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tovli

Relion Premier vs Contour Next - Affect On Goal?

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tovli

I tend to obsessively try to understand the meaning of everything.  As such I have started an investigation to decide if I can lower my BG monitoring expense. 

 

It appears that the Relion Premier (BLU) meter and strips readings average -8 (range -5 to -12) mg/dl compared to the Contour Next (One) meter and strips readings.

 

I am eating around 100g carbs per day with a 1 hr BG goal of under 140 mg/dl.  Over the last six months I have developed a feeling for what I can eat to stay under this limit.

 

In light of the published BG system accuracy tests, where the Contour Next exhibited around 5% accuracy and the Relion Premier around 12% accuracy,  and my initial comparison of readings from these two systems, it would seem that I should lower my goal to 132 mg/dl with the Relion system to achieve the same "level of BG control".

 

Then again, is an 8 mg/dl difference something to even worry about in "Pre-Diabetes"?   

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meyery2k

My opinion - It is good to test after meals but this really only provides a snapshot.  I would encourage you to test your A1C every 3 to 6 months.  This gives an overview of your average level.  You can get at home A1C tests from CVS.  They compare favorably in accuracy to the test I take from a lab.

 

Neither test, by itself, could be considered a complete understanding of overall management.  As an example, I could hit a really nice A1C but without monitoring after meals miss the fact that my glucose is spiking.  I am insulin resistant so if I eat simple carbs, I go up to 140 or more and stay there for a few hours.  When I was eating mostly carbs, my poor body could never burn the glucose and I would present diabetic numbers and weight gain.  Conversely, looking at snapshots (unless you take enough of them) does not show long term trends.

 

I live in Hilo, Hawaii.  Using photos, I could demonstrate that it does not rain very much.  Snapshots of sunny or rather unremarkable rain.  I could also take photos of extreme weather and demonstrate it always rains.  The reality is that we average 120" rain per year.  Much of it falls in the night or morning hours and, by mid morning, most days are sunny.  So when people hear it rains 120" a year on average, the perception is that it rains all the time.  The reality is that, while it does rain a lot, we also have nice weather for the most part.

 

I used to get hung up on the differences but have learned to really concern myself with whether I am spiking or not which is the goal of testing after meals.  I use the A1C as a long term indicator.  I don't rely on either exclusively.

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Hammer

I use the Bayer Contour Next meter, as well as  the Bayer Contour Next EZ meter (they both use the same test strips and they both give the exact same readings.)  The Relion meters are low cost meters that I don't feel are as accurate as the Bayer meters are.  The thing is, there are other name brand meters like the Bayer meters, and comparing them to each other would also yield differing results.  I found that the Relion meters are better than no meter, and they do seem to give fairly accurate readings when used to check your before meal BG levels, and your 2 hour, after meal BG levels, as doing that, the meter just shows how much your BG levels rose after the meal.  For example, if your Relion meter indicated a BG of 90 before you ate, then 2 hours after you ate, it show your BG to be 130, then you know that the food you ate raised your BG levels by 40 points, which would probably be fairly accurate.  What you couldn't be sure of would be that, you don't know if you were actually at 90 before, and 130 after, but you would know that the food raised your BG levels by 40 points, regardless of what your actual BG level was before you ate,  and what your actual BG level was after you ate, you would just know your BG levels rose by 40 points.

 

One thing you need to do if you want to compare the two meters....get both meters set up with their test strips inserted in the meter.  Prick your finger, then, using the same drop of blood, stick one test strip into the blood drop on your finger, then place the next meter's test strip in the same drop of blood on your finger.  This is the only way to know that you reading the same drop of blood on both meters.  If you prick your finger and place that drop of blood on one test strip, then prick your finger again, and place that drop of blood on the other test strip, you won't get the same reading on both meters, as the blood in your body has varying amounts of glucose floating around in it, and it's never the same amount in two different places, even if you prick the same finger twice.

