Author Topic: Diabetic Supplies  (Read 471 times)

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Diabetic Supplies
« on: January 24, 2019, 11:23:36 pm »
Everything about Diabetes Test Strips that Patient Need to Know
The blood sugartest strips play a mandatory role in helping patient to monitor their daily blood sugar level and giving their doctor the data to adjust their medication to control their diabetes symptoms. Without the help from these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can become even more chaotic than ever.
But what exactly are these thin little plastic slip and why are they so expensive? Are there any alternative methods can use? Where can you get the best deal on these test strips? This article will answer many of questions and concerns regarding these blood sugartest strips:
History on GlucoseTest Strips
The first glucometer was invented by Leland C. Clark and Ann Lyons in 1962. It wasn’t until early the 1980s that home sugar monitoring was made possible with the development of sugartest strips by two companies called Bayer and Roche (they have become known as the generic products by many health care authorities). However, during that time, the sugar test strip was quite different from the present day product; it measured blood sugar by using an enzyme to convert the blood sample sugar into a proportional amount of dye sample.
A meter then analyzed the amount of dye present by shining a beam of light on the test spot to detect how much light was absorbed by the dye. Compared to the current testing process, the old practice was much more time consuming.
Since then, test strips technology went through great advancement. In the early ‘90s, electrochemistry was combined with the test strip technology. The sugar oxidase enzyme was used to transform sugar into an electrical current that would then be read out by the glucometer as a sugar concentration. This has become our current sugartest strips.
How Does the New Test Strip Work?
We understand that the sugartest strips works by using the sugar oxidase enzyme that converts sugar in their blood sample into an electrical current. But how exactly does such tiny piece of plastic achieve this reaction? In order to answer this question, we must first look at the construction of the test strips.
Even though so many different brands of blood sugartest strips and meters present on the market each has its own technology and design, they all fundamentally function the same way. As shown in the diagram, a test strip is actually composed of several layers that each serves its own function. Essentially, the top layer serves as a mini sponge to soak up their blood sample.
The middle layers serve as a filter to channel the blood sample to the reaction center. The next layer includes three basic parts: the enzyme that reacts with the blood sugar, a mediator chemical that speeds the electrons along the strip’s circuit so that an accurate reading can occur before the reaction dissipates, and a concoction of chemicals that stabilize and preserves the enzyme and mediator chemicals. At the bottom sits the gold and palladium coated circuit that transfer the reaction electrons to the meter for analysis.
So when patient drop their blood sample onto the colored patch at the strip end, their blood triggers a series of extremely quick process starting from the blood being soaked up by the absorbent layer, filtered through the narrow chamber by induced capillary action, and landed on the bottom layer for the electrochemical reaction to occur to create an electrical current. This signal then travels through the circuit to the meter where a computer chip converts the current into a numerical reading.
How Often Should Patient Administer A Blood Sugar Test
If patient are unsure how frequent patient should administer a blood sugar test, it is contingent on what diabetes type patient have and which treatments patient use (insulin injections versus the combination of oral medication and lifestyle changes).
Type 1 diabetes patients:
Most patients require frequent testing to manage blood sugar levels. In general, at least four tests are mandatory per day. If patient currently use an insulin pump, require three or more insulin injections a day, or are pregnant, patient may need to test as regularly as seven times per day or more.
Type 2 diabetes patients:
Although their condition may be less critical than patients who have type 1 diabetes, monitoring their blood sugar is still critical to their health. Depending on their diet, medication dosage, and level of glycated hemoglobin, their doctor will help patient determine how often patient should administer the test.
How to Properly Perform a Blood Test
Due to the differences in design for all the blood sugar testing product brands, it is best to follow the specific instructions provided for their blood glucometer and test strips.
•    Don’t share blood sugar monitoring supplies or finger lancing equipment as it may result in transmission diseases like Hepatitis B.
•    Always wash their hands with soapy, warm water and dry their hands thoroughly before performing a test.
•    Try to use a lancet every time as used lancets are not as sharp as a new lancet and can cause more pain and injury to the skin. If patient do reuse lancets, remember to disinfect the instrument thoroughly before every use.
