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Diabetes Test Strips

Glucose Test Strips: How Do They Work?

Glucose test strips also known as diabetes test strips are small disposable strips of plastics used in blood glucose testing. They are essential for diabetic patients and are used to monitor diabetes. When you talk about the glucose meters, you will need to speak of the glucose test strips although some glucose meters do not use these test strips. Unsurprisingly, you may wonder how these seemingly insignificant strips of plastics work. Of course, their principle of operation ensures that they give out the glucose number of a blood sample.

The glucose test strip work in a bid to ascertain the Blood Glucose (BG) level of the blood under test. The test strips consist of two chemicals, suffice it to be enzymes. These enzymes are glucose oxidase and a mediator, perhaps ferricyanide. The glucose oxidase combines with the glucose in the blood sample and transforms it into gluconolactone, while the intermediary releases electrons.

The test strip can measure the current between its ends because the strip has electrical terminals. The current between the two terminals changes depending on the level of gluconolactone. In fact, the current produced depends on the blood glucose level because the glucose oxidase converts this glucose to gluconolactone. A higher concentration of the glucose in the blood causes a higher current across the electrode strip. Also, some glucose test strips measure how much light that reflects from it other than the quantity of electricity that gets through the test strip.

However, the blood glucose reading is dependent on the current sent across the electrode strip. This only means that a blood sample with high glucose level will cause a high degree of gluconolactone, this, in turn, generates a current leading to a high BG reading. In the U.S, the outcome of the blood sample placed on the glucose test strip is read by the glucose meter in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (Mg/dl). Some other compounds in the blood also convert the mediator, ferricyanide into ferrocene, causing the release of electrons and these electrons produced may alter the test results.

One fascinating thing about the blood glucose testing with glucose test strips is this; the test can be performed at home comfortably. It is a blood test where you prick your finger with a lancet and let the blood drop on the glucose test strip which engages into a blood glucose meter. However, it is nice to read and understand the instructions that follow your glucose meter; this will let you perform an even more accurate test. The use of glucose test strips is a straightforward and quick method that lets you measure the amount of glucose in your blood. Of course, the test is a quantitative test as it allows you find out the quantity of sugar present in your blood sample

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