Brands Of Glucose Test Strips And Which Ones Right For You
With many brands of glucometers and glucose test strips on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for you. Most commercial health insurance companies will cover certain brands of test strips. So, the one that is right for you may depend upon which brand your insurance covers.
You can purchase your glucose test strips over the counter at various pharmacies and online retailers, such as Amazon. However, you can save some money by getting a prescription and having your insurance cover a portion of the cost.
Is It Legal To Resell Diabetic Test Strips
Theres no law against buying and selling diabetes test strips on the open market. As a result, a growing gray market has emerged, where companies buy strips from PWDs and other sources and resell them. Go online and youll find more than a few outfits doing this, with names like TestStripSearch.com, QuickCash4TestStrips.com, and Stripsupply.com.
Weve checked into the deals available at some of these companies and are skeptical. As explained in our earlier article on Saving Money on Diabetes Medications and Supplies, the savings here dont appear to be that great, and given the fact that the quality control in these outfits is uncertain, we urge caution. Some sellers may try to peddle expired goods, for example.
Partly in response to this gray market, the state of California for one has begun to regulate the supply chain of diabetes products, including glucose test strips, to prevent fraud and ensure patient safety.
The FDA issued to consumers about the safety of pre-owned or unauthorized test strips in April 2019, although the agency noted that it was not aware of any deaths or serious injuries from these strips.
In other words, buyer beware.
Option : Contact Local Diabetes Advocacy Organizations
Diabetes education centers or local branches of advocacy organizations may collect diabetes supplies themselves or be able to refer you to other donation sites.
Glucose test strips
Read the specifics for donating and find mailing instructions here. If you or someone you know need help paying for diabetes supplies, you can apply for assistance through CR3 Diabetes.
SafeNetRx collects medical supplies and redistributes them to people in need living in Iowa. The organization currently only accepts sealed and unexpired lancets, syringes, needles, and glucose test trips. To donate or learn more, click here.
Thank you for taking the time to donate your old diabetes supplies to those who need it. At diaTribe we are grateful each day for the strength and generosity of the diabetes community. Given the immense need, were hopeful that someday soon there may be easier and more effective ways to also donate unused diabetes medications.
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How To Properly Use Glucose Test Strips
It is important to follow the manufacturers instructions for using test strips to ensure accurate readings.
The first step in using glucose test strips correctly is ensuring you have the correct corresponding glucometer. Unfortunately, test strips are not universal with glucometers. You can verify that you are purchasing the right glucometer and test strips by consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Next, you can follow these steps to ensure you are properly using glucose test strips:
- Wash and dry your hands .
- Prepare a test strip by turning on your glucometer and inserting the strip.
- Choose which spot you will use for the fingerstick .
- Prepare your lancing device properly and prick your finger to get a drop of blood. You may need to squeeze or milk your finger to get enough blood.
- Place and hold the drop of blood to the correct end of the glucose test strip until enough blood has been absorbed by the strip to initiate the test. .
- Read the result of the blood glucose test and take any necessary action.
What Are Glucose Test Strips
Glucose test strips are small, plastic strips that help to test and measure blood glucose levels. Usually, a finger prick is administered and a droplet of blood is placed onto the glucose strip.
This strip combined with a glucose reader/meter will then provide a readout of the level of blood glucose in the blood at that time.
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How To Take A Urine Glucose Test
At your appointment with your healthcare provider, you will be given a container to collect a sample of your urine and instructions on the “clean catch” method to help ensure the sample is sterile. Then a healthcare professional will show you to a restroom so you can collect the sample in privacy.
Once you have collected an ounce or two of urine, you will return the container to the healthcare provider, and it will be sent to the lab for analysis.
Expiration Of Test Strips
For many patients who have a limited budget to juggle, two question that always come to mind is do test strips go bad and whether they can use test strips that have been expired. For the first question, test strips are only effective if the enzymes are active. Once you open a bottle of test strips, you are allowing the test strips to come in contact with humidity and all the chemicals in the atmosphere, and thus the degradation speeds up. Assuming that the test strip bottle is closed tightly after each use and the bottle has been stored according to the manufacturers directions, you can expect your test strip to remain effective for a good while. Just to give you some idea how long test strips will last, we have compiled a short list of some common test strip brands and compared their effective duration:
Assuming that the test strip bottle is closed tightly after each use and the bottle has been stored according to the manufacturers directions, you can expect your test strip to remain effective for a good while. Just to give you some idea how long test strips will last, we have compiled a short list of some common test strip brands and compared their effective duration:
|Good for 90 days after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, whichever comes first.|
|Nipro Diagnostics®||Good for 120 days after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, whichever comes first.|
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How Does The Pogo Automatic Meter Work
The POGO Automatic is designed to simplify the process of checking your blood glucose. It also reduces the number of supplies needed. Users will need to load a POGO Automatic 10-test cartridge into the monitor, and once this is done, the only supply they will need to carry around is the monitor itself no lancets, no test strips.
