Diabetes test strips, also called glucometer test strips, are used with a Diabetes meter to help measure the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood stream. Test strips are designed to be paired with specific meters. In order to use a test strip properly, a small blood sample is drawn from the body using a lancet. The sample is placed on the blood glucose test strip and then run through the Diabetes meter.
Each Diabetic meter and test strip system works differently; some meters use light reflected from the test strip to measure the amount of sugar in the blood, while other systems rely upon electricity generated from the chemical reaction in the test strip.
Blood glucose test strips vary based on which chemical, or reagent, is used to react with the sugar in the blood. The three chemical bases used to make test strips are: Glucose oxidase (GLOO-kohs ok-si-deys), dehydrogenase (DEE-hy-druh-juh-neys) and hexokinase (hek-SUH-Ky-neys). The manufacturer of each Diabetic meter determines which chemical is used for each particular style of Diabetic test strip.
Generic Test Strips
While all meter manufacturers make test strips that are designed specifically for use with their meters, you may be able to find generic test strips, that generally cost significantly less, to fit your meter. These generic test strips are called “generic glucose reagent strips.” Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your meter to ensure that the generic test strips you purchase will be compatible with your Diabetes meter.
See your doctor for more information about blood glucose test strips and other diabetic supplies.