Diabetic Test Strips

February 14, 2011
By Diabetes Guide

A comprehensive overview about diabetic test strips

Regular and frequent blood glucose testing can minimize or prevent the onset of diabetes and its complications. Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) stated clearly that people who tested their blood glucose at home each day are able significantly to lower their risk of developing complications associated with diabetes and diabetic test strips help to analyze fluctuations in glucose levels.

Test strips are designed to aid diabetics in blood collection and analysis. Before ordering your diabetic test strips, make sure to check the type of your glucose meter to ensure you receive the correct diabetic test strips.

Here are some of the most popular diabetic test strips that diabetics use for glucose testing:

Touchable test strips with capillary action, such as Accu-Chek Active Test Strips require a very small blood sample to test blood sugar from palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh, or calf. These strips are bit larger than the strips from other new meters, but they are quite easy to handle and to insert into the meter. Each vial of test strips comes with its own special chip that you insert into the side of the meter. The chip has to be changed to ensure accurate results.

The Fastdraw One Touch Ultra Test Strip is capillary action, end-fill test strip that gives an easy blood application by automatically drawing blood into the test strip. OneTouch FastTake test strip is an electronic test strip that requires only 1.5 microliters and is approved for alternative site testing.

Accu-Chek Comfort Curve Test Strips are beneficial for the blind or individuals with hand troubles. Ascensia Dex / Breeze AUTODISC make testing easier… you can load the meter with 10 tests at a time. Ascensia Elite Glucose Test Strips are touchable test strips that use sip-in technology.

FreeStyle Test Strips allows alternate-site testing on arms or fingertips. It needs the smallest amount of blood – 0.3µL. Hypoguard Advance test strips are used with the Advance Micro-draw Blood Glucose Monitoring System. Touchable, absorbable Prestige Smart System Test Strips are easy-to-handle. Ascensia MICROFILL Glucose Test Strips are based on sip in sampling technology.

Blood Glucose Reagent strips, such as Chemstrip bG and Glucostix, are saturated with an enzyme glucose oxidase that chemically reacts with the blood glucose and the resultant reaction produces a color change on the strip. These strips are also called as Visually read diabetic test strips.

These strips are less expensive than test strips for meters as they can be cut lengthwise to reduce the cost of each test even more. Visual strips can be an alternative for people who find meters and strips difficult to afford and carrying a meter with them.

You can determine your blood glucose level by comparing the color of the strip with a color comparison chart providing precision in result interpretation and ease of use. But visually read strips are slightly less accurate than meters. To find out an accurate blood glucose level, the reagent strip must be combined with a meters.

Always consider some points before buying your diabetic test strips

Strips sold by third parties or generic test strips (only available in Europe and Asia ) are less expensive but should be used only with the recommended meters. Be sure before using these test strips that they are compatible with your glucose meter.

To buy diabetes testing strips for the meter, you’ll need to know the brand and model of your meter. Before buying diabetic test strips always check the correct brand, the expiration dates, and always be sure your computer chips and test strips have matching codes to get the accurate results. For accurate results, remember to code your meter with every new box of test strips. Do not cut strips when using them in meters. The results will be totally incorrect.

Test strips are only good for 90 days after opening a new vial. Do not use test strips if the expiration date has passed. Don’t use any remaining test strips after that date. To get information on these issues, check the meter and test strip package insert or the user manual. Heat and humidity can damage blood glucose meters and test strips, so store and handle your diabetes test strips according to the instructions.

Strip prices for the leading brands are still pretty. Of course, health insurance generally covers 80 to 100 percent of the cost of your diabetic treatment but usually it covers just one or two brands of test strips. So, find out whether your favorite system is included or not. To seek out the best price for the strips, you can go to large stores such as FEDCO that often offer good prices, as do some mail order suppliers.

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