Today there is a huge problem in the field of public health - the epidemic of diabetes. Almost 10% of the human population suffers from this serious illness. Diabetes mellitus is a severe endocrine disease and takes a chronic form for life. If untreated, the disease progresses at different rates and leads to the most severe complications of the cardiovascular, nervous and urinary systems.
To slow down the progression of the disease, it is necessary to constantly monitor the level of glucose in the blood in order to correct it in a timely manner with drugs. It is for this purpose that a device for measuring blood sugar, the glucometer, was developed.
What is the measurement of sugar?
A blood sugar meter is needed in a variety of situations, not only for patients with endocrine diseases, but also for people leading a healthy lifestyle. Control of the body is especially necessary for athletes who adjust their diet up to several kilocalories. To measure the level of glucose in the blood using a variety of devices, from stationary laboratory equipment, which accurately displays the results, to compact handheld blood glucose meters.
A healthy person also needs to control blood sugar levels. For good monitoring, 3-4 measurements per year are sufficient. But diabetics resort to using this device daily, and in some cases up to several times a day. It is the constant monitoring of the numbers that allows you to maintain your health in a balanced state and in time to resort to the correction of blood sugar.
What measures blood sugar
What is a blood glucose meter? A device for measuring blood sugar levels is called a glucometer. Nowadays, a variety of devices have been developed for measuring glucose concentration. Most analyzers are invasive, i.e., they measure the concentration of glucose in the blood, but new-generation devices are being developed that are non-invasive. Blood sugar is measured in special units of mol / L.
The device is a modern glucometer
Principles of operation of devices
Based on the mechanism of analysis of glucose concentration, several types of blood glucose analyzers can be distinguished. All analyzers can be divided into invasive and non-invasive. Non-invasive blood glucose meters, unfortunately so far not available for sale. All of them are undergoing clinical trials and are at the research stage; however, they are a promising direction in the development of endocrinology and medical devices. For invasive analyzers, blood is required for contact with the test strip of the meter.
Photometric blood glucose meters are the most outdated devices for which special test strips are impregnated with active substances. Upon contact of glucose with these substances, a chemical reaction occurs, which manifests itself in a change in the color index in the test zone.
Optical biosensor - the action of the device is based on the determination of the optical surface plasma resonance. To analyze the concentration of glucose, a special chip is used, on the contact side of which there is a microscopic layer of gold. Due to the economic inexpediency, these analyzers are not widely spread. At the moment, to determine the level of glucose in such analyzers, the gold layer is replaced by a thin layer of spherical particles, which also increase the accuracy of the sensor chip by a factor of ten.
The creation of a sensitive sensor chip on spherical particles is under active development and allows non-invasive determination of glucose levels in such biological secretions as sweat, urine, and saliva.
Electrochemical glucometer works on the principle of changing the current value in accordance with the glycemia level. An electrochemical reaction occurs when blood enters a special indicator zone in the test strip, after which amperometry is performed. Most modern analyzers use just the electrochemical method for determining the concentration of glucose in the blood plasma.
A syringe pen and a glucose meter are the constant satellites of a diabetic patient.
Consumables for blood glucose meters
In addition to the measuring device - the meter, specialized test strips are made for each meter, which are inserted into the special opening of the analyzer after contact with blood. Many hand-held devices, which are used for self-monitoring by people with diabetes, have in their composition a special scarificator, which allows the skin to be pierced as painlessly as possible for contact with blood.
Also, consumables include syringe pens - special semi-automatic syringes that help dispense insulin when injected into the body. As a rule, the blood glucose meter measures the level of glucose in the blood through special test strips that are purchased separately to a specific device. Typically, each manufacturer has its own strips, which are not suitable for other blood glucose meters.
To measure blood sugar at home, there are special portable devices. Mini glucometer - there is almost every company producing analyzers of sugar in the blood plasma. It is created specifically. As a home assistant in the fight against diabetes. The most modern devices can record glucose readings on their own memory and subsequently can be transferred via a USB port to a personal computer. The most modern analyzers can transmit information directly to a smartphone in a special application that keeps statistics and analysis of indicators.
Which meter to choose
All modern glucometers, which can be found in the free market, are approximately at the same level of accuracy of glucose concentration. Prices for devices can vary widely. So the device can be bought for 700 rubles, and it is possible for 10,000 rubles. The pricing policy is made up of the brand's “promotion”, the build quality, and ease of use, that is, the ergonomics of the device itself.
When choosing a meter you need to carefully read customer reviews. Despite strict and strict adherence to licensing standards, data from different blood glucose meters may vary. Try to choose a device for which more positive reviews, and checked the accuracy of determining blood sugar in practice.
On the other hand, the elderly often suffer from diabetes. Especially for the elderly developed very simple and unpretentious to use glucometers. Usually on the meters for older people install a large display and buttons to facilitate and simplify its use as much as possible. Some models have a special microphone for dubbing information with sound.
Most modern blood glucose meters combine with a tonometer and even allow you to measure cholesterol levels in the blood.
Diabetes form and glucose meter application
The need for frequent use of the glucometer to monitor blood sugar occurs if a patient is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since there is very little or no insulin of its own, to accurately calculate the insulin dosage, it is necessary to measure the blood sugar level after each meal.
In case of diabetes of the second type, the measurement of sugar using a glucometer can be carried out once a day, and in some cases less often. The frequency of use of the meter largely depends on the severity of the disease.