How To Properly Perform A Blood Test
Due to the differences in design for all the blood glucose testing product brands, it is best to follow the specific instructions provided for your blood glucometer and test strips. However, for the new diabetes patients, we have provided a list of general guidelines for proper testing blood sugar procedure and practice.
Odd Way To Earn Some Money Back
As mentioned earlier, gold and palladium are used to make the circuits in the test strips. So if you truly wish to earn some money back, you can sell your used or expired test strips on eBay for a small profit. Obviously, the profit will be less than selling actual gold and palladium. If you have some extra spare time and would like a money-making hobby, you can learn to extract the precious metals yourself and sell it at a higher price when you accumulate a good amount of gold and palladium. And if you are really going for the extreme, make jewelry or art piece out of the precious metal. Depending on your mastery, you may earn even more money from your creation.
We have covered as many topics on blood glucose test strip as we can think of throughout this article. Hopefully, you have learned something new about this little piece of plastic that is the key to maintaining your diabetes. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave us a feedback or contact us. We would absolutely be delighted to hear from you.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Sergii Vasyliuk MD on June 02, 20202
Blood Glucose Strips Explained: Wrapping Up
Well, there you have it. If you’ve ever wondered, “how do glucose test strips work” you now know the answer. This technology can literally save lives. It allows diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels when their body can’t do it on its own.
This can prevent scary complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, limb amputation, and even death. While the potential complications are scary, the good news is that diabetes is completely manageable thanks to technology like glucose test strips and glucometers.
Have more questions about this technology, diabetes, or something else? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’re looking for affordable diabetes supplies, check out our wide selection. You can also check out our blog for more information on health, medical technology, and more.
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How Does Squeezing A Finger Affect Blood Sugar
Patients with diabetes are often advised to test their blood sugar level at home using a glucometer. The use of this device involves adding a drop of your blood to the specific part on a test strip inserted into it.
While adding the drop of blood to the test strip, patients have to squeeze the finger slightly to allow the blood to ooze out from the capillaries. However, the pressure exerted on the finger while squeezing should neither be too hard nor too low.
The researchers have found that squeezing the finger with too much pressure might interfere with the accuracy of the test results. One study has revealed that about 5 to 13% of patients are likely to have a significantly inaccurate blood sugar reading due to the variation in the pressure exerted on the finger for squeezing out a drop of blood.
On average, it was found that the blood sugar readings showed a lower than the actual value when people put more pressure on the finger.
This means diabetic patients should avoid squeezing the finger too tightly as this can dilute the sample of blood with the tissue fluid called plasma and thus, increase the chances of a wrong reading or even hemolysis. The squeezing should be mild enough to just let a drop of blood ooze out onto the test strip.
However, once the blood collection step is complete, they can apply firm pressure to the puncture site to stop the oozing of bleeding.
How Long Does Control Solution Last
Most control solution for glucose meters lasts 90 days from the date that the bottle is first opened. However, some manufacturers make their control solution to last longer. It is always best to use control solution before the expiration date on the box, and to discard the bottle after it has been opened for the time period specified by the manufacturer.
After each use, be sure to re-cap the control solution bottle, forming a tight seal. Temperature and humidity can affect the control solution and potentially alter the result of a control solution test. Therefore, check the storage conditions on the bottle to determine the best place to store it.
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Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing
Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:
- Are your medications working as they should?
- How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
- How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?
How To Perform A Control Solution Test
Glucose control solution tests are performed the same way as blood glucose tests. These tests are not a method for calibrating your meter, but rather a useful tool to check the performance of your meter and test strips. You can also use control solution to practice testing with your blood glucose monitoring system before testing a blood sample.
Here are the steps to guide you through the process:
- Step 1: Insert a new test strip into your meter and check that the meter is ready to perform a test.
- Step 2: Shake the control solution bottle vigorously.
- Step 3: Discard the first drop and wipe off the bottle tip so that it is clean.
- Step 4: Dispense a second drop onto a hard, clean surface, then bring the test strip to the drop. Hold the test strip up to the sample until enough control solution has been applied to the test strip.
- Step 5: Check the meter as it calculates and displays the test result. Compare the test result to the appropriate control solution range printed on the test strip vial.
- Step 6: Dispose of any used test strips and store the control solution bottle with your testing supplies.
