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How do I know my three-year-old meter is still providing me with accurate test results?
Los Angeles, California
If you suspect that your meter is not giving you accurate results, I recommend having the meter checked against a laboratory test.
A laboratory test is the only valid method to confirm that your meter is providing accurate results. To ensure that you get a valid comparison with the lab results, contact your healthcare professional a few days before your regularly scheduled visit to let them know you would like to compare test results, and ask for the steps that you should follow to ensure a valid comparison test. Lifescan has included the general procedure to follow on its Web site at www.lifescan.com.
In between visits to your doctor's office, you can get a reasonable feel for ballpark accuracy by comparing test results with a second meter. If you don't have a second meter, I highly recommend purchasing one (most manufacturers have some type of rebate on meters, and sometimes you can obtain them for free). A spare meter has gotten me out of jams on more than one occasion when my meter batteries have died or my test results were questionable. I use two meters from the same manufacturer and perform two tests simultaneously before meals for one day. If the meter results don't compare with what I've seen on previous checks, then I would suspect a problem with either one or both meters, and contact the meter manufacturer for technical support or a replacement meter.
The FDA has listed a few tips to help one get better test results.
If you suspect a reading is in error:
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.