The Basics Of Diabetes Test Strips

In the early days of diabetes management, individuals suffering from the condition would need to go to the hospital to get their blood drawn and their blood sugar levels measured using expensive laboratory equipment. Now, because of advances in technology, this expensive procedure can be done right in their own home and the central tool in this home blood sugar level testing is the diabetes test strip.

It must be known that these test strips do not work on their own but must be used with a blood glucose monitor. As part of this regimen, the diabetic would need to prick their skin in order to draw blood. The blood taken would be applied to the test strip. This is then put into the blood glucose monitor to determine the levels of sugar in the bloodstream.

There is some controversy as to the first test strips that were invented. The first measuring device for blood glucose levels was invented in 1962 by Leland Clark and Ann Lyons. This glucose enzyme electrode would measure levels through a thin layer of glucose oxidase on an oxygen-based enzyme. The first home based strips were claimed to have been invented by either Bayer or Roche, to which trademarks have been pending and lawsuits claiming ownership has been in court.

These glucose test strips are one use only medical material. This is because the measurement of the blood sugar is done through the chemical reaction with the surface chemicals of the test strip. They cannot be used again as the chemicals needed for a reaction is used up during the first time.

Because diabetes management is one of the biggest industries in the medical world, there are many blood glucose strips available in the market. These are made by pharmaceutical companies and each would have specific enzymes or chemicals that indicate blood sugar levels in the individual. The following are the aspects of blood sugar levels that an individual needs to be wary of in choosing the right diabetes test strips for their use.

1.Compatibility. Blood sugar testing strips need to be compatible in order to be properly provide the right levels when tested. Compatibility includes size and chemical components in order to be read out correctly by the glucose meter.

2.Cost. While blood sugar monitors would have these test strips in the package, because of their one time use, replenishing this supply is essential for one’s diabetes management regimen. Thus, cost plays a major factor in the numbers of this aid for the individual diabetic.

3.Accuracy. Not all test strips read out the same levels. This depends on what chemical markers are being searched during the glucose test. Accuracy also depends on the expiry date of these strips. Finding the right one that reflects your real measurements would be essential for one’s overall safety.

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