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More Safety Considerations For Glucose Meters And Test Strips
You may be a pro at testing your blood sugar levels. But consider these safety reminders.
Follow instructions carefully. Glucose meters and test strips are sold with instructions for use. You can call the manufacturer of your device or your health care provider if you have questions.
Ask your health care provider to watch you test yourself. He or she can tell you if you are using your device correctly.
Do quality control checks of your device. Regularly test your meter using a control solution to make sure the test strips and meter are working properly together. Read the meters instructions for use to see how often you should test it.
Understand what the meter display means. Be sure you know how high and low glucose values are displayed on your meter. Sometimes they are displayed as LO or HI when the glucose level is beyond the range than the meter can measure. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.
Know which test site gives the most accurate results. Readings from other areas of your body may not be as correct as fingertip readings.
- Readings from alternate sitessuch as your forearm or palmcan be less accurate than fingertip readings when your glucose levels change quickly, for example, after you eat or during exercise.
- Take a reading from a fingertip if you think your blood glucose is low, if you don’t normally have symptoms when your blood glucose is low, or if results from an alternate test site dont match how you feel.
Common Problems To Avoid
It’s important to regularly maintain your glucose meter to avoid potential problems. Follow these tips to ensure good functioning:
- Make sure you keep batteries in stock that fit your glucometer.
- Make sure your test strips are not expired, as expired test strips can provide an inaccurate result.;
- After taking a test strip out, close the lid tightly. Too much light or moisture can damage the strip.;
- Clean your device at regular intervals and run quality-control checks when prompted.
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How To Get Free Diabetes Test Strips
As you scan your diabetes supply list and prepare for another journey to the drug store, you may wonder whether you could conserve some cash. And for great factor.
Inning accordance with Tim Dall, a health economist and author of a 2012 study on the economic expenses of diabetes in the United States, the average person with diabetes spends $13,700 per year on medical expenses. About $7,900 of that is straight attributed to diabetes.
Heres the breakdown: Of the $7,900 that individuals with diabetes invest in average, only $103 of that approaches diabetes supplies such as test strips. The most significant costs are medical facility stays, which use up $3,404, and prescription diabetes medications, which consume $1,967. Yet although strips are simply a portion of the overall diabetes cost for the whole population, their cost when acquired expense can make a dent in an individuals spending plan.
Over the last five to 7 years, weve seen a shift in the cost of diabetes management to the patient, says David Kliff, an expert in business side of diabetes. Thats happening in two methods: higher co-pays and greater deductibles, which customers pay. That accumulates, he says.
Blood sugar test strips are a crucial element of blood glucose screening. These little disposable strips of plastic may look irrelevant but they offer a very important role in helping people with diabetes to keep track of and control their diabetes
The Cost Of Diabetes Test Strips
One diabetes test strip could cost between 40 cents to$1. You must wonder why these little plastic gadgets must costso much. Beyond the chemicals, enzymes, metals, and other materials, themanufacturer needs to design plants to produce the strips. Each layer must be of a highstandard to produce an accurate result.
They are created to determine the amount ofblood allowed to penetrate the absorbent layer for accuracy. This is why insufficiencycreates a faulty reading while too much of it overloads the circuit. Theproduction cost is also factored in. Diabetes test strips can only be accurate with the presence ofpalladium and gold in the circuits. The enzymes and chemicals used in theprocess also tend to be expensive.;
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How Do Glucose Test Strips Work
If you have diabetes, its probably a very familiar drill: You stick the test strip into the meters slot, prick a finger with the lancet, draw out a drop of blood, and transfer the blood to the edge of the test strip.
What happens next is pretty ingenious, even though at first glance the technology might seem old-fashioned when compared to insulin pumps, CGMs, or other new technologies for diabetes care.
The chemicals in the strip react with glucose to create an electric current, and electrons travel to the meter. The meter then determines how much glucose was required to generate that much electricity and bingo, your blood glucose number flashes on the screen.
Actually, the science behind test strips is quite complicated. They are made up of at least five different layers, including a super-thin layer of gold that helps conduct the current. Click here to see an illustration.
How To Use Diabetes Test Strips
There are more than 34 million people in the United States living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Thats more than 1 out of every 10 individuals a pretty staggering percentage.
