How accurate are blood/glucose monitors? I have a Contour Breeze and I get different readings?

I was diagnosed as prediabetic back in July 2011. I have managed to lower my blood sugar from 110 mg/dl to about 89 mg/dl over the past several months. This morning I took my FBS and it came out as 130! I was floored. I took it again and it was 99, which was more reasonable. Then, I washed my hands and came back and did it one more time. It was 78. What is going on here? Are these things even accurate? Is A1C the only way to get an accurate snapshot of blood sugar? Thanks in advance.

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Glucose monitors work on a chemical sample, over which blood is drawn by capillary action. Two electrodes detect the presence of blood by conductance across the sample and the amount of glucose is determined by the change in conductance as the glucose reacts with chemicals in the test area over time. Some meters measure the rate at which the conductance changes ( a differentiator circuit ), others just measures the conductance when it first starts conducting and then again after a set amount of time. They are required to be within 20% and a lab would certify them as accurate if they are within 15% but the technology itself can be within 5% and the variation between test strips of the same batch should be within 2%. Most errors are from usage, they are affected by temperature of the meter, temperature of the test strip, how old the test strip is, humidity, humidity within which the test strip was stored, the amount of time it takes to suck the blood into the test strip, the amount of air the blood has been exposed to, the air currents, what's in the air and the rate at which the blood was drawn from your body ( a slow draw that needed more pushing out has more interstitial fluids then blood ).

    It's quite possible that your test strips had been exposed to heat or cold, or that they were not properly sealed since your last use.

    An A1C gives you the idea of your average glucose levels by measuring the accumulated exposure to glucose that your blood cells have, you blood cells live for 90-120 days and are produced constantly so the test is representative of the average over 30 to 40 days but it's skewed as it's not a true evenly weighted average so if your glucose levels have not been more or less consistent over the three months, the A1C may not be terribly reliable.

    But the varying results are why they require at least two separate FBG tests on separate days or an A1C before diagnosing diabetes.

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  • 8 years ago

    Maybe your device don`t working right.But try before measuring the sugar to wash your hands and then put alcohol,and then do it one more time!But i think that is not a problem.Sugar in diabetics could never be the same!You should know that!For example your sugar is now 68,you quickly do it again but your sugar gonna be 69 or 54,or 10.0!!!!NEVER SAME!!!!!But maybe you didn`t put the correct insulin doses,and then your sugar fell!As you write 130,than he fell little on 99 and than on 78,in 5 minutes try it again if is 40 get something sweet!If its 60 than you should know that your sugar gonna fell,if you don`t snack!

    Source(s): 10 years diabetic!5 when they found out!
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    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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