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tovli
1 hour ago, Hammer said:

using the same drop of blood, stick one test strip into the blood drop on your finger, then place the next meter's test strip in the same drop of blood on your finger.

 

Exactly what I have been doing:

image.png.23a3074472df9b94ac08d83a75f28352.png

image.thumb.png.5a4303af72ba448a0715b545a27de637.png

image.thumb.png.2f425c0f2cfef54bc06b3edd1d2c2b03.png

 

(The Grilled Cheese sandwich was a new food test today.)

 

I have not seen enough consistency to do the "this food equals this delta" type of measuring.  That salmon, salad, whole sweet potato meal somehow registered only 100, but on a prior same meal with only half sweet potato registered 129.  

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tovli
7 hours ago, meyery2k said:

good to test after meals but this really only provides a snapshot.  I would encourage you to test your A1C every 3 to 6 months. 

My A1C has been 5.6 every time I have been tested, including before I started limiting my carbs.  According to doc, I'm not pre-diabetic and don't need to worry about this. 

 

Having discovered that my 1 hr BG hit 217 after a high carb "normal meal",  and hitting 200 after a 50g glucose challenge, I decided on this "1 hr under 140" target.  

 

The wife and I have stuck to this target for six months now.  She reports better digestion.  I haven't noticed any difference, but hope that worrying now is preventing big worries in the years to come.

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Hammer

Let me say this...a non-diabetic, will NEVER go over 120, no matter what they eat!  If they go over 120, then they are NOT a non-diabetic.  If you want to prove this, try testing a non-diabetic friend or relative.  Let them eat something really carby...a banana split....some pasta....a bunch of cookies....whatever, then test their glucose levels.  See if they ever exceed 120.  Doctors will say that you will have high glucose numbers if you eat a lot of carbs, and they say that is normal.  NO it's not normal!  You should never get high BG numbers, no matter what you eat, if you are a non-diabetic.

 

We had a thread here some time ago, where it asked if you had ever tested your non-diabetic friends or relatives.  Those who responded said that, yes they did, and the results were the same.  One woman served her family pancakes with syrup, home fries, and orange juice.  She tested them and none of them ever exceeded 110.  I did the same with my daughter.  She was going to drive down to my house for a visit, so I ran out and got her favorite sugared soda, Dr. Pepper, as well as one of her favorite snack foods, Triscuits.  She drank two Dr. Peppers, and ate half the box of Triscuits.  I calculated that to be over 200 carbs.  I tested her glucose levels and she was at a 96.  If I had eaten that, I would have been close to 300.

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tovli
6 minutes ago, Hammer said:

If they go over 120, then they are NOT a non-diabetic

Thanks for this.  That is what I was thinking: 110 to 120 at the 1 hr mark as the limit for "normal", but that some references seemed to say normal response was only as high as 100.

 

I think the official glucose tolerance test seems to use the 2 hour value as the discriminant.  My two hour after-meal measurements often are back down below 100, unless I really blow through my 1 hr target.  I would expect that even if the doc ordered an official glucose tolerance test for me, it would probably come back saying nothing to worry about.  

 

One book I read claimed "damage begins around 160" but seemed to be talking about 2 hours after a meal.  I could eat nearly anything I wanted if I set my 140 target for 2 hours after a meal, but it would hide the big spike at 45-60 minutes.

 

We're doing ok limiting our carbs to stay under 140 at the 1 hr mark for home meals, but it has totally changed our options on restaurant take-out / eat in the car pandemic style meals.   

 

I really like the Contour Next system,  but I keep wondering if I am just being my usual overly obsessive about precision, accuracy, and variance in a domain  that has too many variables, and this being a second removed measurement (non-measured insulin levels vs measured glucose). 

 

Anyway - for science at least for 50 measurements, then I can decide which to continue with.

