How Accurate Are Diabetic Testing Strips?
When you have diabetes, your entire life revolves around blood glucose levels. What you eat, how much insulin you administer, and how you feel is all determined by whether your blood glucose levels are high, low or normal. At-home glucose monitoring systems allow diabetics to get the information they need to make critical day-to-day decisions, but just how accurate are these systems?
How Do Diabetic Testing Strips Work?
Test strips are designed to measure how much glucose is present in a diabetic’s blood. This information helps diabetics know when their glucose levels are too high or low. When diabetics know this information, they can make certain adjustments to their diets, medication and exercise routines to help get their glucose levels back to a normal range.
Each diabetic test strip contains a small amount of a chemical known as glucose oxidase. When glucose oxidase comes into contact with blood, it creates a noticeable reaction. A glucose-monitoring meter will pick up that reaction, measure it and determine how much glucose is present in the blood stream. The more glucose that is present, the higher the reading.
Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?
A huge determining factor in diabetic test strip accuracy is the glucose oxidase. Over time, glucose oxidase loses its ability to react to glucose in the blood stream. The older the test strip, the weaker glucose oxidase gets. Weak glucose oxidase can, and will, impact diabetic test strip accuracy and produce meter readings that are either way too high or too low.
Each and every box of diabetic test strips comes with an expiration date. Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this date. Some individuals believe the date is extremely accurate, while others believe it is more of an estimate of when the test strips will start to produce inaccurate test results.
The truth is, every diabetic test strip is different. Sometimes the test strips will expire before the date on the box. This is especially true when the test strips have been improperly stored. Occasionally, the test strips may work for several weeks after the expiration date. There is just no telling what will or will not happen.
In an effort to guarantee diabetic test strip accuracy, most health care professionals recommend following the expiration date on the box. This will improve blood glucose meter accuracy by making sure you are using test strips that work properly.
What You Can Do to Guarantee Accurate Glucose Readings
There are several steps you can take to guarantee that your glucose meter is producing readings that are close to your accurate blood sugar levels. These actions include:
- Use test strips that are compatible with your meter – not every test strip is designed to work with every glucose monitoring meter.
- Store test strips properly – keep the strips in an airtight container, away from moisture, humidity and extreme temperatures.
- Handle the strips properly before testing.
- Verify the strip code matches that of your meter – some meters require coding. Blood glucose meter accuracy depends on you correctly coding the meter.
- Follow the expiration date – remember this is a guideline. Follow your gut instinct if you think the diabetic test strip accuracy is questionable.
Those with diabetes need test strips that produce readings for precise blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford the supplies they need to get accurate results. That is where Cash Now Offer can help. Contact Cash Now Offer to learn how you can help those in need by turning in your unused diabetic testing supplies for cash.