How To Use Glucose Test Strips For Better Accuracy?
If you are a patient with diabetes, then something that’s very common in your inventory has to be your testing kit i.e., essential things like blood sugar testing strips and blood glucose machine. Your day starts and ends with measuring your daily blood sugar progress. And one of the common supplies you might need are those blood sugar testing strips you take rounds to pharmacy or online.
But what are they exactly and how do these thin strips of biomedical equipment serve their purpose?
Using accurate blood glucose test strips are essential for managing your diabetes, as your readings can further determine your doses of insulin required, diet choices, and other health modifications.
In this article, we will discuss about blood glucose test strips in-depth, talking about:
- What are Blood Glucose Test Strips
- How to use them for accurate results
- How accurate are they compared to blood lab results?
What are Blood Glucose Test Strips?
They are primarily thin disposable plastic strips coated with a very thin layer of an electrode that help patients and medical practitioners to accurately assess the diabetic patient's condition (blood sugar levels in mg/dl).
It works by dipping the collecting end of the strip into a small drop of blood, the collecting end of the strip contains a chemical coating that absorbs the collected blood like a sponge and turns the blood glucose in the sample drop into electricity. The other end of the strip is further inserted into the blood glucose monitor to give the patient assessed results with one’s blood sugar level.
The blood sugar levels depend on the electrical signal produced from the blood sample strip. Stronger the signal higher the blood sugar levels.
There are many brands of test strips in the market that show a slight variance in accuracy and quality.
How accurate are they?
Blood glucose can be measured with two approaches:
- Lab tests performed by medical experts from extracted vein blood samples.
- Use of Personal blood sugar glucose meters with blood drops extracted from fingers.
When compared to blood sugar monitors, Lab tests show a bit upper level of accuracy.
To be considered accurate, the result from a meter that is within the range of 15-20% of your lab reading. This is on the basis of the average blood glucose monitors available. That’s why thorough research can help you with the most accurate glucometer.
Eg: If Lab result of blood glucose is 100 mg/dL
A normal meter results as 85 mg/dL or 115 mg/dL
But in the case of most accurate glucometer, it results as 95 mg/dL or 105 mg/dL
The blood glucose monitor can still be considered accurate.
While we cannot conduct lab results for accurately measuring everyday blood sugar results considering the costs, labour and process.
For better accuracy, nowadays the strips come in individual packs compared to bottle packs.
For more accurate results with your blood glucose strips one can follow:
- Put a test strip into your blood sugar monitor before collecting the blood drop on the strip.
- Sanitizing the needle with alcohol and prick area with alcohol, try pricking your finger with a LANCET (Automated tiny needle)
- Ensure the blood glucose monitor test strips are not exposed to humidity or excessive temperature which can give falsely elevated results.
- Squeeze out a drop of blood carefully and touch the edge of the test strip
- Avoid using damaged or expired strips.
- Make sure the test strip brand and blood sugar monitor are of the same brand as they may need to be calibrated or coded to work correctly.
- Once every few weeks, check your meter with a liquid control solution instead of blood to gauge its accuracy.
We hope this article helps you understand and use Glucose Strips better for more accurate results!