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Can Diabetic Test Strips Go Bad?

Managing Diabetes In The Heat

Managing Diabetes In The Heat

How to keep your cool during the hottest time of year. Did you know that people who have diabetes—both type 1 and type 2—feel the heat more than people who don’t have diabetes? Some reasons why: Certain diabetes complications, such as damage to blood vessels and nerves, can affect your sweat glands so your body can’t cool as effectively. That can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. People with diabetes get dehydrated (lose too much water from their bodies) more quickly. Not drinking enough liquids can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar can make you urinate more, causing dehydration. Some commonly used medicines like diuretics (“water pills” to treat high blood pressure) can dehydrate you, too. High temperatures can change how your body uses insulin. You may need to test your blood sugar more often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink. Drink plenty of water. Test your blood sugar often. Keep medicines, supplies, and equipment out of the heat. Stay inside in air-conditioning when it’s hottest. Wear loose, light clothing. Make a plan in case you lose power. Have a go-bag ready for emergencies. It’s the Heat and the Humidity Even when it doesn’t seem very hot outside, the combination of heat and humidity (moisture in the air) can be dangerous. When sweat evaporates (dries) on your skin, it removes heat and cools you. It’s harder to stay cool in high humidity because sweat can’t evaporate as well. Whether you’re working out or just hanging out, it’s a good idea to check the heat index—a measurement that combines temperature and humidity. Take steps to stay cool (see sidebar) when it reaches 80°F in the shade with 40% humidity or above. Important to know: The heat index can be up to 15°F Continue reading >>

Is It Okay To Use Expired Diabetic Test Strips?

Is It Okay To Use Expired Diabetic Test Strips?

Have you ever thought about using expired diabetic test strips to save money? Read this article to find out whether or not it’s a good idea. Diabetic test strips can be expensive. Some of them range up to $2 a piece. And in a box of 50, that can really start to add up. It’s understandable that you’d want to be able to get the most for your money from that. It’s understandable that you’d want to be able to get the most for your money from that. That’s why it can be so frustrating when they reach their expiration date before you’re finished with them and you have to throw them away. When this happens, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the worst that will happen if I use these?” Well, the conversation around expired test strips is actually very lively. Many people have an opinion on whether or not using expired test strips is the right thing to do. We’re here to give you all of the facts, so that you can form an opinion of your own How do diabetic test strips work? In order to understand whether or not you should be using an expired test strip, it can be useful to understand how they work. The basic explanation is this — a liquid-attracting layer moves your blood into the little window on the strip, which is known as the “chemistry strip.” This strip is made up of an enzyme and what’s known as a mediator. The enzyme attaches itself to the glucose in your blood and pulls off sugar electrons. The mediator then passes the enzyme through the circuit to get you your reading. The enzyme is “living,” which is how a diabetic test strip is able to expire in the first place. Eventually, the enzyme will “die,” or break down. And then it will not be able to attach to the glucose in your blood or pull off the sugar electrons. But when exactly do Continue reading >>

Growing Diabetic Population Fuels A Black Market

Growing Diabetic Population Fuels A Black Market

COLONIE — He said his name was Brian when I called. I found him in the classifieds. He advertised that he wanted to buy diabetic test strips. I was posing as a seller with five boxes of One Touch Ultra Blues. He didn't ask a lot of questions. "I can be there in 20 minutes," he said. "How about an hour?" "OK," he said. "$150 cash. Is that cool?" "Cool." The "deal" went down in the parking lot of the Colonie town library on Wednesday, midafternoon. He drove a silver Honda Fit. It was messy inside. He squeezed himself out of the little car, a heavy-set guy in his 20s. His dark eyes darted around the lot. He groaned when I told him I was with the Times Union and that our photographer had just taken his picture with a telephoto lens. We might as well talk now, I shrugged. "Am I in trouble?" he asked. "I'm a reasonable guy. I think I provide a service to the community. I don't believe I'm doing anything illegal." His name is Brian "Jake" Tucker, 27, of Rotterdam. He has a state job working an overnight shift caring for developmentally disabled adults in a group home. He blamed his moonlighting in test strips on the reality TV show "Storage Wars." He loved the show, ended up going to a local auction and bought a repossessed storage unit a year ago for $5. It was filled mostly with junk, but in the back he found several boxes of diabetic test strips. He sold them on eBay and scored a quick profit. He was hooked. Tucker doesn't look the part of a black market profiteer. He trolls a shadowy realm populated with scammers, con men and opportunists who operate below the radar and guard their anonymity. They control a piece of a $20 billion global market known as self-monitoring of blood glucose, SMBG, that has doubled in the past decade. They operate in a gray zone. Diabetic test Continue reading >>

