Up&Up Premium Blood Glucose Meter: A Closer Look

Yesterday I received my new meter, courtesy of Agamatrix. I performed several tests yesterday against my standard meter (One Touch Verio IQ) to see how close the results were. Here is what I found:

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Pretty close.  Not perfect, but two of the tests were within 5 mg/dl (and my test this morning, not pictured, was 2 mg/dl apart).

There are several things I like and dislike about this meter:


  • I like the bold red color of the meter
  • I love the small size – it’s even smaller than my Verio IQ
  • It’s easy to use and to program
  • It gives me smiley faces if my BG is in a good range (you can change this range – mine is set from 70-140) – it may seem cheesy but sometimes you just want to see a smiley face after you poke your finger to make yourself bleed
  • The strips come in containers of 50. I know, One Touch Verio strips now also come in containers of 50 but they didn’t used to – and that was annoying. It always seemed like there was so much spare space in the containers. So I like that right off the bat I can say Agamatrix is making the best use of space and plastic materials (have I mentioned how much I hate the amount of waste having diabetes creates?).
  • It displays the date and time on the screen, even when not being used


  • I dislike the case it c omes in because it’s so small I can’t fit my beloved Multiclix lancing device in it – I will have to find a different case.
  • I dislike the lancing device that comes with this meter. (I’m weirdly picky about my lancing devices)
  • It has no strip port light for testing in the dark, which I’ve come to love (and yes, take for granted) with my Verio IQ
  • The screen is highly reflective, meaning it can be hard to read
  • The screen lights up – but it’s one of those old-school indiglo-esque backlights that isn’t very bright and makes me think of the 90s
  • It uses TWO CR2032 batteries…….I am used to being able to CHARGE my Verio IQ so it will be an adjustment to return to buying batteries

Despite my dislikes, it tests close enough to my Verio IQ to make it worth the $612/yr it will save me in test strip copays and I will be switching over to it full-time in January or February.

Thank you again to Agamatrix for sending me the meter, a vial of 50 test strips, a bottle of control solution, and 2 logbooks. I appreciate being given the chance to take this meter for a test run before committing fully to it.


OneTouch Verio IQ Recall

If you use a Verio IQ meter, you should look at this information.

I personally am probably not going to send mine back in – if my BG is ever over 1024 I’ll be close to dead – and hopefully in the hospital. (I know this – I was once 900, going into a coma, and my parents were told I’d likely die…..so a 1024 would likely never be seen by me at home on my meter anyway….)

But if you are concerned about your meter not shutting itself down and resetting when it’s introduced to blood with a BG of 1024+ mg/dl, you may want to contact OneTouch to find out how to get a new meter sent to you.

My Experiment

Ok, so that picture I posted yesterday showing my A1c….I don’t agree with it.  I’ve had A1c levels in the 5s before.  I should not have one there now. Especially 5.5, as my lowest before this was a 5.6.

My control has greatly slipped due to a ton of stress, lack of sleep (holy insomnia, Batman!) and overall lack of activity due to no longer constantly moving to keep up with 18 5-year-olds all day.

My eAG, based solely on my meter readings, has always been a good indicator of my A1c.  Not perfect, of course. Typically my A1c is lower than my meter would indicate only because in the middle of the night I correct lows without checking my BG – just a bad habit, but one I’ve never been able to break.  However, my meter average this time around indicates that for the last 90 days my eAG should have converted to an A1c at least 1.5% higher than it came out.  That’s a huge difference. Huge.

All conversion charts sort of disagree, but from what I can find an eAG of 112-119 would convert roughly to an A1c of 5.5%.

My eAG is 160, for the last 90 days.  My 60 day, 30 day, 14 day, 7 day….not much different.

I was expecting an A1c of 7%, minimum.  Maybe 7.1 or 7.2.  Not 5.5. No way.

So I started asking around on FB and Twitter to see what the DOC thought. I got back a lot of the responses I expected, and one I wasn’t expecting:

‘Your A1c is highly influenced by the past few weeks – have you been having a lot of lows?’ – No, I haven’t. In fact, I’ve had a lot less lows than normal. I used to have them daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Now I can go days without even a mild low. Heck I can go days without seeing a meter reading below 200.

‘Maybe you are running 80 mg/dL all night and that’s pulling you down?’ – Hmmm, possible, but I think highly unlikely.  I usually go to bed slightly high with a little IOB, and wake up around the same number or even higher.  I’m waking up in the night to pee, to get a drink – indications that, if anything, I’m high not low.

‘Maybe you’re having a lot of lows in the night you don’t know about?’ – Again, possible, but I think unlikely. I wake up for lows. I’m an extremely light sleeper anyway.

‘Maybe you are anemic, because I’ve heard that can give a false low on an A1c test.’ – Ok, I won’t lie – this one could be a legitimate problem. I already know I have other imbalances – for example my potassium levels are always on the low side, and if I get dehydrated it can take DAYS of tons of extra potassium just to regain the extreme low end of ‘normal’.  Could be genetic, as my mom has very very low potassium too (she actually takes GIANT potassium pills RXed to her).  So being anemic might just be another thing for me. And I looked up the symptoms and I have about half of them. But I attribute a lot of them to my IST (inappropriate sinus tachycardia) and always have. I’ve had tons of labwork done in my life and no one has ever said that I have low iron.  Then again, there are other factors that cause anemia, so it might be something to talk to my doctor about.

