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How Do Diabetes Test Strips Work?

Darryl Wahl
Written by Darryl Wahl

Many diabetics are still not sure about how to test blood glucose levels using a meter. They should however understand that the medical science has progressed a lot and keeping track of blood sugar is extremely simple these days. In fact, it only takes a few seconds to know what your blood sugar level is and that’s why, diabetes can be managed with ease and effectively.

Further, you can trust one of the top-quality blood glucose monitors and be sure about the level of sugar in the blood. These meters or monitors are available in different models and you can select the best by comparing their features and specifications. Rest assured, they all are built to provide accurate results almost instantly. All you need to do is, pierce the skin, take out a drop of blood and test yourself.

How do diabetes test strips work?

Diabetes test strips are a key aspect of testing blood glucose level. They are small disposable strips of plastic that are easily available from various medical manufacturers. Without them, your monitor won’t be able to check blood glucose levels and thus not allowing you to take the necessary course correction measures.

Let’s look at how diabetes test strips work –

  • First of all, you have to draw blood and then place in onto the blood glucose test strips
  • The blood reacts with a chemical (glucose oxidase)
  • The chemical reaction produces gluconic acid
  • The meter will transfer current to the test trip at the other end
  • The level of gluconic acid produced has an impact on the current between the terminals
  • The difference in current between terminals will form the basis of identifying the blood glucose level
  • During the test, one can put more blood on the same test strip for more accuracy and clarity
  • You will need to draw beteen 0.5 μl to 1 μl of blood to put on the test strips
  • These strips however are not as accurate as those that use meters as well

Care to take with meters and test strips

Using meters and test strips is very simple, however, you should take some care to get accurate results. Any negligence means compromising with the quality of the test results.

These are the things you should keep in mind while testing your blood sugar levels –

  • Always wash your hands and test area of the skin
  • Use soap and water for proper cleaning
  • Make sure all the dirt and residue on the skin are gone for accurate results
  • Never allow test strips to be exposed to extreme temperature
  • Take out sufficient blood for testing to meet the limit as prescribed
  • Make sure to change the batteries of the device to help the meter perform optimally
  • Buy only a meter that does not require a code from each container

About the author

Darryl Wahl

Darryl Wahl

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