Take Care Of Your Test Strips For Accurate Results

Take Care Of Your Test Strips For Accurate Results

Test strips are one of the most important supplies in your medicine cabinet. Regular testing can help you keep track of your blood sugar levels, and that allows you to make lifestyle and medication adjustments accordingly. Proper handling and storage of test strips can help ensure an accurate result every time. Six tips for handling test strips When it's time to take a blood sugar reading, handle test strips properly for an accurate result. Here are six things to keep in mind when dealing with your test strips. Wash your hands. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you open the test strip vial. Check the expiration date. Make sure the vial is not past its expiration date, and that the strips are clean and dry. Check the test strip code. If your strips must be coded, make sure the code on the meter matches the code on the vial. Handle carefully. Shake a test strip out into your hand. Try not to touch the end of the strip. Protect test strips from air. Immediately close the vial to protect the integrity of the remaining strips. Make sure you have the proper amount of blood for a good reading. You only get one shot at this per strip, so make sure you have ample blood before applying the drop. Also, be sure to apply the blood correctly. Some test strips wick the blood drop at the side of the strip, while others do so at the very end of the strip. Test strips that are sold in wheels or drums don't have to be handled individually. This can be an advantage for those with arthritis or other conditions that might affect dexterity. Follow the instructions very carefully to ensure that you have inserted the drum or wheel properly. How to properly store test strips Your test strips should remain in the vial or wrapping until you are ready to use one of them. Test strips are pac Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Update: A lot of our readers ask us where can they find the best deals for test strips. We personally recommend Amazon. You can check the list of selections they offer by clicking here. Blood glucose test strips play a crucial role in helping you to monitor your daily blood glucose level and giving your doctor the data to adjust your medication to control your 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 method I can use? Where can I get the best deal on these test strips? This article will answer many of your questions and concerns regarding these blood glucose test strips: Table of Contents History on Glucose Test Strips How Does the Test Strips Work Why Are the Strips So Expensive? And Why the Price Discrepancy? Why Must Diabetic Patients Use Glucometer and Test Strip? How Often Should You Administer A Blood Glucose Test? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? How Accurate Are the Test Strips? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? What is a Urine Glucose Test? Can’t I Use This Procedure Instead? Expiration of Test Strips Medicare Plan B Coverage for Glucose Test Strips Where to Get the Best Deal on Test Strips? Ways to Save of Test Strips How to Avoid Counterfeit Blood Glucose Test Strips Can You Reuse Test Strips? Can You Make Your Own Test Strip? 4 Most Affordable Meters How to Pick the Right Glucometer? How to Dispose Used Test Strips, Lancets, and Needles? What to Do with All These Test Strip Containers? Selling Your Glucose Test Strips A Good Idea? Odd Way to Earn Some Money Back Questions? History on Glucose Test Strips The first glucomet Continue reading >>

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Glucose Test Strips From Amazon

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Glucose Test Strips From Amazon

It’s again that time of the month when you’re running out of test strips. You went to your local pharmacy to buy test strips but found the prices outrageous. Then you decided to search online, but there were so many choices that simply choosing a website to buy your test strips from was actually not so simple. While shopping around for a deal you came across Amazon. Prices were incredibly low. You think you have found the best test strip prices but something is holding you back from clicking “add to cart.” Though Amazon may be the right market place to buy some products, it’s certainly not the best option when it comes to blood glucose test strips. Here are 3 reasons why you should not buy glucose test strips from Amazon: 1. Expiration dates: the most common concern of test strip buyers from Amazon We have previously discussed the issue of expiration date being the most common concern of test strip buyers on Amazon. This is due to the fact that the Amazon listings for diabetes test strips do not display expiration dates. This gives rise to incognito, unauthorized sellers who offer short-dated test strips. Given that expiration date continues to be one of the most common causes of glucose monitoring errors, purchasing test strips online on Amazon from buyers you cannot verify can present a risk. 2. Product information is often inaccurate or outdated Tightly related to the previous issue, Amazon listings for diabetic test trips often display inaccurate or outdated information. Amazon provides very little editing capabilities when it comes to product description, details, and images. In fact, sellers are not permitted to create new listings with new information unless their merchandise is unique. The only option is to assign test strips to existing listings, whic Continue reading >>

