Diabetes Care with Testing Strips
A person suffering from chronic health condition of diabetes is very well aware of the importance of monitoring the blood sugar level. But, the significant role of a diabetes testing strips in measuring the blood glucose numbers is still undercovers. Let’s find out!
What are Diabetes Testing Strips?
Being a small piece of disposable plastic, Diabetes Testing Strips plays a major role in monitoring glucose numbers using a glucometer. The small testing strips actually take just a few seconds to determine the accurate numbers of blood sugar level. Diabetes Testing Strips are coated with a chemical known as glucose oxidase enzyme, responsible for converting glucose present in the blood sample into an electrical current. But how does this happen? Let’s read.
How do diabetes testing strips work?
With different brands of testing strips and glucometers available in the market, there are various designs and updated versions of these devices introduced every now and then. But, the fundamental functioning of the diabetes care devices still remains the same. A testing strip is composed of several layers of chemicals that serves their own function consecutively.
The topmost layer of a testing strip is like a mini sponge that helps in soaking up the blood sample. The next layers serve as a filter to channelize the blood sample to the reaction center for testing. The last layer basically includes three key components:
- The glucose oxidase enzyme, a chemical that reacts with the glucose present in the blood and converts it into an electric current.
- A mediator chemical that increases the speed of the electrons along the strip’s circuit to extract an accurate reading before the reaction dissolves.
- And, a mixture of chemicals that stabilizes and preserves the enzyme and mediator chemicals.
At the bottom, a gold and palladium coated circuit transfers the reaction of electrons to the glucometer for further analysis. This electrical current determines the level of glucose concentration with the help of a glucometer. 1
Expiration of Test Strips
It is important for every diabetic to know that diabetes testing strips do expire. Testing strips are only effective until the time the enzymes present in the source are active. Whenever a vial of test strips is opened, the latter comes in contact with the humidity present in the atmosphere, thus, degrading the quality. One should ensure that the bottle of testing strips is stored as per the manufacturer’s directions for an effective and longer use. Along with this, most of the testing strip have their expiry duration mentioned on the pack. Every brand has their own specific duration of expiration. Thus, keeping a strict check on the same is important.
Some of the best brands such as Accu chek, Dr. Morepen, Johnson and Johnson, etc. provide an extended expiration duration. Thus, diabetes care supplies like Accu Chek Active Strips, Dr Morepen BG-03 Blood Glucose Test Strips, Johnson and Johnson One Touch Simple Select, Johnson and Johnson One Touch Ultra Easy Test are user friendly and preservable for a longer period of time, if stored properly.