The blood glucose meter is a portable device for measuring blood sugar levels that almost all diabetics regularly use to use. It is practically impossible to control the concentration of glucose in the blood without it, because at home there are no alternative methods for determining this indicator. In some situations, the blood glucose meter can literally save the health and life of a diabetic — for example, thanks to the time of revealed hypo-or hyperglycemia, the patient can be given emergency help and saved from serious consequences. Consumables, without which the device will not be able to work - these are test strips on which a drop of blood is applied for analysis.
Types of test strips
All strips for the meter can be divided into 2 types:
- compatible with photometric blood glucose meters;
- for use with electrochemical glucometers.
Photometry is a method of measuring blood sugar, in which the reagent on the strip changes color when it comes into contact with a glucose solution of a certain concentration. Blood glucose meters of this type and consumables for them are extremely rare, so photometry is considered not the most reliable method of analysis. Such devices can give an error of 20 to 50% due to external factors such as temperature, humidity, slight mechanical effect, etc.
Modern devices for determining sugar work on the electrochemical principle. They measure the amount of current that is formed by the reaction of glucose with chemical reagents on the strip, and translate this value into its equivalent concentration (most often in mmol / l).
The correct operation of the device that measures sugar is not simply important - it is necessary, because the treatment and all further recommendations of the doctor depend on the obtained indicators. It is possible to check how correctly the meter measures the concentration of sugar in the blood using a special liquid.
In order to get an accurate result, it is better to use a control liquid produced by the same manufacturer that produces glucometers. Solutions and devices of the same brand are ideal for testing strips and sugar measuring devices. On the basis of the data obtained, it is possible to judge with confidence that the device is in good condition, and, if necessary, to return it in time for repair to a service center.
Situations in which the meter and strips need to be additionally checked for correctness of the analysis:
- after purchase before first use;
- after the fall of the device, when it is affected by too high or low temperature, heated from direct sunlight;
- if you suspect errors and malfunctions.
It is necessary to treat the meter and consumables with care, because it is a rather fragile equipment. The strips should be stored in a special case or the container in which they are sold. The device itself is better to keep in a dark place or use a special cover to protect from the sun and dust.
Can I use expired stripes?
Test strips for the glucometer contain a mixture of chemical reagents that are applied to the surface during the production process. These substances are often not very stable, and over time their activity decreases significantly. Because of this, overdue test strips for the meter may distort the actual result and overestimate or underestimate the level of sugar. It is dangerous to believe such data, because the correction of the diet, the dose and mode of medication, etc., depends on this value.
Therefore, before buying consumables for instruments that measure blood glucose, it is necessary to pay attention to their shelf life. It is better to use the cheapest (but high-quality and "fresh") test strips than very expensive, but overdue. No matter how expensive the consumables are, after the end of the warranty period, they cannot be used.
Choosing inexpensive options, you can consider "Bionime gs300", "Bionime gm100", "Gamma mini", "Contour", "Contour ts"), "Ime dc", "On call plus" and "Tru balance ". It is important that the company consumables and glucometer coincide. Usually, in the instructions for the device indicates a list of consumables that are compatible with it.
Consumables from different manufacturers
All manufacturers of blood glucose meters produce test strips that are designed to be shared. There are quite a few titles of this type of product in the trade network, they all differ not only in price, but also in their functional characteristics.
For example, the “Accu Check Asset” strips are ideal for patients who measure sugar only at home. They are designed for indoor use without sudden changes in temperature, humidity and ambient pressure. There is a more modern analogue of these strips - “Accu check Perform”. In their manufacture, additional stabilizers are used, and the measurement method is based on the analysis of electrical particles in the blood.
It is possible to use such consumables in almost any climatic conditions, which is very convenient for people who often travel or work in the fresh air. The same electrochemical measuring principle is also used in blood glucose meters, to which the strips "One touch ultra", "One touch select" ("Van touch ultra" and "Van touch select"), "Ay check", "Freestyle optium", " Longevita, Satellite Plus, Satellite Express.
Before the glucometers that patients use now, diabetes patients had almost no alternative to blood tests in laboratories. It was very inconvenient, it took a lot of time and did not allow conducting rapid research at home when needed. Thanks to disposable sugar strips, diabetes self-control became possible. Choosing a blood glucose meter and consumables for it, you need to consider not only the cost, but also the reliability, quality and feedback of real people and doctors. This will allow you to be confident in the reliability of the results, and hence in the correct treatment.