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Do Blood Ketone Strips Expire

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>

Can People With Diabetes Use Expired Blood Glucose Test Strips?

Can People With Diabetes Use Expired Blood Glucose Test Strips?

There has long been the debate of whether people with diabetes can use expired test strips. So, can you? Rather than simply answering yes or no, it is important to first understand what exactly a test strip is, and why the argument over expiration first came to pass. The key aspect is enzymes. Enzymes, which are proteins made by cells in all living organisms, coat the end of the strip, which is made of plastic. These enzymes are either glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase. The enzyme reacts with the glucose in a person’s blood and converts it into an electrical current. Upon the electricity being sent through the strip, the glucose concentration is presented by the blood glucose meter.[1] Here’s the thing, though. Enzymes break down over time. The activity of enzymes can decrease following exposure to humidity or extreme temperatures. This can alter the accuracy of glucose readings long before a scheduled expiration date. Subsequently, errors can begin to appear with rogue readings of either a high or low nature. Because the enzymes break down, manufacturers therefore place an expiration date on the strips. This is a necessity for manufacturers. Even if they are confident the strips will display accurate readings for x amount of time, one faulty test strip could lead to a diabetic patient making a management decision that could cost them their lives. The dates may differ depending on how the strips are made. The use of different enzymes can provide greater accuracy with a shorter life or vice versa. Some companies may go for the cheapest alternatives. The accuracy of expiration dates No-one is expected to believe that an expiration date scheduled for a Wednesday will enable to you test accurately on Tuesday, and then not again the day after. However, anecdotal e Continue reading >>

Urine Testing Stix

Urine Testing Stix

Human and animal diabetics both use ketostix or ketodiastix. These are reagent indicator strips that test urine for only ketone (ketostix) or for both ketones and glucose (ketodiastix). These links show examples of Ketostix[1] and Ketodiastix[2]. These stix are available at any brick-and-mortar or Internet pharmacy that sells human diabetic supplies. Stix do expire, so check the unopened expiration date when you buy them and record the date you open them. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use; prolonged exposure to air can produce false negative urine ketone test results[3]. If the foil-wrapped Ketostix, rather than the ones in vials are purchased, you may find it less wasteful. After the bottle is opened, the remaining unused strips have only a 6 months' life. By using the foil-wrapped ones, you can extend the "life" of your purchase. The singly-wrapped ones can have a unopened expiration date of up to two years. You are then only using what you need when you need it, having the rest still sealed and potent until the indicated expiration date[4]. You should test your pet's urine for ketones for the reasons discussed at ketones. You may test your pet's urine for glucose because (1) you've been instructed to do so by the vet as a method of gauging regulation, (2) your pet is undiagnosed and you want to determine whether there is hyperglycemia, or (3) your cat is in remission and you want to determine whether there is hyperglycemia. Some reasons for preferring testing glucose levels by using blood over urine testing is that the urine used in testing may have been in the bladder for hours. Because of this, it may not be a reliable indicator of what systemic glucose levels are at the time of testing[5]. What's seen when testing urine for glucose is an average of wh 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 >>

Expiration Date: The Most Common Concern Of Diabetic Test Strip Buyers On Amazon

Expiration Date: The Most Common Concern Of Diabetic Test Strip Buyers On Amazon

Amazon serves as an online marketplace for merchants to sell their products to consumers. Though Amazon’s competitive environment offers lowered prices, there are some products that present serious concerns to consumers. Diabetic test strips are one of those products because the Amazon listings for test strips do not display the expiration dates. Our case study shows the expiration date is the most common concern of people who buy glucose test strips on Amazon. As the expiration date continues to be one of the most common causes of glucose monitoring errors, it’s important for users to avoid using short-date glucose test strips. A common place many individuals with diabetes end up buying short-dated test strips is Amazon. Shoppers seeking low prices end up purchasing test strips that are potentially short-dated. Take a look at the following screenshot taken from a popular prime listing on Amazon for OneTouch Ultra Blue test strips. At the first glance you don’t see the expiration date, then you scroll down to “Product Description” and “Product Details” yet you cannot find the expiration date. The next natural move to find out the expiration date is to contact the seller. However, Amazon makes it hard for consumers to directly contact the sellers. Your only resort at this point is the Q&A section. You can search in the existing questions but you may not be able to find the current expiration date of the test strips. Alternatively, you can ask the seller about the expiration date, which often takes some time. Either way, it’s not easy to find out the expiration dates. Case-Study: Test Strip Expiration Dates – The Most Common Concern of Buyers Due to the fact that the Amazon listings for diabetes test strips do not display expiration dates, we see a large Continue reading >>

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?