•    Always prepare the blood sugar meter and test strip and make sure the meter battery is fully functioning before a test.
•    If patient have difficulty getting sufficient drop of blood from their fingertip, try massaging their finger to increase blood circulation, shaking the hand below the waist, or squeezing the fingertip. If all method fails and their meter allow blood samples from an alternative site, try collecting a blood sample from their forearm.
•    Remember to dispose of their used lancet in a puncture-resistant sharps container instead of their regular trash.

How Accurate Are the Test Strips?
Even though the manufacturers strive to be as accurate as possible, there is always a margin of error. According to the Food and Drug Administration Department regulations for all blood sugar test glucometer:
For result at or above 75 mg/dl (4.2 mmol/l), 95% of the meter test outcomes must be within ±20% of the actual blood sugar level. For example, if their meter reads 100, their actual sugar level can actually be approx. 80-120.
For results below 75 mg/dl: 95% of the test results must be within plus or minus 15 points of the actual blood sugar level. So a reading of 70 only gives an indication that their actual sugar level is anywhere 55 to 85.
This is the unfortunate trade-off for having equipment that is both small and easy to use. Given that there is a margin of error, almost all glucometers are close to being equally accurate. In addition, there are other factors that may play a role in the accuracy of test strips:Some brands tend to have less control over their product qualities and bigger batch-to-batch discrepancy than other brands.
Sellers’ method of storing the test strips may contribute to the accuracy of the strips. As explained earlier, humidity and temperature will affect how well the enzymes in the test strip work. If they keep the test strips in a hot warehouse, no wonder patient will hear reviewers complaining that the readings are very inaccurate.
How consumers use and store their test strips will affect the accuracy of the test strips. Improper storage and use, rough handling of the test strips, and outdatedtest strips are some of the most common sources of error in-home blood sugar monitoring. Another common mistake is to use one brand of test strips on a different brand glucometer.
How to Find Out if Sugar Monitor and Test Strips Are Accurate?
After reading about all the factors that will affect their test result, patient may wonder how patient can make sure that theirsugar monitor and test strips are accurate. It is quite simple. Most sugar monitor comes with a standardized test solution. Patient can test the accuracy of their glucometer by squeezing a droplet of this solution onto a test strip and putting it into their monitor.
Patient would go through the same process as patient would with their blood sample. After the monitor takes the reading, patient can compare the reading with the amount printed on the solution bottle. If the two numbers match, that means theirsugar monitor is functioning properly. Patient should use the test solution every time patient open a new box of test strips to verify the quality and accuracy of the products.   
What is a urine sugar test? Can’t use this procedure instead?
For all the pain and money invested, patient may wonder if there is an alternative to blood sugar test. Yes – urine sugar test. A urine sugar test measures the amountof sugar and ketone in their urine. It is much less invasive than a blood sugar test, but it also tends to be less accurate. It is usually performed at a diagnostic laboratory when patient go for their routine checkup where various other tests are also performed.
It may also be an option for patient if patient have difficulty obtaining a sufficient blood sample or patient have some other trouble performing blood sugar monitoring. Please note that if patient choose to use this method of monitoring their blood sugar level, there are several disadvantages to urine sugar test:
•    A urine sugar test does not reflect their blood sugar level at the time of testing but gives an average of their blood sugar level over the past several hours.
•    A urine sugar test does not give patient any information regarding low blood sugar levels as a negative urine sugar test can only indicate the possibility of normal blood sugar level or low blood sugar level.
•    A urine sugar test result can be influenced by the volume and concentration of urine that patient pass.
•    An at-home urine sugar test results depend on the color change of the dipstick and subtle color differences can be hard to detect.
•    A urine sugar test must be read at a specified time after application or the result is prone to error.
•    A urine sugar test result can be influenced by other medications.
Due to all these disadvantages and inconvenience of the urine sugar test, no wonder why blood sugar test is still the preference by most of health professionals and patients.
