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Once you’ve picked out your blood glucose monitor, you’ll need to find compatible blood glucose test strips. Glucose test strips contain chemicals that react with the glucose in your blood sample. After placing a sample on the test strip, you insert the strip into the monitor to get results. Each strip is used only once and then discarded, so remember to have plenty on hand.
Expense of the blood glucose test strips. Over time, test strips are often the most expensive part of monitoring your blood sugar, so keep in mind the cost of compatible strips when choosing your glucose monitor. On average, glucose test strips range from 35¢ to $1.00 each.
Amount of blood glucose test strips to buy. Outdated glucose test strips can affect the accuracy of your blood sugar readings, so pay close attention to the expiration date on the box and only buy as many as you can use in that time period.
Blood sample size needed. Most newer glucose meters and corresponding glucose test strips require just a “speck” of blood — the amount needed ranges from 0.3 to 1.5 microliters. Keep in mind how much of a sample you’re willing to part with each time before choosing your glucose monitor and test strips.
Ease of use with the blood glucose monitor. Since checking your blood sugar will be a regular activity, make sure you can easily insert and remove the glucose test strips from your glucose monitor. Some glucose meters allow you to insert multiple test strips at one time and dispense as needed, while others require a new glucose test strip each time you check your blood sugar. And always verify that your glucose monitor is set up for the test strips you’re using so you get accurate results (“self-coding” glucose meters ensure accuracy by automatically reading the code from the test strip each time).
Generic strips vs. brand name. You can save money if you purchase generic glucose test strips; however, be sure you check the box to ensure they’ll accurately work with your glucose monitor before purchasing.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications or other treatments.