Glucose test strips are expensive. Are you wasting money if you throw away expired strips? Are they still accurate if you use them after they have expired? These are important questions to ask if you cannot afford new test strips, or want to use old ones. Furthermore, you may have too many and want to sell diabetic test strips before they expire. A company named Glucomart performed some tests to help answer these questions. The design and results of their study are shown below. Design They used test strips from different manufacturers that had been expired for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. The expired strips were compared with the same brand unexpired strips. Three control solutions were used: normal, high, and low concentration glucose solutions. Test trips were tested three times in each control solution. Statistics were used to test the accuracy of each strip. The brands tested included: Accu-Check Aviva Plus Accu-Check Compact Advocate Bayer Breeze 2 Bayer Contour Bayer Contour Next Element Embrace FreeStyle FreeStyle Insulinx FreeStyle Lite Liberty Nova Max One Precision Xtra One Touch Ultra One Touch Ultra Blue TrueBalance TrueTest Results The accuracy of the test strips depended on: The brand of the test strip. The length of time since expiration. [thumbnail target=”_self” alt=”Accuracy of the test strips by brand ” src=”There was no significant difference between the accuracy of unexpired strips and those that had been expired for up to 1 year. Most strips that expired 2 years previously were accurate, except for Precision Xtra: Precision Xtra strips that expired 2 years ago were not accurate or precise. Those that expired 3 years ago gave false low readings. Most test strips that expired at least 5 years ago were less precise and accurate. They sometimes ga Continue reading >>

Using Expired Test Strips

Using Expired Test Strips

Using expired test strips can save you a lot of money, but are they accurate? This is an important question for diabetics who can not afford new test strips or for those who want to know their old test strips are still safe. We tested several brands of test strips that had been expired between 1 and 5 years and found that accuracy depended upon the length of time since expiration and the brand of test strip. Test strips were tested with brand specific controls that had at least 6 months until expiration. Test strips were tested 3 times per each control solution (normal, high, low) and averages, standard deviations, and %RSD were used to determine accuracy and precision. Brands of test strips tested included: One Touch Ultra, One Touch Ultra Blue, FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle, FreeStyle Insulinx, Accu-Chek Aviva Plus, Accu-Chek Compact, Bayer Breeze 2, Bayer Contour, Bayer Contour Next, Advocate, Element, Embrace, Liberty, Precision Xtra, TrueTest, TrueBalance, and Nova Max. Results are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please follow the advice of your physician. Expired Test Strips Data Test strips that had been expired for 1 year or less were not found to have a statistically significant variation in readings compared to unexpired test stirps. The majority of test strips at the 2 year mark were within the control solution range with the exception of Precision Xtra. Precision Xtra test strips that had been expired for more than 1 year were very slow at absorbing the control solution and readings were neither accurate nor precise. At three years past expiration Precision Xtra test strips read on average 102 below for high controls and read low (<20 mg/dL) for low controls. Test strips that had been expired m Continue reading >>

Ketones In Gestational Diabetes

Ketones In Gestational Diabetes

As part of your gestational diabetes management, your doctor may ask you to test for ketones in your morning urine. If you have gestational diabetes, you should know about insulin, glucose, and ketones. When you eat, your body breaks down foods into usable sources of energy. Glucose is the sugar that results. Your body needs glucose for energy and your baby needs it to grow. In order to get glucose out of your blood and into your cells, insulin is required. Insulin is a hormone that you produce in your pancreas. "In gestational diabetes, hormones produced during pregnancy can interfere with insulin and make it hard to use glucose. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to overcome the effects of the hormones, the blood sugar will rise," explains Louise McDonald, RN, clinical manager of maternity and pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Home Care. "The body cannot use sugar without enough insulin. That causes the body to break down fats as a source of energy. Ketones are the waste products that are left over when the body burns some of its own fat for fuel. The ketones pass from the bloodstream into the urine," says McDonald. Why Are Ketones Important in Gestational Diabetes? The treatment of gestational diabetes is aimed at keeping your blood sugar under control. This is done with a combination of diet, exercise, and sometimes insulin treatment. Finding ketones in your urine is a warning sign that your blood sugar control is out of balance. High blood sugar. If you are taking in more sugar in your diet than your insulin can manage, your blood sugar goes up. This is dangerous for you and your baby. If your baby is exposed to more sugar then the baby needs, the baby will grow too fast. This condition, called macrosomia, can lead to problems during delivery. Low blood sug Continue reading >>

What Are Ketone Test Strips?

What Are Ketone Test Strips?