Users press their finger onto the button in the center of the device, and the monitor will automatically lance, collect blood, and produce a glucose value four seconds later. After the test, the device automatically retracts the lancet and test strip and provides a new one for the next time you check your glucose.
You can view your glucose value on the monitor itself, or via the free Patterns app , which connects the device to your smartphone through Bluetooth. Though you do not need the app to see your glucose values, it allows users to see their glucose trends and share the data with their healthcare team using the Patterns healthcare provider portal. The Patterns App can also integrate glucose data with a variety of other wellness devices and apps. To learn more about how to use the POGO Automatic, you can read the user manual here.
POGO Automatic may encourage people to check their glucose more often by addressing some of the barriers to frequent tests, including simplifying the process into one step, adding discretion, and reducing the number of supplies you have to carry.
Here’s How To Test Read And Use One
Blood glucose monitoring is a fundamental aspect of diabetes care for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes . Most people with diabetes check their blood glucose levels regularly on their own at home without the help of a healthcare provider. Here’s an overview of how glucose meter technology and glucose testing works.
It’s time to check your blood sugar levels. Your glucose meter is on the table. You insert a new test strip, load a fresh lancet into your lancing device, snap the tiny needle into the side of your finger, and squeeze until a small amount of blood gathers into a red dome. You apply the drop of blood to the edge of the strip and watch as your glucose monitor counts down to reveal a blood glucose measurement in real-time. A number with meaning. That number can change the course of your entire day. Or, it could just be a checkpoint that passes by until the next finger-stick.
Good job! You’ve done your part in self-monitoring and diabetes management. But have you ever wondered how this key diabetes technology works?
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What Are Glucose Test Strips And How They Work
Blood glucose test strips are thin plastic strips that have a circuit in them which measures ones blood sugar level with the help of a glucometer. The circuit of the test strip is made of a very thin layer of gold that is formed into an elaborate pattern.
The end of the glucose test strip that the blood is placed on is made up of chemical elements. The chemical components help wick the blood into the strip and turn the glucose into electricity.
The signal produced by the electricity then travels from the test strip to the glucometer. The number that appears on the glucometer represents the strength of the electrical signal. And the higher the electrical signal, the higher the glucose in ones blood.
As you can see, there is a large bit of technology contained in these tiny strips.
Throw Away The Test Strip And Used Lancet
Figure 16. Pull the test strip out of your blood glucose meter
Figure 17. Push the end of the lancet into the plastic tab
Figure 18. Eject the lancet into the sharps container
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Why Testing Your Blood Glucose Is Important
Many of us may be wondering what blood glucose test strips actually do, why they cost so much, and whether there is an alternative. While they are costly, they are very easy to use, and they make living with diabetes much less worrisome from day-to-day.
Regular testing using blood glucose test strips will help you and your doctors determine whether you are reaching your treatment goals, how your diet and lifestyle is affecting your blood sugar, and how well your medication is working overall.
How Do Test Strips Work
Glucose test strips are small pieces of plastic that have the necessary reactive elements in a space so that, once they come into contact with the blood, they react in such a way that we can chemically determine the amount of glucose in the blood.
As we said, this is still the most widely used method for self-management of diabetes and they are, together with pregnancy tests, the best-selling biotechnological devices.
When the test strip comes into contact with blood , an electrochemical reaction occurs . This reaction in turn generates a very low intensity electrical discharge, which the glucometer is responsible for analyzing . The higher the amount of glucose in the blood, the higher the electrical charge. The glucometer will express these data in mg / dl .
The result is fast and reliable, so it will help us decide if it is necessary to inject insulin or if we have to do something else to keep the glucose level within normal parameters.
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How Accurate Are Glucose Test Strips
Blood glucose strips have to be approved by the FDA to ensure they meet the right standards. Therefore, they have to perform up to a certain standard and accuracy to be eligible for the market.