The good news is thanks to continued advancements in medicine and new innovations in diabetes products, including blood glucose meters, living with the disease is easier and more convenient than ever before. In fact, diabetic supplies from top manufacturers, such as FreeStyle, Accu-Chek and One Touch, can now be purchased online from reputable suppliers, often at dramatic savings over local pharmacies and other outlets.
However, while advancements in science and technology certainly take some of the headaches out of managing diabetes, its still important to do things right – particularly when it comes to testing and measuring your blood sugar level.
Most people with diabetes rely on glucose meters and test strips to test their blood glucose each day. Fortunately, this is a quite simple and relatively painless process. That being said, there are some important considerations to be aware of, particularly when it comes to test strips. Using them improperly can result in inaccurate blood sugar readings, which will certainly hinder your diabetes management program, as well as lead to a few minor complications that youd just rather avoid.
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Limitation Of Procedures For Healthcare Professionals
According to;Unistrip User Manual, the healthcare professionals needs to note the following extra limitations of procedure in addition to the aforementioned.
- Do Not use other anticoagulants or preservatives.
- Interferences: Acetaminophen, salicylates, uric acid, ascorbic acid , and other reducing substances do not affect results by more than 10%. However, more than normally high concentrations in blood may cause inaccurately high results.
- Patients going through oxygen therapy may yield falsely low results.
- Test results may be falsely low if the patient is severely dehydrated, in shock, or in a hyperosmolar state . These test strips should not be used with meters to test critically ill patients.
- Lipemic samples: Cholesterol levels up to 700 mg/dL and triglycerides up to 3000 mg/dL do not affect the results. Grossly lipemic patient samples have not been tested. They are not advised for testing with any OneTouch® Ultra® Meters.
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How To Pick The Right Glucometer
We have mentioned earlier that you should pick your glucometer based on your test strip preference. But aside from the money issue, you should also consider your needs when it comes to picking the right glucometer:
- Testing Locations
For diabetic patients, you may have to test anywhere from 3 to 10 times daily for your glucose level. This may lead to sensitive or calloused fingertips when you are using a meter that only uses finger-stick samples. Knowing about the problem, many companies have now developed meters that can use blood from other areas of the body such as forearm, upper arm, hand, thigh or calf.
- Storage Capabilities
Some models of glucometer can storage several strips for future usage. Other models will come with a storage case that will have room for all your other accessories. Some models will have built-in memory and data storage capabilities so that you dont have to write down all the information after every measurement.
Accuracy is the most crucial element in a glucometer because you depend on your test results to fine-tune your food and insulin intake. You should always verify with your doctor first to establish a baseline of your blood glucose levels before using a glucometer to test and compare.
- Meter Size
A compact glucose meter is often the best choice if you are active as they can be easily stowed in a pocket or purse. Large units will require a custom storage case.
- Ease of Use
How Test Strips Work
Diabetes test strips pack a lot of technology into a small space. The plastic strips are coated with a very thin layer of gold. The gold is cut into a pattern that becomes the stripâs circuit.
One end of the strip also has a coating of chemicals. They soak up your blood like a sponge and turn the glucose into electricity.
An electrical signal travels from the strip to the meter. The number you see on the meter is the speed of the electrical current. More blood sugar means a stronger signal. A stronger signal means a higher number on your blood glucose meter.
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Beware Of Buying Previously Owned Test Strips
Test strips are part of many tests for home use that allow people to test for or monitor some diseases or health conditions, including diabetes. The FDA is aware that some sellers are marketing pre-owned or secondhand test strips to consumers. These are unused test strips previously owned by someone else.
These pre-owned strips may be sold at lower prices when compared to new strips. For instance, you may see flyers advertising cheap test strips in your neighborhood, or you may see sellers marketing cheap test strips online. But pre-owned strips can give incorrect results and may not be safe for use with devices.
In April 2019, the FDA issued a Safety Communication on this topicThe FDA Warns Against Use of Previously Owned Test Strips or Test Strips Not Authorized for Sale in the United Statesfor consumers, caregivers, and health care providers.
Heres more information to consider.
The bottom line? When it comes to buying test stripsincluding glucose test strips designed for your meterthe FDA recommends that you buy new, unopened vials and that you do not buy pre-owned test strips.
Talk to your health care provider if you are not sure where to buy test strips for your glucose meter or if you cannot afford to buy the test strips recommended for use with your meter.
To learn more about test strip safety in general, see the FDAs April 2019 Safety Communication.