Diabetic Test Strips, What To Know Before You Buy

Diabetic Test Strips, What To Know Before You Buy

Diabetic test strips for home blood sugar testing have come a long way. Here are five things you should know before you pick a glucose monitor. Not too many years ago, home blood sugar monitoring meant testing urine for sugar content. The monitors we use at home today are light years beyond that. Better diabetes control has led to healthier diabetics with fewer complications. We are living longer with type 2 because of diabetic test strips and the home monitoring systems. But the market for diabetics is huge and changing fast. So before you pick the monitor you will be using every day for many years, here is a five point checklist based on my adventures in the world of type 2 diabetes. When looking for a good glucose monitor, you have to look at the test strips too. Even if you find a free meter, the diabetic test strips will be a monthly expense forever after. You can only use the test strips made specifically for the brand and type of monitor you own. Medicare and Medicaid do pay for monitors and test strips, which are called durable medical equipment. (DME) That separates them from your medications (like insulin and needles). Most insurance covers medications and DMEs separately. If you must buy diabetic test strips yourself, shop around. Pharmacies have the highest prices. Visit amazon.com to compare costs with the ones you find at a discount store like Walmart. Amazon prices can be half as much as store costs for the same test strips. Most stores also have websites where you can check prices. That will help you decide on your best glucose monitor. Some diabetic test strips are harder to find than others. Pick the meter that has strips you can find easily. Do that before you choose a monitor. Buying online is tricky. Read the small print because shipping may be adde Continue reading >>

Should You Use The Control Solution To Check Your Meter?

Should You Use The Control Solution To Check Your Meter?

You probably never use the control solution for your blood glucose meter. You can blame your doctor or yourself for this oversight, but the chances are that you never have heard this term before. Our doctors and other medical professionals rarely discuss using a control solution. It usually doesn’t come with our blood glucose meters. And your local drug store probably doesn’t carry the one that your meter uses. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the American Diabetes Association all recommend that we often check our meter with its control solution. Probably every owner’s manual for all of the blood glucose meters on the market has the same message. Something is seriously out of whack here. A control solution is a solution that mimics blood and that is used to test the accuracy of a blood glucose meter and test strips, says the Manual for Pharmacy Technicians. It is specific for a particular meter and may come as low, normal, or high control. The solutions can be categorized as “Level 1” or “Level 2,” representing low or high control. The expiration date of the control solution varies by manufacturer and can range from three to six months. Most Never Use Control Solution A survey of 18 people in the Bay Area of California who have type 1 diabetes or parents of children with it showed that 58 percent of them never used a control solution. Note well that these are people who rely on insulin, which requires rather precise blood glucose meter readings. Only the abstract of this survey, “SMBG Out of Control: The Need for Educating Patients About Control Solution,” in the September-October 2013 issue of The Diabetes Educator is online. But a friend sent me a copy of the full-text. Another s Continue reading >>

How Long Are Test Strips Good After You Open The Bottle?

How Long Are Test Strips Good After You Open The Bottle?

Posted: March, 2012 If you landed on this page, I suggest you go to the beginning to see what affects the accuracy of test strips. In an effort to know how long after you open a test strip bottle they can be used, I called 6 major manufacturers of Glucose Meters. I asked each of them how long their strips are good, after the bottle is first opened. Assuming your are closing the bottle after each use and storing the bottle per the manufacturers directions, here are the results. All the customer service representatives were very helpful and I had no problem getting my questions answered1. OneTouch® - Good for 6 months after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. Accu-Chek® - Good to the expiration date on the bottle. The strips have an 18 month life span and it is estimated that once they arrive at the retailer they have 14 to 16 months left. FreeStyle® - Good until the expiration date on the bottle. Bayer® - Good until the expiration date on the bottle. Agamatrix® - Good for 90 days (three months) after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. Nipro Diagnostics®- Good for 120 days (4 months) after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. I find it interesting that Agamatrix®, manufacture of the WaveSense™ technology only last 90 days while the Accu-Chek® last up to 16 months. I find it somewhat odd that Abbott and Bayer do not establish a shorter expiration date based on the first opening the of the bottle while all the other strip manufactures do establish a time restriction. I am told that both Agamatrix® and OneTouch® test strips are available in a 25 count bottle. I like that idea. If I learn of any others who provide a less than 50 count Continue reading >>