Then I thought – what if it’s my meter? What if my meter is just way off? What if a 5.5% is really my A1c level? So I did an experiment of sorts.

The most inconclusive experiment ever performed….Oh, and I’m a OneTouch junkie, in case you can’t tell.

I first tested on my Verio IQ (173) against my old Ping (131).  Holy cow! This fell in line with my theory that my meter was reading high and I was maybe really a lot lower than I thought much of the time.  But then….my experiment fell apart completely and I disproved myself.

A few hours later I checked on my Verio IQ (120) against my old UltraSmart (129).  Hmmm….my Verio was lower now. Then again, you have to know that my UltraSmart is old. Like….I’ve had it for at least 8 years. At least. I got it when it was new and cost nearly $200 (don’t worry, I qualified for a free one!)  So I take any result from that meter with a huge grain of salt.

Next time I checked my BG I did it on my Verio IQ (186) against one of my UltraMini meters (199).  Ok….Verio was lower again.

My conclusion?  Just what every diabetic already knows.  That our meters are, in essence, total crap that don’t give us nearly the accuracy we want or need or deserve. We make important decisions that affect our immediate health, based on these meters, and they’re all total crap.  I’m sorry, but +/- 20% (heck, even 15%) from a lab result is UNACCEPTABLE.

Hey, OneTouch (and Accu-Chek and Bayer and AgaMatrix, etc etc etc) are you listening???

OneTouch Verio IQ

Today we are asked to write about whatever we wish, which makes today the perfect opportunity for me to share my thoughts on the new meter I’ve been using for over a month now.

Most of you have heard of the new OneTouch Verio IQ meter, and I know that many other d-bloggers have shared their thoughts on the meter (Kerri’s thoughts; Kim’s thoughts) and while I don’t have a whole lot that’s new to say, I still wanted to throw in my 2¢.

I was initially really interested in this meter because it alerts you to high or low patterns based on recent readings at similar times of the day.  Let’s face it – I’m horrible at spotting patterns on my own, despite trying to log things.  I really felt I need a meter that will smack me in the face with that information and let me know immediately what the situation is.  And this meter has delivered, so far.  A low pattern and two high patterns have been brought to my attention by my meter that I had no clue were happening.

I am really in love with this meter for a lot of reasons, besides its ability to alert me to patterns in my blood sugars.  First off, it’s stylish.  Look at it.  Now be honest – isn’t it the sexiest blood glucose meter you’ve ever seen?  As other d-bloggers have pointed out, it does look more like an MP3 player than a medical device – which is cool with me. The less I feel like a ‘sick person’ the better.

I also appreciate that this meter comes with a rechargeable battery.  I’ve been experiencing a lot of inner turmoil lately about medical waste and how much we as diabetics are expected to use and dispose of – things made of plastic, primarily.  But also tons and tons of batteries.  So I love that this meter doesn’t require me to run through a supply of batteries.  Right now it seems I get about 1-1.5 weeks out of a charge, but I don’t think I’ve ever fully charged it (for a few hours), so if I did I’m sure I’d get the 2 weeks out of it that it’s supposed to get.

Because it’s rechargeable it comes with a USB cable – which is a huge bonus because now I can download my meter without paying for the OneTouch cable I never wanted to pay for.  Thing is – I don’t like the OneTouch software, so I don’t download my meter.  But the point is, I could for no additional cost to me.  I do on occasion (very very rarely) use Animas’s Diasend software, and this meter is compatible to be uploaded using Diasend, which is another bonus.

This is also the first meter I’ve ever had that has a strip port light, which I find super cool.  I always had to turn the light on to test at night before – but now I have a light that is actually bright enough to guide the strip in.  The strip port light along with the full color screen means I can see my bloody finger and not smear blood everywhere too. (Gross, I know, but it happens…)

The one thing I wasn’t so sure about with this meter was if I could get insurance coverage for the strips.  Most OneTouch meters use the Ultra line of test strips – these are the strips I’ve used since I was about 15 and I got my OneTouch Ultra meter (since then I’ve been known to use the Ultra 2, the InDuo, the Ultra Smart, a few Ultra Minis, the Ultra Link (when I pumped with Medtronic), and the Ping (is that ALL of the Ultra meters? I think so…). In fact, since I was diagnosed 20 years ago I’ve only ever used LifeScan products.  Anyway, I was a bit hesitant about trying to get different strips – I had no idea if they would be covered because they’re so new in the US. However, my insurance company apparently covers ALL types of OneTouch strips at the same copay so I had no issues switching to the Verio strips.

I love the new test strips – they take less blood (a lot less, it seems to me) and they pull blood in from either the right or the left side (not from the top like the Ultra strips do).  And there is no coding. Nope, I don’t even have to ensure that my meter is set on the default Ultra code 25.  Just…no coding.  I love that.  And the huge draw-in about the strips?  They should be more accurate.  According to LifeScan an Ultra strip “automatically checks each blood sample twice to confirm the result”, while a Verio strip “analyzes your blood sample 500 times to correct for common interferences” (ie acetaminophen and Vitamin C).

The only real negative for me? It doesn’t talk to Frank (my insulin pump), which means my Ping meter will continue to be my backup (especially when I’m wearing a dress).