Diabetic test strips, also called blood glucose test strips, play a vital role in helping you to keep track of your daily blood glucose level and giving your physician the data to adjust your medication to manage your diabetes symptoms. Without these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can be even more frenzied than ever.
How Do Diabetic Test Strips Work?
Even though so many various brands of blood glucose test strips and meters on the market has its own design and technology, they all fundamentally work the same way. A test strip is actually made of different layers, with each having its own function. The topmost layer acts like a mini sponge in order soak up your blood sample, while the middle layers filter your specimen and guides it to the reaction center.
The next layer has three basic parts: the enzyme which reacts with the blood glucose, a mediator chemical that speeds up the electrons on the strip’s circuit so that a correct reading can be made before the reaction dissipates, and a combination of chemicals that stabilize and protect the enzyme and mediator chemicals.
Sitting at the bottom is the gold and palladium coated-circuit whose job is to move the reaction electrons to the meter for analysis. Hence, when you drop your blood sample into the colored patch at the strip end, your blood sets off a series of very quick events: the blood is soaked up by the top layer, then it is filtered through the narrow chamber by induced capillary action, and finally, it lands on the bottom layer where an electrochemical reaction occurs and creates an electrical current. This signal then journeys through the circuit all the way to the meter where a computer chip converts the current into a number.
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As you may know, monitoring your blood glucose level is vital to regulating your diabetes. If you skip on blood tests to save money, think of the value of your life or at least, the more expensive treatments and medications necessitated by potential complications, such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, leg amputation, and all the rest. Also, by knowing your blood glucose level, you can act confidently without being nervous about what could happen to you next.
Knowing when you have to test your blood glucose level, how to use your test strips properly to avoid wastage, and how to eat healthily are all better ways to save money on these strips. Additionally, you can simply buy these strips from other diabetics who, for some reason or another, have extra perfect-condition supplies that they would rather sell to other patients for a lower price, than throw in the trash.