What Are Glucose Test Strips And How Do They Work?
Diabetes patients must keep track of their blood sugar levels daily. This will not only help in controlling their lifestyle, but will also notify the patient when to contact their doctor. Regular checks on blood glucose levels and recording will give the doctor a clearer picture of how to treat the patient. Going to the doctor’s every other day to get a blood sugar test done is not feasible. This is where the glucometer and test trips came into the scene. The first glucometer was invented in 1962, and since then, over time, the system of testing blood sugar has only advanced.
Working of the meter and test strips
Though there are various strips available in the market and they tend to have some changes in their working, the blood test principle using the strips and meter is simple: turning blood into an electrochemical signal and then into an electrical signal. Then, the electrical signal is converted into numerical readings. The test strips have an intricate and layered mechanism that turns the blood drop into the electrochemical signal using an enzyme called glucose oxidase.
The test strip has various layers in it, and each of them has different objectives. The top layer is to soak the blood drop. The middle layer has three varying components. There is an oxidase enzyme that reacts with the glucose in the blood. There is a chemical concoction to stabilize the sample and speed the process to avoid the sample’s dissipation.
The bottom layer is the reaction center circuit that transfers the electrons from the sample to the numerical reading meter.
Using test strips and meter
Regular testing is highly necessary for patients with diabetes so that you can keep a tab on the level of blood sugar. Avoiding glucose test means increasing the risk of getting severe aftereffects like heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, etc. Therefore, having test strips and a glucometer allows regular tests with a simple prick of the finger.
Insert the test strip in the meter. Then, prick the blood with the given needle in the meter. Then add one drop of blood on the test strip to get the result. People with diabetes type 1 usually are the one who needs regular tests depending on the seriousness. Type 2 diabetes is less severe, and one can consult their doctor to know the frequency of blood tests.
Things to keep in mind
When it comes to testing strips, few things should be kept in mind:
- Cost: the strips are expensive, and thus one should keep in mind the budget that the test strips will take up.
- Expiration: there is an expiration on the test strips. It is based on how long the enzymes in the strip are active. An expiration time can range from 3 months to 18 months.
- Accuracy: the accuracy of the strops can range from strip to strip. If the result is below 75, then the error can be -/+15, and for result 75, the error can be around -/+20.
Testing the blood glucose levels daily is a must, and for that, investing in good glucometer and accusure blood glucose test strips is quite important. One can check the quality, the price, and the effectiveness before buying the accusure test strips to get the best results.