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Type 2 Diabetes on a Budget

Generic Blood Glucose Monitoring

One of the most important products you will use to manage your type 2 diabetes is a blood glucose monitor. This tool is used to check your blood glucose (sugar) levels throughout the day. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are around 60 blood glucose meters for sale on the market. Trying to find the one that you feel comfortable with will vary, depending on what you want and can afford.
Some of the blood glucose monitors may have more memory than others; however, if you are keeping a written log of your blood sugar levels throughout the day, memory may not be worth the extra cost. There are a number of differences in these monitors, including differences in the meter size, speed, cost, accuracy, and the amount of blood sample needed. Some monitors can transmit data to your computer. Others have spoken instructions and results for those with vision problems.
The type of monitor you choose will depend on your individual situation and preference. Although these monitors have various features, they perform the same basic function -- giving you immediate blood sugar results. Talk to your healthcare provider about his or her recommendation, and also check with your insurance company to find out if they will cover any of the costs. Also, in some cases, your diabetes educator may be able to get you a monitor for free.
Another primary factor to consider when looking for a blood glucose monitor is the price of the test strips. Because you will be buying and using these strips quite often, you may want to find some that are more affordable. There are some test strips -- usually generic ones -- available at a quite reasonable price. Generic test strips are usually designed to work with the store-brand meter, but may also work with some name-brand meters as well.
Although the generic test strips may not have all the benefits of the brand-name strips, they are usually just as reliable as the more expensive versions. For example, some of the generic test strips may not have the same wicking technology or use the same minuscule blood sample size as some of the higher-priced products. However, using the generic test strips can mean a cost savings of up to around $50 or more per box in some cases.
Be aware that when you are looking for affordable test strips, you may be taking a chance. Some products may be expired, have strips with handling issues that compromise the strips' reliability, or have other possible problems. Also, you still need to make sure your strips are being sold by a reliable dealer.
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