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Diabetes Testing

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, our risk for developing diabetes increases as we age. More than one-third of all cases of diagnosed diabetes occur in people aged 65 years or older. Diabetes often leads to chronic conditions that eventually result in death, such as heart disease and kidney disease.¹  

To help keep diabetes managed, diabetes supplies are crucial. There are several different diabetes supplies necessary to safely manage diabetes, including but not limited to, glucose meters, glucose test strips and controls.  

 

Blood Glucose Meters

Blood glucose can be checked with a glucose meter. If regular testing is required, an easy to use meter is recommended. There are many brands of diabetic testing supplies to choose from such as Roche, McKesson, and Bayer. When used and stored properly, blood glucose meters are accurate in how they measure glucose, however it is important to talk to your doctor regarding finding the right glucose meter for you. Additionally, glucose meters differ in the type and number of features.  

Here are several factors to consider when choosing a blood glucose meter:

  • Ease of use and maintenance. Some meters are easier to use than others. The majority of retail glucose meters, such as the Precision Xtra® Blood Glucose Monitor, have intuitive setup and simple icon-driven menus to help simplify blood glucose monitoring. Blood glucose kits, such as the Quintet AC® Blood Glucose Monitoring kit comes with glucose monitor, carry case and user guides. For easy maintenance, look for a glucose meter that doesn’t not require coding so you will never have to calibrate your meter.  

  • Special features. Special features may include large displays and buttons as well as illuminated screens for those with impaired vision. Additionally, some monitors have nonslip rubber grips to provide a more comfortable and secure grip. A number of meters can conduct the test in 5 seconds and offer automatic shut off.  

  • Information storage and retrieval. It is important to store or log your results so you can share them with your doctor. Some can track everything you'd normally write in a log, such as the time and date of a test, the result, and trends over time. The QUINTET AC® Blood Glucose Monitoring System is capable of recording 500 tests.  

     

    Blood Glucose Test Strips

    Test Strips are the strips that go into the glucose meter and hold the sample of blood for testing. Test strips come in different shapes and sizes for handling and to better capture the blood sample such a wide or bevel tip. Most test strips require tiny blood samples (0.6 microliter) and can be obtained by a lancet (prick) from the finger, palm or forearm. Glucose test strips come with instructions for use and handling as well as shelf-life for best results. Be sure to read what test strips are compatible with your specific glucose meter. 

    Some popular test strips include: 

  • Bayer Ascensia® Glucose test strips
  • McKesson QUINTET AC® Blood Glucose Trips

     

    Blood Glucose Controls

    Glucose Control Solution contains a known amount of glucose and is used to check that the meter and the test strips are working properly. Controls are used in place of a blood sample and the results on the meter should match a range listed on the vial of test strips used with the glucose meter. If the result is outside of the range listed on the test strip vial, this indicates a problem with either the meter or the test strips. Be sure to check expiration dates on test strips or contact the manufacturer for issues or concerns. 

    The Food and Drug Administration recommends using a blood glucose control solution:  

  • When you open a new container of test strips
  • Periodically, as you use the container of test strips
  • Whenever you get unusual results
  • If you drop or damage the meter

     

    ¹Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/risk/age/olderAdults.html

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