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Established Contributor
gibby767
Total Posts: 1,009
Registered on: ‎11-27-2010

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

Dianne - Have you actually had a company TELL you that there have been issues with their strips?  It's never happened to me. I got a Contour USB meter which I loved (the meter is very, very cool...it lights up so you can test easily in the dark in bed, at the movies etc) but sadly, it was giving me really low end readings and then the strips seemed to vary a lot from batch to batch.  I called the company (Bayer) and one time they wanted to replace the meter (they did) and another time they actually did replace strips. But honestly, over all it read generally 15-20 points lower on average than my One Touch Mini.

 

I also had a One Touch Ultra that ran low by about the same amount. When I switched from that one, I ran a grand experiment I tested with a number of meters simultaneously (I think I was running 4 at once the  1 Touch Ultra, the 1 Touch Mini, the Reli-On from Wal Mart, a Kroger Brand and an Accu Check).  It was interesting, the 1 Touch Mini and the Accu - Check were consistent with each other and were right in the middle.  They were also giving me readings consistent with how I felt and consistent with my A1C readings.  The Reli-On and Kroger Brands ran 20 to 30 points HIGHER than the Accucheck and 1 Touch Mini.

 

After doing some research online, I found that there were some reports from some insulin dependent diabetics whose  got false high readings with the Accucheck and became hypoglycemic as a result. Although I did not have that experience, I decided to keep it as a back up meter.  Also, I already had a script for the One Touch strips, so it was easier to keep the One Touch Mini as my primary meter (and it is so easy to carry with me). 

 

Later, Walgreens was running a sale on the Contour USB ($24.95 vs 29.95) and I had a $5 coupon from Bayer that came with my at home A1C Kit purchase PLUS a $5 off your next Walgreen's merchandise purchase, so I got the USB at half price.  As I said, I just was wild about it until I realized it was giving me unrealistically low readings and that the strips seemed to be inconsistent from batch to batch (I picked up my new script and suddenly was getting much higher readings with the new batch - which made NO sense).  Also, I had never had readings below 70 and certainly never anything in the "danger" zone of below 40 and I got several of those "AA-OOO-GAH!!!" Messages with the Red LED letters - if it had audio it would certainly been heard by my neighbors!!!  Which of course is a important if you really ARE LOW!    But I was not.   So, I was just really concerned the meter was not reliable and  switched back to my old Mini that, alas, does not recharge itself in the car, does not light up in the car, does not record whether the reading is pre or post prandial, cannot be set to beep to remind me to take another reading in X minutes and does not beep at the point that it has the blood glucose readout on the screen.  I really, really LOVED those bells and whistles. 

 

But reliability is paramount.

Anni
Dx'd 12/2010 BMI 22.5 A1C 5.4 (6/2011 = 5.7; 9/2/11 - OMG - 5.2!!!!!!!)
MODY 3 Diabetes Onglyza & Levemir 5 Units Nightly + Humulin R Bolus 1:25 I:C Ratio
Limit Carbs/Eat to Meter
Walk 3 Mi 3-4X Wk

Fam Hx: Dad/Ptnl Aunt & 2 1st Cousins also presumed MODY3; Likely traces to Ptnl Great Grandmother who is presumed to have developed gestational DM in 1882 and died in Russia when my grandfather was 5 yrs old.

Advisor
Dewski2000
Total Posts: 156
Registered on: ‎07-02-2011

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

Being new to all of this, I never knew that the meters had to be re-calibrated?!?!?!  I guess I need to get ahold of Liberty and see what to do from here...

 

Diagnosed: June 22, 2011 GL – 355
A1c:
June 2011 - 13.6
Nov. 2012 - 6.0
Dec. 2013 - 6.9
===============
Metformin HCL ER 1000mg
Januvia 100mg
Invokana 100mg
Other meds for depression, anxiety, cholesterol

Dewski2000
-= Scott =-
mollythed
Total Posts: 5,903
Topics: 75
High Fives: 1,046
Solutions: 115
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

[ Edited ]

Anni,

 

I really liked the OneTouch UltraSmart, which uses the same strips as the the Mini, but gives a lot more recording options.  Disadvantages for me were I hated the lancing device and continued using my Mulitclix, and the clincher, which was that my insurance company excluded it from their formulary.  Now I am back to my old reliable AccuChek Aviva.


