Wednesday, June 08, 2016

How Do Diabetes Test Strips Work?

Diabetes test strips or blood glucose test strips are an essential component when it comes to testing levels of blood glucose. These small, disposable plastic strips may look insignificant, however they actually play a hugely important role in helping people with diabetes to better monitor and manage their condition. In the majority of cases, each meter will take one type of test strip only. However, there are certain blood glucose meters which also test for ketone levels and take blood ketone strips. So, how do diabetes test strips work?

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How Do Test Strips Work?

The specifics of how diabetes test strips work is something that crops up a lot in diabetic FAQ. When it comes into contact with the test strip, the blood will react with the glucose oxidase chemical, which produces gluconic acid from the glucose in the blood. The meter then transfers a current to the test strip via electronic terminals which allows the meter to measure the current. Depending on the amount of gluconic acid which has been produced, the current between the terminals will vary. The blood glucose meter will then use an algorithm to determine the level of glucose in the blood based upon the difference in current.

Where Can I Get Test Strips?

Diabetes test strips and meters can be obtained on prescription from your doctor. They can also be purchased in certain pharmacies and online pharmacies. Whether or not you are able to get diabetes test strips on prescription will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the severity of the condition. You can also get test strips from ‘diabetic strips for cash’ schemes, which buy unused and unwanted test strips from people and sell or give them to diabetics who need them. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not you need to use test strips in order to manage your condition.

How Long Do the Strips Last?

Blood glucose test strips will normally have a use by date, either on the strip itself or displayed on the box in which they arrived. Once opened, the majority of diabetic test trips will be good to use for around three to six months, however it’s crucial that you refer to the box or the information slip provided with your test strips to ensure that you do not end up using out of date blood glucose test strips, which may produce inaccurate results.

How Should Diabetes Test Strips Be Stored?

Blood glucose test strips should be stored at room temperature, and within the sealed vial. You should never refrigerate your diabetes test strips or expose them to heat, as extreme temperatures can cause serious damage. Exposure to humidity and direct sunlight can also render your test strips unusable. You should not use any test strips which have come into contact with other substances or if they have been damaged in any way.

Diabetes test strips are absolutely crucial to managing diabetes day to day.

This is a guest blog post.

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