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

I have been a diabetic all my life and I wanted to share this information. I have completed alot of research on diabetes and diabetic testing. I have been associated with alot of doctors and have also had the joy of being associated with an individual who was involved in the actual testing of diabetic test strips at a research center. The following information was shared with me by these individuals and I would like to share it with you. Diabetic test strips do have an expiration date printed on them but that is not the actual expire date. There ia an additional six months of life after the expire date as long as the strips are still in the unopened vial and stored in a dry,cool shaded area. This extra cushion was added to the expire date to prevent us diabetics from testing with a strip a few days old resulting in a bad reading. In my research I could not find any indication that it is illegal for an individual to test with, buy or sell expired strips.This would also indicate that it should be up to the diabetic if they wanted to use them, up to the seller if they wanted to sell them or the buyer if they wanted to buy them. I have done my on test with expired strips and in date strips and recieved the same reading from both so I feel comfortable with using them. With the research and the conversations, I can understand why someone would buy expired strips. This helps those who have low income, no medical coverage or benefit from the low cost. I have seen the price of the in date strips on ebay climbing more and more and this is a concern. I understand someone wanting to make some extra money but I do not agree with making a killing off of someone elses misfortune nor do I agree with someone bidding on they're own strips or having someone do this for them just to get th Continue reading >>

How Hot And Cold Weather Affects Your Blood Sugar

How Hot And Cold Weather Affects Your Blood Sugar

Find a weather-proof location to exercise all year round. Working out in your living room or local gym, or even just walking your local mall are all good options. When temperatures start to get out of control, so can your blood sugar. Both hot and cold weather extremes can affect your testing equipment and your medications, and have a negative impact on your body’s ability to produce and use insulin. Research shows that when it’s hot out, more people with diabetes end up in the ER and are hospitalized because of heat illness. The number of deaths in diabetes patients due to heat illness also increases in summer. Low temperatures can be an issue for people with diabetes as well. But you don’t have to let the environment have the upper hand. Taking a few smart precautions can help you outsmart Mother Nature. Here are the adjustments to make depending on where you live and the weather forecast. 6 Tips to Survive the Summer Heat Take these steps to keep your diabetes under control when the temperature soars: Stay hydrated. Lori Roust, MD, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, explains, “The problem is that in the heat, people tend to get dehydrated easily. When you’re dehydrated, you have higher concentrations of blood sugar because less blood flows through your kidneys. With less blood, your kidneys don’t work as efficiently to clear out any excess glucose (blood sugar) from your urine.” When it’s hot, be sure to drink plenty of water or sugar-free drinks. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to replenish fluids. Store your medications properly. High summer temps can affect your diabetes medications, glucose meter, and diabetes test strips. “When it’s hot out, it’s easy for insulin and other drugs to become degraded,” Dr. Roust says. Be su Continue reading >>