In general, glucose meters and their test strips should generate a result that is within 20% or 20mg/dL of laboratory results. A study done by the Diabetes Technology Society determined that the following glucometers and their corresponding glucose test strips are the most compliant based on consistent accuracy:
- Bayer Contour Next 100% compliant
- Roche Accu-Chek Aviva Plus 98% compliant
- Arkray Walmart ReliOn Confirm 97% compliant
- Agamatrix CVS Advanced 97% compliant
- Abbott Freestyle Lite 96% compliant
- Roche Accu-Chek SmartView 95% compliant
It is important to mention that any inaccuracy in blood glucose readings may not be the result of faulty test strips. Inaccuracy in glucose test strips can be a result of user error in some cases. For example, not washing your hands when you have residue from food on them can lead to abnormal readings.
Abnormal readings can be very dangerous. Getting a reading that is much higher than ones actual blood sugar can lead to an overdose of insulin. Too much insulin may potentially lead to hypoglycemia, which is life-threatening if not treated right away.
Why Are The Strips So Expensive And Why The Price Discrepancy
If you think of how many test strips you go through each day, you will understand that these little test strips create a huge business. At the same time, you must wonder why these test strips are so expensive. Just in 2013, Roche United States made $463 million profit on blood glucose products.
And that’s just one manufacturer in the United States. Estimated that the most glucose test strips take no more than 15 cents to produce, the manufacturers seem to acquire 70 to 80% of the profit. Just by looking at the numbers, you may think that the pharmaceutical companies are blood suckers. However, there are few factors to consider.
The first being how much research is done by the company to perfect the production of these test strips. As explained earlier, every layer of the test strips is crucial to the final outcome of your blood glucose analysis. In order to maintain the accuracy of the test strips, how much blood is allowed to penetrate through the absorbent layer has to be exact. Too much blood may overload the layers and fry the circuit insufficient blood will create a faulty reading. As for the enzyme layer, the exact ratio of each chemical needs to be calculated and formulated to create the most accurate reading yet remain active until its expiration date.
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Goodbye Omnipod Takeback Program
Insulet, the makers of the tubeless Omnipod pump, had a recycling program in the United States since 2008, but closed that down in 2018 because it wasnt being used enough to be efficient, the company says.
Insulets eco-friendly disposal program was once touted as a green initiative to keep biohazardous waste out of the environment. It separated any hazardous metals and materials and pulverized the remainder to make the materials more biodegradable.
Omnipod users in the United Kingdom and Canada can still use the programs operating in those countries. New Omnipod users in the United Kingdom receive information in their welcome letters about the disposal program. The program states that a partner company with a sustainability focus will make sure returned pods are safely disposed of in line with applicable waste disposal regulations, and that the heat from incineration generates steam that helps generate heat for other purposes.
Since waste disposal regulations and environmental guidelines vary by location, it makes sense that different countries would have different programs.
But its a shame to see that program close down in the United States due to underuse.
Why Should I Buy Diabetes Test Strips
A blood glucose meter and blood glucose test strips are necessary diabetes care supplies for blood glucose monitoring, the most important starting point for managing your diabetes.
If you don’t know what your blood sugar is doing, you can’t know what you need to do to manage it. Based on if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your health care provider will often tell you how many times per day you should check your blood sugar levels. But, your own specific diabetes management and self-monitoring needs may lead you to check your blood sugar more often, requiring a good blood glucose meter and quality test strips.
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How Does The New Test Strip Work
We understand that the glucose test strips works by using the glucose oxidase enzyme that converts glucose in your blood sample into an electrical current. But how exactly does such tiny piece of plastic achieve this reaction? In order to answer this question, we must first look at the construction of the test strips.
Even though so many different brands of blood glucose test strips and meters present on the market each has its own technology and design, they all fundamentally function the same way. As shown in the diagram, a test strip is actually composed of several layers that each serves its own function. Essentially, the top layer serves as a mini sponge to soak up your blood sample.
The middle layers serve as a filter to channel the blood sample to the reaction center. The next layer includes three basic parts: the enzyme that reacts with the blood glucose, a mediator chemical that speeds the electrons along the strips circuit so that an accurate reading can occur before the reaction dissipates, and a concoction of chemicals that stabilize and preserves the enzyme and mediator chemicals. At the bottom sits the gold and palladium coated circuit that transfer the reaction electrons to the meter for analysis.