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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 Work?

Even though so many various brands of blood glucose test strips and meters on the market has its own design and technology, they all fundamentally work the same way. A test strip is actually composed of a number of layers serving its own function. The first layer serves as a mini sponge soaking up your blood, while the middle layers filter the sample and directs it to the reaction center.

The next layer is comprised of three basic parts: the enzyme reacting with the blood sugar, a mediator chemical that accelerates the electrons along the strip’s circuit to make way for an accurate reading before the reaction stops, and a mixture of chemicals that stabilize as well as preserve the enzyme and mediator chemicals.

Below is the gold and palladium-coated circuit that brings the reaction electrons to the meter for analysis. Therefore, when you drop your blood sample on the colored patch at the end of the strip, your blood initiates a number of very quick events: first, the blood is soaked up by the absorbent layer, then it is filtered through the narrow chamber by way of induced capillary action, and finally, it reaches the bottom layer where an electrochemical reaction occurs to generates 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?
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As probably may know, monitoring your blood glucose level is extremely important in controlling your diabetes. If you are skipping on blood tests to save money, think of your life or at least the costlier treatment and medication that accompany the complications, like heart attack, stroke, blindness and leg amputation. Also, by knowing whether your blood glucose level is in the acceptable range, you can act with confidence – that is, without being nervous about what may happen next.

Knowing when you have to test your blood glucose level, how to use your test strips properly to avoid wastage, and how to eat healthily are all better ways to save money on these strips. In addition, you can just buy these strips from other diabetics who, for one reason or another, have unused yet in-perfect-condition supplies that they would rather sell to other people for a cheaper price, than toss in the trash.