Shop Test Strips From Trusted Brands
Blood glucose meters are integral to a proper diabetes self-care regimen, with testing strips being necessary tools for checking blood glucose levels throughout the day. The issue? The cost of testing strips can add up over time and with regular use.
Save on diabetes test strips from top brands, like True Metrix, Accu-Check, Aviva Plus, and One Touch when you shop at ADW Diabetes. We know that testing strips are vital, and we believe that they shouldn't prevent you from being able to afford other aspects of your diabetes self-care.
Glucose strips are tiny, thin, plastic strips that are placed into a blood glucose meter which then gives you your current blood sugar value. Although they've been around for a while, the technology has changed over the last few years, allowing for easier use and more accurate results. Even though there are multiple brands of meters that use matching, specific brand strips, they all work similarly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do diabetes test strips work?
Strips hold a high priority in the management of diabetes and have been a key component in blood glucose testing since the 1990s. Here's how they work:
An enzyme called glucose oxidase transforms the blood glucose on the strip into an electrical current. The meter then reads the current as a glucose concentration which appears as a number on your meter screen. These strips can be +/- 20% of your actual glucose number.
All meters are strip-specific, so extra strips should be ordered when the meter is purchased. Test strips are usually available in bottles of 50 or 100 strips per container. Because diabetes test strips can be affected by heat, humidity, and artificial light, the container should be kept closed until the test strip is needed.
Four Tips on How to Use Glucose Strips
Before handling the strip to insert it into the meter, wash your hands with soap and warm water to avoid inaccurate results. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol gel-based product or an alcohol swab instead. Dry your hands and fingers completely. Remember that alcohol can dry out your skin, and you may already have dry skin from diabetes. Touching vitamins, jam, cereal, fruit, hand lotion, and other products may change blood sugar results. Before using diabetes test strips, dry your hands and fingers carefully to prevent blood sample dilution.
Diabetes strips can expire. Check the expiration date on the box, and make sure to open the box with the earliest expiration date first. Using expired strips can affect testing accuracy. Once opened, most strips are fresh for somewhere between 3-6 months, but check with the specific manufacturer and read the insert that comes with your box of strips for best results.
Place a new lancet into your diabetes lancet device each time you test. Reused lancets get dull after their first use because they're extremely thin and lose their coating, which could cause more pain. Additionally, diabetes test strips require an adequate amount of blood, and reused lancets may not draw enough. Once the lancet is completely in place, make sure the lancet device is set at a depth that works best for you.
Insert new glucose strips into the meter's opening before pricking your finger. For best accuracy, use the sides of your finger. Change fingers often to prevent infections or calluses. Within 5-10 seconds, you'll see a number on the meter's screen - this is your current blood sugar level. Make sure to document your number on a spreadsheet or logbook to share your results with your health care professional.
When should you check glucose levels?
Avoid wasted diabetes test strips and unnecessary finger sticks by knowing when you need to check your glucose levels. Check with your diabetes management team to determine exactly when and how often you need to test your blood glucose. Often, blood glucose should be tested before and after a meal to see how the specific food impacted your blood sugar results. Blood sugars may also need to be tested first thing in the morning and before bed.
You may need to test more frequently and at different times depending on your personal situation. Testing provides health care professionals with data that allows them to make changes in your medical management and your current A1C value.
Things That May Go Wrong When Testing:
Diabetes test strips need to be fully inserted prior to placing the drop of blood on the strip.
Placing too little blood can cause a screen to read "error" or give a lower number than your actual number.
Placing too much blood on the strip may also result in an "error" on the screen and wasting an additional strip.
Having a battery that goes dead during the glucose test. Batteries last up to 2 years and can easily be replaced. The meter usually indicates when the battery power is low.
Removing glucose strips from the original container and placing them in your pocket, wallet, or meter case for convenience will make the strips inaccurate.
Discard diabetes test strips that have encountered dirt, water, crumbs, soap, lotion, food, or vitamins.
Reusing a test strip will produce inaccurate results because there are only enough enzymes for one test.
Are test strips sold over the counter?
Yes! Diabetes strips are sold over the counter if you're paying for them out of pocket.
How much do diabetes care test strips cost?
Test strips can be costly no matter how often you check your blood sugar. On average, test strips can cost anywhere from $9 to $100 per 50 test strips. This variation largely depends on the brand name. TrueMetrix offers some of the most affordable test strips, as well as Embrace Talk, Nova Max, and Advocate Redi Code.
How long do diabetes test strips last?
If glucose strips are unopened, they're good until the expiration date printed on the bottle's label, typically 3-6 months depending on the brand. Store all of your strips in the original container away from heat, light, and humidity. Close the container's top firmly after each strip is removed. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for usage, and don't use expired test strips.
Access Low-Cost Diabetes Supplies
ADW Diabetes is your go-to source for all discount diabetic supplies. Enjoy a large selection, everyday discounts, easy returns, and superior customer service. Take advantage of free shipping on orders $89+. Have you joined our Diabetic Coverage® AutoShip Program? Have diabetes test strips delivered to your door on a regular schedule, and save an extra 5%. Try out our diabetes app for convenient, secure shopping on your mobile device!