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Diabetic Test Strips – Structure, Function and Importance

Diabetic test strips, also known as blood glucose test strips, play a very important role in helping you to monitor your blood glucose level from day to day and providing your doctor the information to adjust your medication to regulate your diabetes symptoms. Without the help from such little disposable strips, life with diabetes can become a lot more chaotic than ever.

How Do Diabetic Test Strips Function?

While so many different brands of blood glucose test strips and meters are on the market, each having its own technology and design, they all basically work in the same fashion. 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.

At the bottom is the gold and palladium-coated circuit that takes 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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Why Are These Strips Important to Diabetics?
Learning The “Secrets” of Wellness

As you may already know, monitoring your blood glucose level is critical to managing your diabetes. If you want to save money by skipping on blood tests, picture your life or at least the pricier medication and treatment that come with the complications, such as stroke, heart attack, leg amputation, and blindness. As well, when you know that your blood glucose level is in the normal range, you can act according to your present condition and not have to guess what could happen next.

If you know when to test your blood glucose level, how to use your strips effectively and avoid wastage, and how to practice healthy eating habits, you can save money with these strips safely. 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.

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