Guidelines for Buying and Using Diabetes Supplies
What do I need to know about glucose meters? continued...
Keep in mind that some glucose meters require more blood than others. This is a big concern for very young children or for elderly people with diabetes. Some meters have a larger digital readout -- an important consideration for older individuals or people with poor vision. And there are glucose meters that give results much faster than others, which can make them more convenient. Other differences may include portability, size, and cost.
Today, blood glucose meters can usually provide results in 15 seconds or less and can store this valuable information for you and your doctor. These meters can also calculate an average blood glucose level over a period of time. Some glucose meters also feature software kits that retrieve information from the meter and display graphs and charts of your past test results on a computer or cell phone.
Using the results from a glucose monitor, you can make daily adjustments in:
- the medications you take -- for instance, how much insulin you need
- your dietary choices -- counting carbs
- your exercise regimen
- physical activities
These results from the meter can be saved and shown to your doctor at each office visit. Your doctor and diabetes educator can then more easily guide you in learning how to respond to blood glucose changes with insulin and diet.
Where can I buy diabetes supplies?
You can purchase blood glucose meters, test strips, lancets, and other diabetes supplies at your local pharmacy or at online pharmacies. But it's important to shop for bargains, just like you would for any other purchase. By looking for sales on diabetes products, you can find the best prices and save money. As an example, generic diabetes drugs can cut the cost of diabetes care. That's because retail prices for generics are generally lower than you'd pay for the name-brand products.
A glucose meter can vary in price depending on the features and brand you select. But you should be able to buy one for $40 to $60. Diabetes test strips can cost around $100 a month. Test strips are pricey, but you must have them to avoid problems. Checking only once or twice a day can save money on test strips. But first discuss less frequent sugar checks with your doctor or diabetes educator.
As you select a blood glucose meter, test strips, and other insulin supplies such as insulin syringes, keep in mind that there is no cure for diabetes at this time. You will need to have diabetes supplies every day, whether you are in town, away for the weekend, or traveling globally. You will have to make management of diabetes part of your daily lifestyle to stay well and avoid life-threatening diabetes complications.