If your device is damaged, the readings may not be accurate. Also, test strips that are exposed to air and moisture can falsely elevate your blood sugar measurements.
In case you are taking care of a child with diabetes, it is best to let them become familiar with the device and procedure. However, do not allow them to handle the device or materials on their own.
3. High altitudes
This may not be applicable to all patients, however, studies have shown that altitude can affect BGMDs. The reason behind this is because test strips that contain glucose oxidase are sensitive to the oxygen concentration.
At high altitudes, the amount of oxygen is lower. This causes the device to overestimate your blood sugar levels. While this cannot be avoided for the most part, it is something that should be taken into consideration.
If you need to travel via air, there’s a chance that you will need to check your blood sugar during the flight. Take note of your location in this instance, in addition to the data you usually log.
If you are moving from an area with high elevation to one with lower elevation, or vice versa, inform your doctor when he or she sees you for a check-up.
4. Low temperatures
Oftentimes, insulin is recommended to be stored in the refrigerator, but should your test strips be? Ideally, no. Similarly to altitude, the room temperature can affect the accuracy of blood glucose readings.
Hotter temperatures (approaching 40°C) can make the test strips less stable. As a consequence, the blood sugar reading may be higher. If you live in a hot environment without air conditioning at home, the fridge is an alternative. Cooler temperatures have less of an effect than warmer temperatures.
5. Taking medication
Lastly, certain medications can alter blood glucose readings. Some examples include paracetamol, dopamine, some diuretics, and even vitamin C. While paracetamol can decrease the readings, the other drugs mentioned can have variable effects.
Though these medications only slightly affect blood glucose readings, large or frequent doses may have more of an effect. If you are taking any of these medications, take note of it in your journal or app.
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