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Hammer

My original meter, well, my first original Bayer meter, was a Bayer Contour meter.  I used this meter for years, until the company that my insurance company dealt with, no longer offered the test strips for that meter, so I had to switch to the Bayer Contour Next Meter, and I also added the Contour Next EZ meter.  What I found was that my original Bayer Contour meter was reading low, as compared to the newer Bayer Contour Next and Next EZ meters.  It was because my original Bayer meter was reading low, that my A1c results had gone up, since what that meter was reading, wasn't what my actual numbers were.  Once I started using the newer Contour Next, and Contour Next EZ meters, and based on the readings from those meters, I was able to adjust my insulin doses, so as to lower my glucose levels.  My last A1c reading was a 5.5, which I was happy with.

 

I am a type 2 who uses insulin, since my stomach can't handle any diabetic oral medications, so I opted for insulin which doesn't affect my stomach, and gives me precise control over my BG numbers...something that no oral medications can do.  If I eat something carby, which I rarely do, if my BG numbers are too high, I can take a corrective shot of insulin, and bring that high BG number down to a normal level in an hour or two.  You can't do that with oral meds.  Keep in mind that insulin is not for everyone.  If you take too much insulin, it can drop your glucose levels too low, and that can be a serious problem.  It takes a while to know how much insulin to take for the foods you eat, but once you get that dose dialed in, using insulin isn't that difficult.  Sure, there are times when I take too much insulin, but that happens when I don't know the carb content of the food that I'm going to eat, and I end up taking a bit too much insulin.  When that happens, I keep glucose tablets all over my house, in my cars, and in my pocket, so that I can offset any lows that I might get.

 

Looking at your A1c numbers, I don't think that insulin would be a good choice for you.  On the other hand, if you find that your after meal BG levels are really high, then maybe consider insulin.  Here's the thing with using insulin...you can eat whatever you want, then take the appropriate amount of  insulin, and that will cover those carbs.  The problem with this is that, if you miscalculate the number of carbs in the food, and you take too much insulin, your BG levels will drop too low, and that can cause serious side effects, including death.  If you eat something that contains 100 carbs, but it actually only has 90 carbs, and you take the amount of insulin for 100 carbs, you would have taken way too much insulin.  Now if you ate something that contained 10 carbs, but the food didn't actually contain 10 carbs, well, if you miscalculated and took the wrong amount of insulin for those 10 carbs, then how much insulin would you have taken?...maybe one unit too much?  That one unit won't kill you, but if you ate 100 carbs, but the food only had 90 carbs, and you took the amount of insulin for 100 carbs, that might mean that you took maybe 10 units too much.  Those 10 units could kill you.  So, insulin is not for everyone, but anyone who does go on it, needs to keep a close eye on their BG levels.

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Dowling

It seems to me that if you are strapped for cash or don't have coverage the Relion meter is better than none and you can get accurate results. Not all meters give accurate results even the expensive ones. With any meter if you know the variation you can adjust your reading. The best way to test a meter is to take it to the lab when you have an A1C done. Test immediately before or immediately after they take your blood. I did this twice. Once when I was in the cubicle waiting for the lab technician and once in the waiting room immediately after my blood was taken. When you get the results of  your lab test you can compare the results. Then it is a simple matter of addition or subtraction to get accurate readings. It turned out my meter was accurate but I would have kept using it if it wasn't. I'd just do the adjustment.

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Hammer

Yes, I did this once Dowling.  I took my meter to the lab when I went in for my blood work, and I told the girl who was going to draw my blood, to not place a piece of gauze on the injection site.  She said that I would bleed a lot, and I told her that no I wouldn't, because I am not a bleeder.  I wanted to use blood from that injection site to test my meter, which I did.  When she pulled the needle out of my arm, blood squired out a little bit, so I placed the meter's test strip on the small amount of blood that was coming out of the injection site., and got a reading.  Once I had placed blood on the test strip, I grabbed the gauze, placed it on the injection site, then closed my elbow, and the bleeding stopped.  The meter read 0.1 point difference than what the lab results were.

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