When it comes to testing your glucose levels, it’s difficult to anticipate all the many aspects that will go into determining your daily results – this includes the equipment needed to perform the testing. There’s the initial glucose meter and then there’s blood glucose test strips to go along with it.
Looking at these test strips in particular, there are a lot of features available and many minute details that are often overlooked when it comes to these small tools informing people of their glucose levels. So, let’s dive deeper to check out the true purpose of blood test strips, their key features, and how they make routine glucose testing much easier.
What are Blood Test Strips?
Developed in 1965, test strips were designed to making glucose tests much easier and seamless. Once someone pricks themselves on the finger (or whatever site of the body they decide to test), then a small drop of blood will be transported onto the strip to be tested. This is done to eliminate any possible mess or any potential contamination after the small sample is extracted.
How Do They Work?
This then leads us to the question regarding how these small tools can effectively test your blood glucose levels. Did you know there’s actually a ton of technology packed into each tiny strip? In fact, today these blood glucose test strips use enzymes to convert the blood sugar into an electrochemical current. Then, that current is measured by the accompanying glucose meter that will almost instantly reveal the results of the concentration of any glucose in the blood.
Additionally, these test strips can detect more than just glucose, which creates the slight potential the results won’t always be perfectly accurate. They also have the ability to detect the presence of acetaminophen, vitamin C, and even uric acid.
These are a Few Key Features
When shopping around for blood test strips, it’s important to the select the right ones that will be compatible with your glucose meter for your routine testing. These are a few key features to consider when making your purchase:
You can purchase in bulk: If testing is occurring multiple times per day, it’s essential to ensure that you always have enough glucose strips readily available. A box of 50 is the perfect amount to get started and to ensure there will be enough for the coming weeks.
They’re compatible with your current meter: Not all testing strips are created equal. Make sure that the strips you are purchasing are compatible with your current meter because the wrong test strips could result in faulty test results. Incorrect test strips run the risk of jeopardizing both the patient’s health and safety.
They have Glucose Oxidase as the active ingredient: In order to determine your blood glucose levels, there needs to be an active ingredient (known as Glucose Oxidase) present that can effectively provide the correct levels. Without an active ingredient such as this one, the strips might be better used for a different type of test.
Are they Accurate?
It’s actually safe to say that these test strips are normally pretty accurate. However, if the test strip has left its original packaging, appears damaged, or is expired, then it could yield false or inaccurate results. It’s important to always use a test strip that hasn’t been altered in any way because if it has been tampered with, it could run the risk of providing a faulty report, resulting in a unwanted risk to your overall health.
Test Strips Don’t Last Forever
Glucose blood strips do have an expiration date that needs to be taken into consideration. Normally these strips are safe to use until about 15-18 months after initial purchase. It’s important to keep them out of the heat and to not remove them from their original packaging unless needed in the moment. These are also additional ways that a strip could prematurely expire to explore if necessary.
What glucose blood strips are you currently using, and how do they help you?
Let us know your thoughts on your daily monitoring routine process.