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Diabetic Test Strips, How They Work and Their Importance to Diabetics Diabetic test strips, also called blood glucose test strips, play a vital role in helping you to keep track of your daily blood glucose level and giving your physician the data to adjust your medication to manage your diabetes symptoms. Without these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can be even more frenzied than ever. How Do Diabetic Test Strips Work? 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 top layer works like a mini sponge that soaks up your blood, while the middle layers filter the specimen and routes it to the reaction center. The next layer comes with three basic parts: the enzyme that reacts with the blood sugar, a mediator chemical that speeds the electrons on the strip’s circuit so that a precise reading is possible before the reaction ends, and a mix of chemicals that stabilize and preserve 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. 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 goes through the circuit and to the meter in which a computer chip turns the current into a numerical reading.
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As you may already know, monitoring your blood glucose level is critical to managing your diabetes. If you skip on blood tests to save money, think of the value of your life or at least, the more expensive treatments and medications necessitated by potential complications, such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, leg amputation, and all the rest. 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. 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. Moreover, you can also buy these strips from other diabetic patients who, for one reason or another, have unused but unexpired and good-condition supplies that they would rather sell to other s at a more affordable price, instead of throwing them away.