By:  M.E.Welch

What Factors Affect Your Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy?Recently I was experiencing some strange test results with my Nipro TrueTrack Meter.  Over the course of a few days, my results were reading from 112 to the mid 300’s.  I hadn’t changed my diet nor any part of my routine for that matter.  Yet, there were the numbers staring back at me.


What Factors Affect Your Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy? I came to a realization that the meters battery was getting very low and thus, the faulty readings. A properly working meter is essential for a diabetic,  after all, we depend on these little gadgets.

A home blood glucose meter is a small, easy, accurate measurement device. Many diabetics of all ages use these meters  and there are an abundance of brands, sizes and colors. Meters can have a few simple functions, or numerous functions. Which meter is right for you is dependent on many factors, all of which you as the diabetic need to take into consideration. For this article, we are concerned with the meter’s accuracy.  Below are tips on how you can keep your meter in proper working order for accurate testing.

1.  Blood glucose meter test strip code is inconsistent with the code: Your strips should be checked before you test, Make sure that the code listed on the strips are consistent with the code on the meter insert.

2.  Expired Test Strips: Check the expiration date.  Check the validity of the box as it will have a discard date.

3.  The test strips are improperly preserved: Many  detection errors are caused by the deterioration of the test strip. Strips need to be  stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature.  Strips should be stored in the original container, and not left open to the air.  Close the container immediately after use.

4.  Miss use or incorrect use of the meter: Read the instructions that came with your meter and/or consult your physician or diabetic specialist on the proper use of your meter. Your doctor may prefer you to take a blood sample from your forearm instead of your finger, for example.

5.  Improper blood collection: To small or too large of a sample can affect your result. Again, proper training from a specialist may me in order. In addition, poor blood circulation can also affect your results.

6.  Dirty Blood glucose meter: A contaminated meter due to dirt, dust, etc, can surely affect the outcome or your tests.  Consult your meter’s manual on how to clean and maintain your meter.

7.  Blood glucose meter calibration: Like any electronic instrument, your meter needs to stay in calibration. The first time using the new blood glucose meter,  when starting to use a new ‘batch’ of test strips, Whenever you suspect there may be a problem with the meter i.e. your results are not consistent with how you feel at the time of the test.

8.  The battery power is low: Low battery power can influence test results.  If the meter is reading a low battery, change it.

9.  Proper preparation of the area to be tested: Was the area the blood is to be taken with warm soapy water and used an alcohol swap prior to taking the test sample.

10.  Other factors: Examples of other things that can cause poor readings are triglyceride concentration, low blood pressure, high blood pressure,and certain medications. Consult your physician.

Accuracy of blood glucose meters are dependent on a variety of factors. Diabetic patients who use blood glucose meters have to take proper care of their blood glucose meters and test strips to ensure proper results for the benefit of their own health.