
  3. Bayer Contour : 128mg/dL
  4. OneTouch Ultra: 127mg/dL

How can they vary so much? I’m on a sliding scale, what do I do?

All the meters are more or less within 20% of each other. You can expect meters to be off by as much as 20%. I would just pick one meter and stick with it. Using multiple meters just clouds things.


That’s a great idea Kristin and exactly what I was told to do years ago!

I’m curious about the difference between meters. I use the One Touch Ultra and noticed that it registered quite a bit lower than some of the others. Has anyone experienced a consistent difference between brands of meter, or does it vary by person and by the particular meter. I’m asking because I would hate to be basing my decisions on a meter which is shows a lower reading than my actual BG. Also, do people find that they get different readings from different fingers? I tested a finger tip on my right hand and got 214 and then did the same finger on my left and got 154. Can a meter vary up to 20% from one reading to the next?

I have tested all four of my meters with the control solution and all of them fall within the range of their respective solutions. I’m completely confused by it. I wish there was somewhere a rating for accuracy of meters.

Next time you go to the lab for a blood test, take some meters along and test with them right before the draw. Write down the result.

They tell you the meters can be within 20%, but when I’ve had good meters they have matched the blood draw within 5 mg/dl. I’ve had some very unreliable meters that were 50 mg/dl off. So I tossed them, and I use the ones that match.

Problem solved, until they change the innerds of your meter again.

I have tried several, and the One Touch ALWAYS came out a significant amount lower than all the others. That’s why I liked it so much. Now my insurance doesn’t cover it anymore.

I’ve noticed the hand thing too! My left hand always shows my Bg changes before my right, just as the index finger is a more recent number than the pinky.

Isn’t it crazy that it’s ‘ok’ for them to vary so much? I hate it!!

I have heard that the Freestyle reads a little higher than others - We don’t have it here so don’t quote me on that, it’s just what I’ve read on forums etc.

I wonder if we’ll ever get more accurate meters, or if they’re just too busy trying to sell things that are faster & flasher? As much as I’d like a cute little meter that only takes 5 seconds, stores photos, plays mp3s and doubles as a garage door remote, I’d much rather have more accurate blood sugar readings! Gimme a plain chunky slow meter any day, if it gives the right readings.

I found that the Freestyle meters consistently read higher than the Ultra when I switched. I think this is part of the reason I find I “feel low” so much higher now. I don’t think it’s so much that I’ve regained symptoms (although that might be part of it), I think part of it is that a reading of 3.5 on the Freestyle might have been a reading of 2.9 on the Ultra, although I don’t have any Ultra test strips to check.

But meters do vary by 20% no matter the brand. This means if I get a reading of 5.5 (99) and tested again to get a reading of 6.6 (119) it would still be considered accurate. If I tested at 20.6 (371) and then tested again at 24.8 (446) it would be considered accurate. I think this is why meters can’t be used to diagnose diabetes, they’re just used to guide treatment.

I just had same issue. Just 10 min ago I tested myself with the free style flash I was 235. I couldn’t believe I was that high so I tested myself again I was 92 and test again and I was 195. I then tested myself with the BD meter and I was 80. I then tested myself with another free style and I was 149 so I tested myself again with that meter and I was 89. So I went back to the BD meter and I was 82. Went back to the free style flash and was 83. This all happened in a 10 min time period. Man I love this disease.!!!

I was told by someone at OneTouch that you can’t acurately compare your meter to a blood draw when I questioned their product. She said that venous blood will always be significantly lower than the capillaries at the fingertips. Reason being that the body uses the sugar before returning to the lungs & heart. Also ad in the variability with plasma conversion. She said you do a comparison and create a formula to convert your meter reading to aproximate a blood draw though.

anyone want a 3 day old Freestyle Flash and 100 test strips? free.

I just took 2 blood tests, one immediately the other. Using the same meter, test strips from the same container. and the same hole in my finger, the results were 152 and 137. Most likely number is probably in the middle. I’m not worrying about it. If I were to take insulin based on those numbers, I would have let it go at the first and take insulin based on that number.

The most important thing is something your number agree on. They indicate that your blood sugar is just a bit high, but not too much. Again, your number were 146, 166,128, & 127.

Did anyone know that using test strips from canada gives you a little bit of a different reading too.

Even the most bizarrely inaccurate meter I had tested fine with control solution.

It’s utter BS that allows the manufacturer to tell you your meter is fine when it isn’t.

In my case when I reported the 50 mg/dl discrepancy with lab, the control solution test was fine, the company told me the meter was fine–and immediately replaced it.

Sometimes when I see a number that seems way to high, I wash off my fingers to get rid of any sugar that might be there. Most often I see something like this, when I’ve treated a low blood sugar with glucose tabs & I’m following up 15 minutes later with a blood test.


The people who answer the phone at the strip companies have a million excuses no matter HOW screwy your meter is.

The fact is, I had a meter for 2.5 years that ALWAYS matched the lab and my Ultra is very close, too. Not only that, but my two ultras always match EACH OTHER, when I compare them within a very narrow range. (I have one in my purse, one in the office).

Considering what we pay for the freaking strips, the way the companies refuse to take responsibility for their products when they are defective disgusts me.

Is this the old “Blood calibrated” vs “Plasma Calibrated” strips thing that we also find with strips from the U.K.?

All meters sold in the U.S. now adjust the actual reading up by 12% so that it will match a plasma draw. In the UK some meters do and some don’t. I’ve posted about this in more detail in an old blog entry on http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com)