Storage Information Of Blood Glucose Test Strips
The information below is generally applicable for most test strips, but refer to the information leaflet for specific advice on the test strips you use:
- Store test strips at room temperature
- Do not refrigerate, as extreme temperatures can seriously damage test strips
- Exposure to humidity can render test strips unusable, and so can direct sunlight
- Keep test strips within the closed vial
- Do not use test strips that have been in contact with dirt, crumbs, food or liquids
- Do not use test strips if they have been damaged in any way
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Blood Glucose Test Strip Utilization Within Medicare
An editorial in this journal previously reported sales of blood glucose meters and test strips composed at least two-thirds of the diabetes technology market, and consequently expressed concern over the potential impact of the Medicare Competitive Bid program.1 Considering the relatively high use of strips by US Medicare beneficiaries, and given multiple Medicare reimbursement changes were implemented in 2013, presented here are 5 years of Medicare test strip utilization. No hypothesis is provided however, this information may assist with future forecasting.
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Blood Sugar And Diabetes
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main type of sugar in your body. This is different from the sugar that you eat in foods. Everything you eat or drink is broken down into basic pieces as you digest them. Glucose is the most basic form of the food you eat, and it’s the main form of energy your body uses.
For your body to work well, every cell needs a regular supply of glucose to function. They also need a chemical called insulin that moves this glucose from your bloodstream into the cells that need it. Without insulin, glucose will keep floating through your bloodstream, never entering the cells.
With diabetes, your body either can’t make insulin, can’t make enough insulin, or has developed a resistance to your insulin that prevents glucose from being moved into your cells. This can cause your cells to starve as the glucose levels in your blood rise and create a host of other problems.
How Often Are You Supposed To Change Your Lancet
Although most lancets tend to get dull or blunt after being used several times, the difference between the old and a new lancet is often not apparent to the patients as its use involves a quick finger prick with just a drop of blood being withdrawn.
Hence, though it is a good idea to change the lancet once every day, most diabetics do not experience any issue with changing it after 1 or 2 weeks, if they are using it daily, or after using it at least 10 to 12 times.
However, healthcare professionals insist that the lancets must be changed after each finger prick. The FDA has also recommended changing the lancets after each use, particularly if it involves more than one patient. This is especially important for avoiding the risk of infections involved in using the old and blunt ones.
Reusing dull lancets may also lead to callused fingers ad scars. These issues can also make it difficult to test your blood sugar levels at the same puncture site.
Moreover, as lancets get dull after each use, they can also hurt more when used to prick a finger and may also be ineffective for drawing blood. The pain caused due to the use of blunt lancets can prevent diabetes patients from checking their blood sugar levels frequently thus compromising their glycemic control.
The inefficient drawing of the blood, on the other hand, could lead to inaccurate results thus further contributing to improper diabetic control.
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Order Blood Sugar Test Strips From A Medicare
Medicare will cover blood sugar test strips from a medical supplier, but you will need a prescription from your doctor to place the order.
Medicare also has amail-order program for diabetic testing supplies. You can enter your zip code tofind a supplieron the Medicare web site. Check the box for Mail-Order Diabetic Supplies, then scroll down and click the Search button. Youll get a list of contracted suppliers.
Youll need to check each supplier to see which ones carry what you need. You can usually transfer your prescription to any supplier. Test strips or other diabetic supplies you order can then be mailed to you.
Expiration Of The Test Trips
Most of the people often as the question Do the test strips expire? Well, to answer that, test strips will give the desired results as long as the enzymes within the strip are active. However, when you open the bottle of the strip, the same is exposed to the environmental humidity, dust, etc. and the process of the enzyme to degrade begins. However, if you close the bottle tightly after every use, you can safely assume that the strip will last for a long period of time ranging from around 6 months to even the expiration date as mentioned in the bottle of the strip.
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Why Is High Blood Sugar So Bad
Think of the glucose in your body as sugar in a gas tank of a car. Over time, this glucose can clog and slow down other systems like the engine, making them work less efficiently.
One example is the kidneys. Your kidneys are made up of a web of delicate filters, and too much glucose can clog these filters, making them less effective. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to kidney disease or even kidney failure.
Other complications of long-term uncontrolled high blood sugar can include:
- Damage to blood vessels
It’s possible to lose consciousness or even become comatose if your blood glucose levels become dangerously low. For people with diabetes, finding the right balance between high and low blood sugar is crucial.
How To Access Strips After The Initial Six
If recommended by a health professional, this form allows access to monitoring strips after the initial six-month period provided by the NDSS. You will need to:
- have the form certified by a registered medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, or diabetes educator.
- lodge this form in person at your local NDSS Access Point.
The form must be completed every six months for continued access.
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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.
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 thats 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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How Do You Get A Blood Glucose Monitor
Your doctor or nurse will give you a blood glucose meter for free if you have type 1 diabetes or treat your diabetes with medication that can cause hypos. On rare occasions you will get a prescription instead. Remember, you don’t pay for prescriptions if you have diabetes and its treated with any type of medication.
