One of the essential routines of people suffering from type-1 diabetes, especially those who need timely insulin, is to monitor their blood sugar levels frequently. Now, this may vary from a couple of times to even a dozen times each day. It is because of this high frequency of testing that many individuals from this category use CGM’s ( continuous glucose monitoring system ). However, people with type-1 diabetes also keep a glucometer and glucometer test strips handy, to double-check their blood glucose levels. On the other hand, people with type-2 diabetes mostly use glucometer machine and strips. Even so, people with diabetes need to routinely get their blood glucose levels tested in a lab.
So, why do people with diabetes need to conduct frequent tests? There are several reasons –
- To narrow down foods that negatively impact the blood glucose levels.
- Fine-tune exercises, and choose those that offer maximum benefits in terms of lowering the glucose level.
- Tweak insulin dosage and thereby optimize hormone/medicine intake.
- Make appropriate lifestyle changes.
Although CGMs offer a hassle-free way of monitoring diabetes, it need to be supplemented with good old glucometer and test strips.
The Role of Glucometer Strips in Diabetes Management
When we talk about a glucometer machine we actually mean a diabetes kit which consists of the device itself, glucose test strips, and lancets. You can purchase this kit from your local pharmacist or via mail order. While the device is a one-time expenditure, strips need to be replenished quite often, depending on the type and intensity of diabetes. This is where glucometer strips play a crucial role in diabetes management. It provides consistent and fairly accurate observations which allow people with diabetes to not only keep their blood sugar levels in check but also prevent collateral damage to the organs.
Most of the modern strips are built using Nanosciences and technologies. Once the blood sample is transferred to the strip, it undergoes an electrochemical action. The glucose in the blood reacts with the oxidase/enzyme present on the strip. This enzyme interface, through re-oxidation, generates an electric current which is converted by the device’s built-in algorithm into a human-readable number. This reading is then displayed on the device screen.
Choosing the Right Glucometer Strips – Factors to Consider
The factors you should consider while choosing the right blood sugar test strips can be summed up in 4 C’s. These are –
Commitment – Whether you are buying the strips from an online store or offline pharmacist, make sure the seller is committed to providing the strips consistently. Changing the brand often requires re-calibration / recoding which can be quite a hassle.
Compatibility – In spite of taking the above precaution you may still face a situation wherein you may be required to opt for an alternative. In such a situation make sure that the glucose strips are compatible with your device. Read the manual, verify with the pharmacist, or discuss it on diabetes forums.
Coding – Diabetes sugar strips that calibrate automatically can be a blessing. Opt for the one where human intervention is not required. In case you choose the other variant, coding/calibrating becomes an essential chore every time you order/open a new pack.
Cost – One of the most important and often ignored factors is sugar strips price. Remember, strips are recurring expenditures. At the very outset choose the one that fits your budget. However, you also need to make sure that they are dependable too.
Mastering Glucometer Strip Testing – Tips for Accuracy
Mentioned below are some of the fundamental rules for fetching accurate results –
- Avoid using strips which are about to expire or expired recently. The same rule applies to damaged / soiled strips.
- Make sure to store the strips in a cool, dry, and dirt-free space.
- Clean the device regularly, especially the slot that houses the strip.
- Never touch the strip with soiled/wet hands.
- Make sure you transfer enough blood ( a large single drop ) on the strip.
- Last but not the least, initiate a dummy test ( with test solution ) once in a while and match it with the one mentioned on the box.
Device Compatibility – Ensuring a Seamless Experience
As a regular user of glucometer, you need to make sure that you buy brands suggested by the manufacturer. At times, you may have to opt for strips which are outside these recommendations. Either way, make sure you calibrate every time you open a new sugar machine strips box. Calibration can be manual or automated. It depends on the brand. While some demand users to download an app or scan the code, there are others that boast removable chip, typically embedded with the code. Avoiding this chore can be disastrous in the long run because your device may show inconsistent and ambiguous readings.
Troubleshooting Glucometer Strip Challenges – Common Issues and Solutions
At times your glucometer may throw up inaccurate results. This could be because of the faulty device or the sugar strip itself. Faulty or dead batteries are often the common reasons behind device malfunction. Another reason could be dirt in the strip slot. On the other hand, if the device is okay and you have just opened a new pack of strips then the culprit could be the blood sample size. Make sure you provide enough blood to the strip. Ambience is also an important factor. Checking blood sugar levels in extremely humid or hot conditions ( under direct sunlight ) can make the device go haywire. Lastly, make sure your hands and fingers are devoid of oil, perspiration, etc. Getting the glucometer tested every few months makes sense as it guarantees accurate results.
Glucometer and glucometer test strips are integral constituents of diabetes management. Its importance can be gauged from the fact that even CGM ( invasive ) users refer to a glucometer every time there is a significant deviation in their reading.
Sugar machine strips demand care and attention. It also demands a safe and clean storage environment. It is your path to better blood sugar control. Make sure you stick to a single, compatible brand and calibrate every time you open a new pack. These simple tips ensure authentic measurement of your glucose level. You also need to source your diabetes requirements from a trusted and easily accessible outlet. BeatO is one such source. Get all your diabetes essentials from this online store—from machine and test strips to diabetes medicines.
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