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





Valued Contributor
maplesyrup
Total Posts: 4,364
Registered on: ‎11-14-2009

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

[ Edited ]

Gibby asked...

 

Dianne - Have you actually had a company TELL you that there have been issues with their strips?  It's never happened to me.

 

They have led me to understand that this can happen. When I have phoned they have asked for the code number. In the case of Accu-Chek Aviva it is a chip that is inserted for 100 strips. After a short pause they have come back to say that there have been no complaints for that lot. Except for one time when they asked how many strips I had wasted and how many were left in the vial. I said about 10 and they sent me a box of 50.

 

This is the Roche Canada company but the strips are probably manufactured in the same place that the US ones are. The only difference is that ours are calibrated to read in mmol/L as are the meters in many countries in the world.

 

Just checked my strip box and my strips were manufactured in the US but have a Canadian Patent number. My meter is marked on the back with the Roche logo and Mannheim, Germany but has US patent numbers.

 

And that's all I have to say about strips this morning :smileyindifferent:

 

Dianne

 

 

Dianne

Diagnosed as type 2 in 2005 with an A1c of 9.1

Started with metformin and a low dose of an ARB for blood pressure. Added a sulfonylurea (a med that helps my pancreas produce my own insulin) Also a low dose of Crestor to lower my cholesterol.
After 7 years I could no longer tolerate metformin so am doing my best to keep control with a max dose of the sulfonylurea and lots of walking, some swimming.
Advisor
Dewski2000
Total Posts: 156
Registered on: ‎07-02-2011

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?


NICE....  :smileymad:  :smileysad:

 

 The first 2 1/2 months or so after I was diagnosed,  I was testing roughly 4 or 5 times a day - or 200 to 250 strips a month.  I am not testing as often now, maybe 2-3 a day or 100-150 a month.

 

 I try to log onto this site everyday, to help keep me motivated as to how to take care of my "D".  After testing my BG for about four months, I saw this message string on "How often you should calibrate your meter".   "Calibrate your meter??  What do you have to do to calibrate a meter???"  I have never heard of it before.  I called Liberty Medical, which is where I get my diabetes testing supplies.  According to the people that supply your meters:

 

Everytime you open a new 50 ct. of test strips, you should use a test control solution to calibrate your meter.

 

That means that I should have done this at least 6 or 7 times since I have been using a meter.  Considering that this meter is all that we use, 90 days at a time, to monitor our GL levels, I would have t say that this is something that is very important.

 

I know that we probably all have our own opinions, but this one is going down in my Big "D" Bible.  I ordered three solutions for now and that will carry me through the rest of the strips that have on hand.  

 

When I started with testing, I had also been changing my lancet every time I tested.  I don't do that anymore - BUT - that won't change my BG readings either.  They also recommend that you have your lancet plunger replaced every 4-6 months because the springs wear out.  I'm not replacing it - BUT - that won't change my BG readings either. 

 

Perhaps it is overkill, or maybe it's not, but it's too important to me to leave that "maybe" there...

 

JMTC - YMMV

Diagnosed: June 22, 2011 GL – 355
A1c:
June 2011 - 13.6
Nov. 2012 - 6.0
Dec. 2013 - 6.9
===============
Metformin HCL ER 1000mg
Januvia 100mg
Invokana 100mg
Other meds for depression, anxiety, cholesterol

Dewski2000
-= Scott =-
Trusted Contributor
morrisolder
Total Posts: 10,544
Registered on: ‎11-28-2009

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

I always figured that recommendation was a great way to boost the sales of test solution.

