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Trend Report: High-Tech Glucose Monitoring

If you got a free glucometer from your doctor, you may not have thought to check out your other options. But these days, you have a lot of exciting new choices -- not just glucometers, but other devices, apps, and web sites. These make glucose monitoring simpler, more effective, and a lot more convenient.

21st Century Communication

Just like every other piece of tech in your life these days -- your TV, computer, DVD player, e-book reader, and fitness tracker -- glucose meters are going wireless, or at least syncing data with web sites and apps. That can have a big benefit for your health. Here are some of the new things you can do with a glucometer.

Share data with your doctor or anyone else you choose, like your spouse. You can give real-time updates on how your treatment is working. Since managing diabetes is all about tight control of your blood sugar, that's crucial.

See a more complete picture of your health. When you're just looking at today's glucose readings, you're missing how it's trending overall. These devices and apps let you see glucose trends over weeks and months.

Seeing your records in colorful graphs and charts makes it easier to understand -- and to figure out if you need to make changes. For instance, a graph can quickly show if your blood sugar tends to be high in the mornings. Then you can easily share that with your doctor to see if you need to change your treatment. 

Track food and more. Most devices and apps let you log the food you eat.

In that same tracker, you can see how your carbs add up, and you can add notes about exercise, or insulin if you take it.

With this kind of info, you can get a clearer sense of how your breakfast or afternoon run affect your blood sugar levels.

Sync with an app, web site, or the cloud. Several new cutting-edge glucose monitors or other devices that transmit data include:

  • iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System and the Telcare Wireless Glucose Meter are wireless glucometers that sync with your phone. Both have apps and web sites to help you track your health.
  • Ditto isn't a glucose meter. Instead, it's a small device that connects to your glucose meter. It takes readings from your device -- it works with nine models -- and wirelessly sends them to an app on your phone, which uploads it to a web site.
  • Glooko is a cable that connects your phone to up to 21 different FDA-approved glucometers. As soon as you connect the two, Glooko uploads the information to the cloud.

Store more readings. If you're not getting a meter that syncs data, you might want one with a lot of memory to store readings. Most meters save 100 to 450 readings, but some keep up to 3,000.

These devices can use all that data to show you charts and graphs of long-term trends right on the meter's display. A few meters with big memories include the Contour USB, OneTouch UltraSmart, Up & Up Meter, and the WaveSense Jazz.

WebMD Medical Reference

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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