The effected ways to save of test strips
With the present test strips greatest portion being limited to 300 test strips every 3 month, numerous diabetes have to pay for their strips out of their own pocket. Over time, the expense can truly make a dent in a person’s budget. In what ways can patient save on test strips? There are many options:
Be strategic
If patient have type 2 diabetes and do not require insulin, patient can work with patient doctor or diabetes educator to determine the bare minimum of tests required in order to maintain their blood sugar control. Patient can also do something called paired testing, which allows patient to “spot check” and gather enough information throughout the month to get a trend of their blood sugar level.
 Assistance programs
Some manufacturers have what is called “co-pay equalization programs.” If patient choose to use a glucometer system that is not on their insurance company’s preferred list, these programs are willing to pay for the difference in co-pay cost. For example, their monthly budget for test strips will be $50 out of pocket if they are not on their insurer’s preferred list. With aid from a co-pay equalization program, patient may only have to pay the $15 co-pay that the preferred strips cost. The program will pay the $35 difference fee. Keep in mind that some programs restrict membership to only patients with commercial insurance.
Outreach organizations
For low-income or uninsured people who aren’t eligible for a patient assistance program, they can look to other sources of financial help as certain foundations and organizations are willing to help patient save money on medication or find programs that assist with general medical costs.
Go off-brand
If patient currently use a brand-name meter and strips, patient may be able to save some money by switching to a store-brand meter and their test strips. Large chain retailers such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart all offer their own bargain brand meters and strips. Compared to “generic” brands, these off-brand meters and strips are sold at a much affordable price.
Patient can always find deals where patient can buy two boxes of 50 store brand test strips at the same price patient will get for buying 25 generic brand test strips. And to score the best deal, the trick is to buy their package deal.
Shop for a meter based on the strip price
Test-strip prices fluctuate significantly depending on the brand of meter. Before patient purchase a meter, examine which strip brand has the lowest prices at their preferred retailer, and purchase the meter for that brand of test strips. If patient have private insurance or Medicare, however, their choices may be limited to the plan’s coverage.

Ask for samples
Patient can obtain samples from their doctor’s office, their diabetes educator, community events, or even the company that manufactures the test strips. Some companies are more than happy to give patient the meter for free in hope that patient will become their long-term customer.
Purchase online
Without hiring employees and having an actual store location, online stores often have lower prices than storefront pharmacies. Sites like Amazon and eBay are two most common online places where patient can find test strips at a lower price.
Although many online stores on these platforms tend to have tough-to-beat prices, most experts recommend against buying test strips online because there are such big chances that patient will end up with duds. The most common issue is that some of these exceptional “great deals” will send patient expired strips products.
To avoid such issue, always check the expiration date or ask the seller for the expiration date information before purchase. Aside from the obvious, patient have no idea where the strips came from, how they were transported and stored as they are likely to come from the grey or black market of test strip reseller. These merchants buy stocks from anyone who is willing to sell their test strips for quick cash.
If patient are lucky, they are spare unused strips. If patient are not so lucky, patient may be getting a box of test strips from a hot sunny yard sale or from someone who has recently deceased. Or worse, there are even cases which the strip are defective or even counterfeits. Looking like original test strips, these counterfeit strips will produce highly erratic results. So if patient choose to buy online, please choose wiser and purchase from a reputable source.
Collect coupons
Look and save coupons for their favorite brand of test strips. They can be found in diabetes magazines, at some pharmacy pamphlets, or on the company’s official website. Sometimes, the company’s website will offer patient coupons if patient sign up on their mailing list.
Join the manufacturer loyalty programs
Many leading generic companies offer savings for loyal customers. To keep patient as their customers, they are willing to provide prescription copayment cards that can limit their out-of-pocket expense. The discount copay cards might be accessible through their health care supplier or on the Internet through test strip manufacturers.
If you would like to know more about getting cash for diabetic test strips and other diabetic supplies, contact Rescue Test Strips at 1-866-620-0053 x1 or visit our site at http://www.rescueteststrips.com
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 11:27:04 pm by BravosDJ »
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