Onetouch Blood Glucose Monitors

Onetouch Blood Glucose Monitors

OneTouch is a brand of small portable blood glucose (blood sugar) monitoring systems that can be used by patients with diabetes. Examples of OneTouch meters include the OneTouch Ultra 2, OneTouch UltraMini, OneTouch Ultrasmart, OneTouch Select and OneTouch Verio IQ systems. The systems typically consist of the meter, lancing device, a lancet and a carrying case. Test strips and control solutions are sold separately. Each meter offers different features, such as size of screen, memory, and result displays. User guides for each brand of meter are available on the OneTouch website. Latest OneTouch Blood Glucose Meters OneTouch Ultra 2 - The OneTouch Ultra 2 blood glucose meter can provide blood glucose results within five seconds. The monitor can provide before and after glucose averages for 7, 14, and 30 days and trends can be monitored. In addition, the effects of food choices and portion control over time can be viewed. OneTouch UltraMini - The OneTouch UltraMini meter is a small, slimline blood glucose meter that is small enough to fit into a purse or pocket. It stores up to 500 previous test results in memory, and has 2-way scrolling buttons. The UltraMini also comes in six modern colors— Limelight, Pink Glow, Silver Moon, Jet Black, Purple Twilight and Blue Comet. OneTouch Verio IQ - The OneTouch Verio IQ meter has a color LCD screen with larger numbers for easier viewing, lights for both the test strip port and screen for nighttime viewing, only a small sample of blood is needed and the blood can be applied to either side of the strip, which makes it more convenient for both left-handed and right-handed users. No coding is required with the OneTouch Verio IQ meter. OneTouch Ping is a remote blood glucose monitoring system and insulin pump that work together. OneTo Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones, And Why Are They Important To Diabetes Self-management?

What Are Ketones, And Why Are They Important To Diabetes Self-management?

All blood tests are tools. Some are to diagnose diabetes, some are to help you manage your diabetes on a daily or long term basis and some are to keep you safe. People with diabetes are told about blood testing and how important testing is to manage their blood glucose. It is a critical part of diabetes management. Whether it is done in the physician’s office or the patient’s home it is an invaluable tool, Unfortunately a very important test, ketone testing is often not taught or taught only to people with type 1 diabetes. This test can be life saving and should be part of every person with diabetes knowledge and skills. It is simple and if you have diabetes you should know about it. What Are Ketones? When the body is unable to burn glucose it burns fat and this produces a chemical called ketones. This occurs when there is too little insulin for the amount of glucose in the body. Possible causes for this could be: Experiencing stress or illness such as fever, Having an infection. Omitting or taking too little insulin Eating more food than planned Improper storage of insulin If left untreated, ketones continue to rise and can result in a condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, or DKA. This condition is quite serious and requires immediate medical attention. DKA is the most common cause of hospitalization and death among children and young adults with diabetes, and the leading cause of adverse events for insulin pump users. Why Measure Blood Ketones? Studies suggest that most, if not all emergency department and hospital admissions beyond initial diabetes diagnosis could be prevented if people better managed their diabetes care and knew the warning signs when ketoacidosis was developing. Blood ketone testing provides a rapid, accurate, and early warning sign that keto Continue reading >>

Diabetes Urine Tests

Diabetes Urine Tests

Urine tests may be done in people with diabetes to evaluate severe hyperglycemia (severe high blood sugar) by looking for ketones in the urine. Ketones are a metabolic product produced when fat is metabolized. Ketones increase when there is insufficient insulin to use glucose for energy. Urine tests are also done to look for the presence of protein in the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage. Urine glucose measurements are less reliable than blood glucose measurements and are not used to diagnose diabetes or evaluate treatment for diabetes. They may be used for screening purposes. Testing for ketones is most common in people with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms? This test detects the presence of ketones, which are byproducts of metabolism that form in the presence of severe hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). Ketones are formed from fat that is burned by the body when there is insufficient insulin to allow glucose to be used for fuel. When ketones build up to high levels, ketoacidosis (a serious and life-threatening condition) may occur. Ketone testing can be performed both at home and in the clinical laboratory. Ketones can be detected by dipping a test strip into a sample of urine. A color change on the test strip signals the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones occur most commonly in people with type 1 diabetes, but uncommonly, people with type 2 diabetes may test positive for ketones. The microalbumin test detects microalbumin, a type of protein, in the urine. Protein is present in the urine when there is damage to the kidneys. Since the damage to blood vessels that occurs as a complication of diabetes can lead to kidney problems, the microalbumin test is done to check for damage to the kidneys over time. Can urine tests be used to Continue reading >>

Do Expired Urine Test Strips Still Work?

Do Expired Urine Test Strips Still Work?

It will depend very much on how far past expiry they are, what sort they are and (most importantly) how that have been stored. Even strips "in date" will not work reliably if not stored properly. But there isn't a "self-destruct timer" built into them; they don't cease function at midnight on the stated date! Continue reading >>

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