When your blood sugar runs high for an extended period of time, your body turns to fat reserves in order to get the energy it needs. The byproduct of this process is ketones, which show up in your blood and urine. Ketones can indicate hyperglycemia, which can be a serious situation if not treated properly. Ketone test strips can help determine the level of ketones in either urine or blood. Testing ketones with a blood-based test strip that you insert in a meter is just like testing your blood sugar. Testing with a urine strip means you either collect a small sample of urine or urinate directly onto the strip. Though testing with blood might be more accurate, it is also much more expensive. That's why so many of those with diabetes chose to go with urine ketone test strips. Understanding ketone test strip results Urine ketone test strips are looking for acetoacetic acid in the urine. This acid reacts with nitroprusside, a chemical in the strip, to produce a color. This color corresponds with a chart that comes packaged along with your test strips, usually on the outside of the vial. Typically, the results include negative, trace, moderate or large ketones. Negative ketones are a good sign. Trace ketones mean you should treat your high blood sugar as you normally would. Moderate or large ketones mean that your blood sugar has been too high for a while. Take the test a second time to confirm, then give your doctor a call. Options for ketone test strips When choosing urine ketone test strips, keep in mind how often you will use them. Test strips in a vial must be used before the expiration date, which is typically within six months after opening the package. Test strips that are individually packaged in foil cost a bit more, but will last much longer than those in a vial. I Continue reading >>

Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix

Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix

Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips

Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips

Discuss this article! By Doreen EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT KETOSIS ... 1. What are ketones? 2. How will ketosis help me to lose weight? 3. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? 4. How do the ketone test strips work, and where do I get them? 5. I'm following Induction strictly; why won't my strips turn purple? 6. Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time? 7. Does caffeine affect ketosis? 8. Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis? What are ketones? Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins ... or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs - or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called "ketosis". How will ketosis help me to lose weight? Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT. Being in ketosis means that your body's primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there's no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss --- once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can't be converted back to fat, and so is excreted. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is Continue reading >>

How To Test Your Blood With A Home Ketone Meter

How To Test Your Blood With A Home Ketone Meter

testing is used by people with diabetes and by people on a ketogenic diet. You can test your urine or your blood for ketones. But because urine testing is not as accurate, the American Diabetes Association recommends blood ketone testing with a ketone meter as the preferable method. If you have diabetes, you should discuss home blood ketone testing with your doctor to learn whether it is recommended in your case and when you should perform the testing. Ketone testing is particularly important during periods of illness. Blood Ketone Meters for Testing at Home You will need a blood ketone meter and a kit that include the lancet pen and ketone test strips. These meters also will read blood glucose test strips, and both will download their results to your computer. Other brands and models may be available, including: Precision Xtra: This meter from Abbott Diabetes Care can store up to 450 measurements and will display your blood glucose averages over different time periods. You need to enter a code to switch from glucose testing to ketone testing. Users seem happier with the Precision brand, and researchers find it to be the more accurate. The strips require 1.5 microliters of blood. It also features a backlit display. Nova Max Plus: This meter from Nova Biomedical is often provided free with the purchase of two boxes of test strips. You don't have to enter a code to switch it from blood glucose to ketone testing; it does that automatically when you insert a ketone test strip. If you are using it primarily for blood glucose, it will remind you to test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 250 mg/dL or higher. The test strips for the Nova Max are less expensive but also flimsier and give more error messages, requiring retesting. The strips require less blood than the Prec 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 >>

Ask D'mine: How Expired Can The Milk Be?

Ask D'mine: How Expired Can The Milk Be?

Welcome back to our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois. This week, Wil takes on a dual set of questions asking about expiration dates on those handy little strips we use to test our blood sugar levels -- and whether there's really any need to respect the stamped-on expiration dates. Take a peek at what Wil has to say... as well as what one of the big strip-makers tells us. {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Beth, type 1 from New York, writes: I have been a "juvenile diabetic" since 1960 -- when I was six years old. I have recently received 1600 glucose test strips for free. About 600 of them were expired. I did a little research, and decided that maybe the whole "expiration date" thing for test strips may not be true. I have been using these test strips for two months now. I occasionally test with my regular monitor and unexpired test strips to check the accuracy. Guess what? The results are the same -- maybe 5 points different. I have decided the expiration date on test strips is a ploy by the drug companies to suck us dry! Oh, yeah. The expiration dates were 2007 & 2008. But in the same week.... Bob, type 1 from Sacramento, CA, writes: Over the last few days I have been getting higher than normal readings; 165-325 for no apparent reason. I noticed that my test strips "expired" 4 months ago... could this be the cause of my high readings? Thanks for any help! [email protected] D'Mine answers: Excuse me while I stroll out onto a mine field here... Nothing in diabetes is more controversial than test strips. Their cost. Their accuracy. Their availability. Even their effectiveness as part of therapy. But as much as I usually enjoy beating a dead horse, today I'm going to avoid all o 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 >>

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