Diabetes Test Strips: A Glimpse
Diabetic patients need to measure their blood sugar regularly. Diabetes test strips provide you the convenience of testing the glucose level with ease. These strips come handy and are of great importance for diabetic patients. The diabetes test strips read the blood sugar level with the aid of glucose meter. The diabetes kit can be purchased from the sellers of home medical supplies.
Keeping track of glucose levels lets the patients understand the disease and manage it. It is essential to be aware of the things which affect glucose levels. By regularly checking the glucose levels, you know what food to eat, which medication is best suited to your body, and the activities which lead to a fluctuation in blood sugar.
Using Test Strips:
The correct usage of diabetes test strips for tracking glucose levels is essential. Follow the below-mentioned method for checking the blood sugar levels appropriately:-
- Firstly, keep a test strip in the blood glucose meter.
- Secondly, prick your finger’s tip with a lancet, which is the tiny needle of the meter.
- Lastly, squeeze out a drop of your blood, then touch it to the diabetes test strip’s edge.
Wait for a few seconds, and your glucose meter would indicate your blood glucose reading.
The used test strip has to be discarded; it can only be used once. For each test of blood sugar, you need to use a fresh strip. The frequency of the tests will be decided by your doctor, depending on your situation. You may be required to test your glucose levels ten times in a single day if you have type-1 diabetes on the other hand, the test frequency maybe 2 times per day, for type-2 patients.
Working of Test Strips:
The science behind the effectiveness of test strips is remarkable. The small strip envelopes a specific technology for testing glucose levels. They are plastic strips coated with a thin gold layer. The circuit in the strip is made by cutting the gold into a particular pattern.
The chemicals are coated on one of the ends of the strip. The technique is that these chemicals act similar to a sponge, absorb your blood, and convert your blood’s glucose into electricity.
This sends an electrical wave/signal from the strip to the glucose meter. The speed of the electrical current is indicated by the number which appears on the glucose meter. A stronger electrical signal indicates an increased blood sugar level, which is represented by a higher number on the glucose meter.
Buying Test Strips:
Diabetes test strips are readily available at every healthcare store. Almost all the sellers of home medical supplies keep diabetes test strips in their stocks. Alternatively, you can also purchase these strips from online websites that sell medical equipment online.
In case you are concerned about the high cost of test strips, have a word with your doctor, and he will tell you a few money-saving tricks.
The following tips will help you to save some money while buying diabetes test strips:-
- Collect and claim the coupons at the drug store pamphlets and magazines.
- Avail samples from the companies selling diabetes supplies.
- Opt for the generic brands
- Reach out to the websites offering diabetes support. They provide diabetes supplies for the needy.
You can also opt to buy diabetes test strips from online websites. They offer excellent deals on purchasing medical equipment online. You can choose the offer that is best for you.
Accuracy of Test Strips:
The accuracy of glucose meters is often questioned. According to several studies, the accuracy of diabetes test strips often vary. The accuracy of eighteen glucose monitoring devices was tested in three different studies. A part of the conclusion of these studies is mentioned below:-
1) Out of the 18 systems tested, only six could meet the accuracy standards of all three studies.
2) Five of them were accurate on the scales of two of the studies.
3) Three of the 18 systems were accurate according to the standards of only one study.
4) Four of the systems could not even pass the accuracy standards of any one of the studies.
The FDA has now recommended that the glucose meter readings should, 95 percent of the time, be within fifteen percent of the laboratory measurements, which means 19 out of 20 times. All new studies to be conducted should include a minimum of 350 diabetic patients, which is a more significant number than was initially required for any such study.
Inappropriate handling of test strips leads to lower accuracy of readings of the glucose meter. Follow these simple steps to ensure that correct signals are sent from the test strips:-
- Abstain from using damaged strips.
- Discard the expired strips.
- Ensure that your strips are stored away from moisture, humidity, and heat.
- Ensure that the strips bought are perfect for your glucose meter.
A perfectly fitting strip in any particular glucose meter does not guarantee that it would work properly. Using a wrong test strip will cause the following to happen:-
- Inaccurate results
- No result at all
- Glucose meter may not turn on.
The issues with test strips are not the sole reason for the inaccuracy of readings. There are many factors which affect the readings:-
- Dirty glucose meter
- Change in temperature (or humidity, heat, cold)
- Dirty hands or wet fingers
- Improper quantity of blood sample on the strip
Make sure to test your meter with a control solution regularly. The solution should not be ancient; it is best to use within three months after opening.
Test Regularly. Be Healthy!