Diabetes is a chronic disease in which a person has high blood sugar that is treated through the use of insulin. Diabetes test strips are a way of monitoring the amount of blood glucose in the body, which allows diabetics with the disease to live a more productive and healthy life.
Diabetes test strips are imperative to managing diabetes and many diabetics go through several strips a day to test their blood sugar levels. These test strips are expensive and not everyone has Medicare, which helps to cover the cost. This is an invaluable tool for diabetics and caregivers, which is the fundamental means of diabetes self-management. It enables diabetics to monitor how different foods and activities affect their blood sugar levels, which enables them to adjust their diet and lifestyle accordingly.
The American Diabetes Association recommends testing your blood sugar glucose levels at least four times a day. This information should be written in a journal so that the health care provider can see changes that occur with medication changes and diet plans. This is critical to managing blood sugar levels over a period of time and to tell whether a current treatment is making progress or not.
Since diabetics can also have problems with vision, it is recommended to buy a monitor with an enlarged screen and oversized numbers. This is also helpful for young children who are new to the diagnosis and just learning how to test. The best option to look for in a monitor is one that holds the memory of past results and provides an average for a selected time period. Some meters are equipped to allow testing from other sites, such as the forearm or stomach.
Cost is a big factor when it comes to monitors and test strips. Test strips can be expensive, so you want to research them before you just simply buy a meter. Find out how much the diabetic test strips cost for the meter you're thinking about buying and check online for the most affordable prices. Many site offer free shipping and some have deals if you buy in quantity. Test strips can cost up to a dollar a piece, so it is well worth your time to look for a bargain.
Pay attention to expiration dates and make sure they will get used by that date before purchasing them. Manufacturers of test strips recommend throwing them away after they expire, but many diabetics continue to use them without fail. Walgreen's will occasionally have expired test strips on sale for a reduce price. Unfortunately, many diabetics who are low income and don't qualify for Medicare find this option a lower cost alternative. Some meters will alert diabetics to expired strips and this is a signal to test the strips before using them if you choose to do so.
Storing your strips is also important to their effectiveness. Heat, humidity and exposure to the air, can affect any type of diabetes test strip. They should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Test strips exposed to air and the elements can provide an unusually high, false reading. If a diabetic's blood glucose tests unusually high, the first course of action is to check the test strips. Meters can also go bad, so avoid leaving it in the car during really hot or cold weather. These meters are electronic and any exposure to the elements can damage the device.
The accuracy of diabetic test strips is key to managing diabetes and it's the only real way of knowing what your blood sugar levels are from day to day. It also affects your piece of mind and using expired test strips can be frustrating. Although many people have claimed to use them without a problem (as long as they are not over 6 months old), it's best to have reliable test strips in order to keep track of treatment and progress.
Glucose Test Strips
A glucose testing strip, also known as diabetes testing strips, are long and narrow strips of paper. There is a chemical present on the strip which which will react to the glucose in the blood. These strips work with a device called a glucose meter. After pricking the skin with a lancet, the user lets a drop of blood collect on the paper strip. This is then inserted into the glucose meter, which will give its reading. Different glucose meters work with different kinds of strips, so when shopping for diabetes test strips be sure that you are purchasing the right product. Fairly accurate results are provided, although there is a slight variation in results when comparing laboratory test and home tests. The margin of this is around 10%.
Using glucose strips regularly can help a person with diabetes determine what they need to do to manage their condition. They may need to make changes to their diet, or alter their insulin dosage. Glucose test strips are one of the best and most accurate means of diabetes self management.
Ketosis Test Strips
These days, people are more familiar with ketosis for its role in low-carb diets. High levels of ketones in urine is also a sign that a person could be suffering from diabetes. A Ketosis test strip is easy to use. After collecting urine in a clean container dip the test strip into the sample. Within 15-20 seconds the strip will change color, giving an indication of the amount of ketones present.
A type 1 diabetic can use daily ketone testing to determine if their dosage of insulin is at the correct level and adjust it depending on the results of the test strip. Often children with diabetes benefit from the use of ketone strip testing as the amount of insulin needed often fluctuates in times of illness or increased activity.
Currently diabetes is effecting 246 million people around the world, that's 6% of the global population. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to kidney problems, blindness, heart disease, strokes, loss of limbs, and cataracts.
Being able to monitor your diabetes is a great step towards good health and well being. With regular testing you can keep your illness under control and prevent medical complications.