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Diabetes Testing

Testing Both Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure at Home

Since three-fourths of those of us who have diabetes also have high blood pressure, a combined blood glucose and blood pressure monitoring device makes a lot of sense. Years ago I reviewed basic devices here, but now we have the
chance to use something that seems to approach the sophistication of the devices that nurses regularly use in doctors’ offices. And is probably even better.

The Fora D20 has a regular arm cuff attached to the device that measures either our BG or our BP. This gives me more confidence than the basic devices that previously were all that we had for monitoring our blood pressure at home.

I don’t automatically assume that doctors and their nurses can take better care of our medical needs than we can ourselves. Clearly, we have a greater interest in our own health.

But with blood pressure testing even more considerations come into play. We can do it better at home.

It’s not just the infamous “white-coat syndrome,” where people become nervous at the doctor’s office and have higher readings than they normally would at home. Too many of us know from experience that medical people are too rushed. And rushing doesn’t work when testing blood pressure.

For example, I have had nurses check my blood pressure as soon as they came in the room. I’m sure that they knew as well as I do that patients are supposed to sit still for five or 10 minutes before the test. But they were too rushed, and my numbers were predictably too high.

The owner’s manual for the Fora D20 helps us to avoid that and other mistakes. In fact, it has the best guidance I have ever read for preparing for a BP measurement:

“Avoid caffeine, tea, alcohol and tobacco at least 30 minutes before measurement.”“Wait 30 minutes after exercising or bathing before measurement.”

“Sit or lie down for at least 10 minutes before measurement.”

“Do not measure when feeling anxious or tense.”“Take a 5-10 minute break between measurements. This break can be longer if necessary, depending on your physical condition.”

“Keep the records for your doctor as reference. ”

“Blood pressure varies between each arm. Always measure your blood pressure on the same arm.

To take a blood pressure measurement after performing a blood glucose test, make sure that the test strip has been removed from the monitor.”

We can do that. But we can’t always count on medical people to be that conscientious on our behalf.Like all blood pressure monitoring devices, the Fora D20 measures our the systolic pressure – when the heart contracts or beats – and the diastolic pressure – when the heart relaxes between beats. When relaxed, we need to keep our systolic pressure below 120 millimeters of mercury and our diastolic pressure below 80 millimeters of mercury.

But the Fora D20 also measures our heart rate at the same time. Since I have never had high blood pressure, using a blood pressure monitoring device was never something that I personally took seriously.

I should have. Until recently, I had no idea that a low heart rate is not something we want to have. A heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute was in fact one of the clues that I had telling me that I have hypothyroidism.

The Fora D20 is available from MedPoint Advantage in Birmingham, Alabama, for $83.99. MedPoint Advantage distributes it from Fora Care Inc. of Newbury Park, California. But according to documents on the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Taidoc Technology Corporation in Taipei, Taiwan, is the manufacturer. Of course, blood pressure monitoring is only half of what the Fora D2o does. The other half is providing a convenient meter for us to test our blood glucose. Here it uses only a tiny blood sample of 0.7 microliters and returns a result in 7 seconds.

Both BG and BP are important. Measuring them can now go together as closely as these two abbreviations.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Steve,

    I’m glad that you read this piece. You now can stop your nurse from rushing you when she tests your blood pressure.



  • Steve Solomon at

    Interesting article, David! As one who relies on blood pressure (and blood glucose/A1C) checks only at my semi-annual checkups by my doctor, I have on occasion used my wife’s home blood pressure unit, a Panasonic EW3109. It seems like a decent device. I did think I had that “White Coat Syndrome”, because it seems that my BP is high “Only” at the doctor’s office (155/91), but in the normal range at home (123/79, for example). The only reading that seems high pretty much all the time is my heart/pulse rate (90), despite being on a very active exercise regimen. (I thought that regular exercise is supposed to “lower” one’s Resting heart rate!) But your point about being “rushed” and not relaxed is well-taken. Thanks for all your informative articles, David!

  • John Wagoner at


    On Page 456, Appendix A of Dr, Bernstein’s book on diabetes , he indicates that the proper blood pressure reading should be the lowest reading after a resting period of 15 to 30 minutes. Unfortunately his book is without references. The idea of the valid blood pressure reading being a truly relaxed reading is quite contrary to how I am treated in my doctors office.

    Please, could anyone in your organization post a reference to a review, book, etc., that supports the idea that the blood pressure reading should be a relaxed reading as Dr. Bernstein maintains ? I am interested in this because it seems to me that the health care providers are all to anxious to declare their patients hypertensive. I think they then profit by back charging the insurance companies for treating me for hypertension.

    The recent Cochrane Review ( http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD006742/benefits-of-antihypertensive-drugs-for-mild-hypertension-are-unclear )
    Benefits of Antihypertensive Drugs for Mild Hypertension Are Unclear gives some food for though. It seems there is no difference in outcome between stage one hypertensive that take their medicine and those who don’t. I wonder if this Could be that most stage one hypertensives are not really hypertensive ?


    John Wagoner

    • David Mendosa at

      Dear John,

      What I wrote in this article is the best advice that I know how to give.



  • Sarah at

    On the Omelon meter I have now seen one. Save your money. I can not report on how well it does, but cheap materials.

  • fantasy at

    Wonderful site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

    • David Mendosa at

      Great question! Soon I will be setting up a site just like what you are looking for. Please keep in touch.


  • Sarah at


    Google using ‘Omelon glucometer’. You will find a bunch of alibaba and eBay links. But not the manufacturer. But there is data there for anyone interested. I am still ‘chary’, see below.

    What I know:
    1) They were made in the Russian Republic.
    2) The web address was omelon.org.
    3) The unit was touted as the first true non-invasive (no strips or subdermal sensors) meter.
    4) An earlier model used non-standard power, but the latest uses two AA batteries.
    5) Everywhere the price is the same, $233. Curious.
    6) Noted that documentation states that normal range for this meter is 80-100 mg/dl, which makes it of little use. This apparently odd range was confirmed by the eBay seller in Moscow.
    7) Found what appears to be the Russian patent, but I do not read it, so not sure.

    I normally do not go in for ‘conspiracy theories’, but a stripless meter? To simply disappear? Something is not right.

    I think you would enjoy running this one down.



  • Sarah at

    Thank you for posting this one! I was looking at the Omelon machine, but a lot of things kept putting me off, like the support site having been down over a month.

    That might be a good article for you, also. What happened to the the Omelon? One can find it on (international) eBay, and on alibaba, but not in the US?

    • David Mendosa at

      Dear Sarah,
      Sounds interesting, but I have never heard of Omelon and can’t find it with Google. What is the company’s web address?