Glucose Meter Test Strips
Glucose Meter Test StripsDiabetic test strips are a crucial component to effectively managing your blood sugar. Without test strips, your glucose meter does not function.
What Are Glucose Meter Test Strips?Test strips are ingenious little pieces of technology that, when combined with the technology in your glucose meter, allow the meter to measure the amount of glucose present in your blood.
How to Use a Glucose Test StripTo use a test strip, you must first insert the correct end into your glucose meter. You then prick your finger with a lancet to draw a drop of blood. You may need to squeeze your finger to get enough blood. You then transfer the blood drop to the exposed edge of the test strip, then wait for the meter to display your blood glucose reading.
Make sure to read the instructions that come with the meter to operate it correctly and get an accurate reading.
How Do Test Strips Work?Diabetes test strips are composed of several layers. One of these is an extremely thin gold that acts as a circuit board. Another is impregnated with chemicals that react when exposed to a blood drop. This chemical reaction creates a minute electrical current.
The more sugar there is in your blood, the more intense the chemical reaction is and the stronger the electrical current. The electrical current travels from the testing strip to the glucose meter, which measures the speed of the current and uses this to calculate the amount of glucose present in your blood.
How Accurate Are Test Strips?Some glucose meters and test strips are more accurate than others, so doing your homework regarding meters before purchasing is a good idea. However, the FDA states that meters and strips on the market should give you a reading within 20% of ideal lab values 99 percent of the time.
Storing Glucose Test StripsHow you store your test strips can affect the accuracy of your readings.
- Store at room temperature.
- Do not refrigerate or store on a high shelf where they may get hot, as extreme temperatures can damage them.
- Keep your test strips in a sealed vial. They will become unusable if exposed to humidity.
- Don’t use contaminated test strips; if they’ve come in contact with food, liquids, dirt, or any other foreign substance, your reading may be wildly inaccurate.
- Don’t use test strips that are damaged in any way.
Getting the Most Accurate Information from Your Test StripsAlong with proper storage, there are a few other simple guidelines for achieving the most accurate test results:
- Only use test strips intended for your brand and model of meter. Just because a strip will fit in the meter doesn’t mean it will work.
- Don’t use test strips that are past their expiration date.
- You may need to recalibrate your meter when you open a new box of test strips. Check the instructions.
- Make sure your meter is clean, and your hands are freshly washed. Both a dirty meter and unwashed hands can skew your results.
- Make sure your hands are dry before you test. Wet fingers can lead to an inaccurate result.