 

While they tell you to test and it could pinpoint a problem if the test comes back outside of the range, it almost never does.  But look at that range--typically it is 40 or 60 points or more, so that the meter can be off by half that much and still be considered accurate.

 

I did figure out, when I when t through the whole why is this meter always reading lower than that meter thing, and both companies insisted the meter was accurate, and in both cases it tested within the solution range, that one of them was towards the lower end of the test solution range, and the other was at the higher end.  And the difference matched my perception of which meter was reading higher and which was lower. So that when I ran out of strips for one and had to switch for a while, I know to expect numbers that were about 10 opts higher.

 

Now I just have one kind of meter, and I would never use  control solution unless I started getting consistent readings that seemed wrong to me...  It's been a long time...

Morris

Diagnosed Type 2, with an A1c of 11.4 in 2003; averaging a 5.0 A1c since then with diet, exercise and Glipizide XL + meds for blood pressure and cholesterol. 
A bit dated, but scroll down on this page if you want to know more ...


Advisor
Dewski2000
Total Posts: 156
Registered on: ‎07-02-2011

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?


morrisolder wrote:

I always figured that recommendation was a great way to boost the sales of test solution.

 

I called my Dr.  They told me to call the makers of One Touch, explain to them that my solution was outdated, and they are sending me two vials for free.  So as far as I can tell, no one made anything on the sales.  The only boost that came of it was my peace of mind.  :smileywink:

 

 

Diagnosed: June 22, 2011 GL – 355
A1c:
June 2011 - 13.6
Nov. 2012 - 6.0
Dec. 2013 - 6.9
===============
Metformin HCL ER 1000mg
Januvia 100mg
Invokana 100mg
Other meds for depression, anxiety, cholesterol

Dewski2000
-= Scott =-
lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
Topics: 565
High Fives: 1,989
Solutions: 142
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?


dewski2000 wrote:

morrisolder wrote:

I always figured that recommendation was a great way to boost the sales of test solution.

 

I called my Dr.  They told me to call the makers of One Touch, explain to them that my solution was outdated, and they are sending me two vials for free.  So as far as I can tell, no one made anything on the sales.  The only boost that came of it was my peace of mind.  :smileywink:

 

 


I'd have to agree with Morris.  It's pretty rare for the strips to go outside of the solution range because the range is so wide.  The manufacturers don't make money on the solution, they make it on the strips that you (in my opinion) waste using the solution.

 

 Lizzy

Knowledge is Power!





Here's some useful links, click on the titles


Testing 101
 
 All About Carbs

Resources For The Un-insured and Discount Medicine and Equipment

LizzyLou Videos



Lizzy's Blog
for lots more  


Advisor
Dewski2000
Total Posts: 156
Registered on: ‎07-02-2011

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

Could someone lend me a hand here????  LOL

 

I called the makers of my One Touch Ultra 2 meter and told them that I needed a bottle of control solution.  I received it in the mail today.  It comes in a box of two vials and a small pamphlet of directions.  However, the directions simply say to read the calibrating intructions that came with your One Touch Ultra 2 meter - which I no longer have.  HAHAHA  If I can screw something up, I'll do it, without a doubt!  

 

If anyone would like to help with directions, it would be greatly appreciated. 

 

 

Diagnosed: June 22, 2011 GL – 355
A1c:
June 2011 - 13.6
Nov. 2012 - 6.0
Dec. 2013 - 6.9
===============
Metformin HCL ER 1000mg
Januvia 100mg
Invokana 100mg
Other meds for depression, anxiety, cholesterol

Dewski2000
-= Scott =-
mollythed
Total Posts: 5,903
Topics: 75
High Fives: 1,046
Solutions: 115
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How often should you calibrate your meter?

Easy peasy.

 

You can find an electronic version of the manual at http://www.onetouch.com/sites/default/files/file/Ultra2%20Eng%2006650001A_OU2_UG_US_en_R1_web.pdf

 

You can almost always google something like "one touch ultra 2 manual" to find manuals online.


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.