Glucose Monitors. . . I need cheap and easy to use

Recently I was diagnosed as insulin resistant. I cut out sugared drinks and tried (with pretty good success) to keep my carb intake to 40% of my daily cals.

So, I visited my Dad, who is diabetic and he tested my blood (he tests just about anyone who walks in the door. "It’s a silent killer. No one knows they have it unless they check!) and the reading was 296. He flipped his lid, my Dad did.

I was under the impression that I had my glucose under control. Why was I under this impression? I dunno, I never checked it. I just thought all the suffering I was doing trying to curb my carbs was not for nothing.

I’m consoling myself with the fact that I’m having other medical problems besides the insulin thing. I understand that can raise blood sugar also.

Now I see the need to check my sugar, just to see what works and what doesn’t. I want something really cheap to buy and to operate (test strips seem to range in price from quite reasonable to what-the-hell-are-they-made-of,-gold?)

Then you’d better pay attention to the price of the strips. That’s where they get you. Most monitors are reliable and inexpensive, so choose one which uses teststrips which are not so dear. Also, sounds like you need medical evaluation to see just how out of control you are. (Your sugar, that is). Hemoglobin A1C testing, to assess what your average glucose has been over the last 3 months, urine testing for microalbuminuria to see if the diabetes has started damaging the kidneys enough to leak protein, etc. You might benefit tremendously from such medications as ACE inhibitors (which protect the kidneys from damage) and metformin, which helps your body utilize the glucose more properly. Diet and exercise are of course the best ways to manage the disease, but many people need further help. It is important. If you don’t take these steps now, 10 years from now you may be kicking yourself for not paying more attention when it could have made a great difference.

One who knows,
Qadgop, MD

“The way to live healthily is to get a chronic illness and take care of it”
Sir William Osler, MD

The price of the strips is the killer - they can run between $20 to $30 for 25 strips - that means roughly a dollar a test. This seems pretty constant across meters.

The one I use is the FastTake, by Lifescan Inc. It is small, has a long battery life, a large easy-to-read display, and uses strips which work in 15 seconds, and need a really small amount of blood - about the smallest amount of blood of any meter.

I highly recommend it. You can get it for anywhere from $15 to $60, but many docs will give you one for free.

The ancients used a FREE method. They tasted their urine. Sweet was bad; not very precise, but the price is right. :wink:

The ancients also died of their diabetes. :frowning:

Urine test strips are way cheaper, the disadvantage being they are less accurate and reflect your blood sugar over the past few hours, not your current state. Still, that will give you a sense of what’s going on.

Also, I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much. 296 is not good, but what was it when you were diagnosed? It takes a while to get the meds right; they try and bring it down slowly. You have to keep in touch with your doctor until you and he figure it out. It’s a bit like landing a plane, better a bit too high than a bit too low. You don’t want to do something drastic and put yourself in the emergency room.

I do not recommend using urine sugar strips. Any doctors want to come back in and explain exactly why not to?

Urine glucose levels represent history, not what’s happening now.

The level at which glucose goes into the urine changes between and within individuals. You can’t make accurate decisions with such information.

Urine glucose levels are uniformly negative for exactly that range of blood glucose you’re most interested in (i.e. usually less than 200 mg/dl or 11 mmol/L). Again, you won’t be able to make informed decisions if all you know is that urine was (over the last while) somewhere between 0 and 200.

Diabetic supplies are (almost always) covered by insurance. MrRobyn has type II, and pays $11 a month for his strips, and cash for lancets and alcohol pads (which are less than the co-payment). The meter itself was covered at 100%. YMMV, but check it out.

Also, many insurance companies are starting case management programs that help you with things like diet and information and that kind of thing. They also occasionally offer services that wouldn’t be covered under any other condition.


Just checking on you biggirl. Sorry I didn’t get back to you before, I had to find a job.

I was going to suggest the urine strips but now I’m shamed.
What does your doctor say?


Whilst I can’t give you any idea of the costs involved, I can recommend the Bayer Esprit glucometer. I use it almost every day on the job as a EMT. It’s easy to load - strips are packaged in a disk of ten, and the back of the machine opens for loading. Strips are activated by a simple slide control which both switches the unit on and initiates the test. Test results are stored for easy retrieval at a later time.

Thanks all!

I was considering urine strips, but now I’m not. I had my sugar under 200 and was surprised by how much it jumped. I didn’t realize how hard this would be. Especially since the other affliction that I was surprised with is also related to diet (my hemoglobin dipped to below 10).

My GP explained that this stress could account for the rise in sugar. It’s just gonna take a while before I can balance this all out and I figured the monitor would be a useful tool.

As always, you guys are great.