If you have diabetes that isnt treated with medication that causes hypos then you might not be able to get a blood glucose monitor from the NHS. This is because the current NICE recommendations are that self-monitoring blood sugar isn’t right for everyone with diabetes. You should check with your healthcare team if you want to self-monitor.
There are many different types of blood glucose meters available. That means you may not get the one you’ve read about or want from your doctor or nurse. But they should provide you with a monitor that meets your needs for blood sugar checking
You can also buy a blood glucose meter from a pharmacy or online. Our shop sells meters and test strips. You should speak with your healthcare team before you buy your own meter.
How To Use A Test Strip
- Put a test strip into your blood glucose meter.
- Prick your fingertip with the meterâs tiny needle .
- Squeeze out a drop of blood and touch it with the edge of the test strip.
Within seconds, the glucose meter will give you a blood sugar reading.
You can only use a test strip once. That means youâll have to take out a new one every time you check your blood sugar. Your doctor will tell you how often to check. It may be as much as 10 times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. Or it may be just twice a day if you have type 2 diabetes.
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Can You Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips
Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is an essential part of good diabetes care. Keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels helps you make decisions, in collaboration with your healthcare team, about nutrition, physical activities, and when to take your medications. These are all important decisions that can delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, blindness, and amputation.
In previous blogs we covered various methods to monitor glucose levels, including continuous glucose monitoring devices but also emerging technologies like using saliva as a pain-free and cheaper alternative to blood for monitoring diabetes, measuring glucose in your tears and using a smart-patch.
More Safety Considerations For Glucose Meters And Test Strips
You may be a pro at testing your blood sugar levels. But consider these safety reminders.
Follow instructions carefully. Glucose meters and test strips are sold with instructions for use. You can call the manufacturer of your device or your health care provider if you have questions.
Ask your health care provider to watch you test yourself. He or she can tell you if you are using your device correctly.
Do quality control checks of your device. Regularly test your meter using a control solution to make sure the test strips and meter are working properly together. Read the meters instructions for use to see how often you should test it.
Understand what the meter display means. Be sure you know how high and low glucose values are displayed on your meter. Sometimes they are displayed as LO or HI when the glucose level is beyond the range than the meter can measure. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.
Know which test site gives the most accurate results. Readings from other areas of your body may not be as correct as fingertip readings.
- Readings from alternate sitessuch as your forearm or palmcan be less accurate than fingertip readings when your glucose levels change quickly, for example, after you eat or during exercise.
- Take a reading from a fingertip if you think your blood glucose is low, if you don’t normally have symptoms when your blood glucose is low, or if results from an alternate test site dont match how you feel.
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Where To Buy Control Solution For A Glucose Meter
Typically, control solution for a glucometer is available from the manufacturer of your meter and test strips, and most private insurance companies or Medicare will cover the cost.
Check the manufacturers website for details on where to purchase control solution. You can also check with your local pharmacy to see if they have available stock of the control solution that is compatible with your glucose meter. If none is in stock, you can request it to be ordered through your pharmacy.
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Automatic Extension For Access To Blood Glucose Monitoring Strips Through The Ndss
To make it easier for people with type 2 diabetes during COVID-19, the Australian Government is suspending the requirement for a Blood Glucose Monitoring Strip Six Month Access form to be completed by your doctor or credentialled diabetes educator . Read more about the Blood Glucose Monitoring Strip Access Form extension for access during COVID-19.
If you have type 2 diabetes and do not use insulin, you are able to purchase an initial six month supply of blood glucose monitoring strips through the NDSS.
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How Test Strips Work
Diabetes test strips pack a lot of technology into a small space. The plastic strips are coated with a very thin layer of gold. The gold is cut into a pattern that becomes the stripâs circuit.
One end of the strip also has a coating of chemicals. They soak up your blood like a sponge and turn the glucose into electricity.
An electrical signal travels from the strip to the meter. The number you see on the meter is the speed of the electrical current. More blood sugar means a stronger signal. A stronger signal means a higher number on your blood glucose meter.
What Are The Benefits Of Blood Glucose Monitoring
Regular glucose monitoring is one way people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When its time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will help you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team.
Your doctor will calculate the target range for your blood glucose based on your age, your type of diabetes, your overall health, and other factors. Its important to keep your glucose levels within your target range as best as you can.
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How Do Glucose Test Strips Work
If you have diabetes, its probably a very familiar drill: You stick the test strip into the meters slot, prick a finger with the lancet, draw out a drop of blood, and transfer the blood to the edge of the test strip.
Even though the technology might seem old-fashioned when compared with insulin pumps, CGMs, or other new technologies for diabetes care, what happens next is pretty ingenious:
The science behind test strips is quite complicated. They are made up of at least five layers, including a super thin layer of gold that helps conduct the current. Click here to see an illustration.
Where To Get Your Test Strips
You can get test strips on prescription or you can buy them over the counter at a pharmacy or online.
Most meters will only take one type of test strip. So, you should make sure you know which strip your meter uses before buying. This is also important to remember with your prescription for test strips. Your local area may only have a limited range of meters available to them and will only prescribe strips for the meters they give out.
If you have Type 2 and want to get test strips, you might not be able to get them on prescription. You will only be able to get test strips on prescription if your doctor or nurse wants you to self-monitor.
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