Blood sugar test strips (diabetes test strips) are a crucial part of blood sugar screening.
These little non reusable strips of plastic may look irrelevant however they offer an essential role in assisting people with diabetes to monitor and control their diabetes.
In the huge bulk of cases, each meter will take one kind of test strip only. There are some blood glucose meters nevertheless that take blood ketone strips also, to test for ketone levels.
Diabetes Test Strips
When blood is positioned onto the test strip, it reacts with a chemical called glucose oxidase producing gluconic acid from the glucose in the blood. At the other end of the test strip, the meter moves a current to the test strip. The test strip has electrical terminals which enable the meter to determine the present between the terminals.
The present between the terminals modifications depending on the level of gluconic acid that has actually been produced. The blood glucose meter then uses an algorithm to work out the blood sugar level based upon the difference in present.
Some blood glucose test strips enable the reapplication of more blood to the exact same test strip if required during the test. The quantity of blood required by a test strip can vary in between makers. Typically, in between 0.5 μl to 1 μl of blood is required.
Test strips went through a remarkable modification in the late ’80s and early ’90s when they started to include electrochemistry, the science of turning chemical reactions into electrical power. The breakthrough was getting enzymes to produce an electrochemical signal when exposed to blood. Electrochemical test strips, the world standard today, likewise use enzymes, but rather of making dye, they transform glucose into an electrical existing. That electricity speeds through the strip and is read out by the meter as a glucose concentration.
Some test strips, not so frequently used nowadays, do not need a meter. When blood is put on the active part of the strip then wiped off after a specified number of seconds, the reagent will alter colour and the outcome can be acquired by matching the colour of versus a colour chart on the side of the pot.
It is less precise than utilizing a blood glucose meter however the test strips can typically be less expensive.
Where can I get test strips?
Within the UK, blood sugar test strips are available either free on prescription or can be bought from drug stores or online.
In the UK, all individuals with type 1 diabetes, or otherwise on insulin, need to qualify for test strips free on prescription. Individuals with other types of diabetes, or on other treatments, might likewise be given test strips on prescription however this will be evaluated on a specific basis.
Note that if you need to buy test strips for your diabetes, you need to be exempt from paying VAT on these. Ask your drug store for a VAT exemption type. Test strips purchased from the Diabetes.co.uk Shop are eligible for VAT relief.
Also read: How to Get Free Diabetes Test Strips
How long do blood glucose strips last for?
Blood glucose test strips will typically have a use by date on the strips or box they are available in. After opening, blood sugar test strips will typically ready to use for another 3 to 6 months but refer to package or information brochure for suggestions specific to your brand name of test strips.
If you have more than one box of test strips, it’s a smart idea to use the earliest one first, so they do not end.