World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that the number of people suffering from diabetes has increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The widespread of the disease at such an alarming rate calls for the invention and discovery of more and more methods to combat this serious issue. One of the mentionable inventions here is the blood glucose test strip, also commonly known as diabetes test strips. These are small disposable plastic strips which help in determining the amount of glucose in the blood, thereby, aiding in monitoring and controlling it.
Blood glucose test strips consist of a chemical called glucose oxidase which reacts with the glucose from blood to form gluconic acid. The strip identifies the gluconic acid and sends current between the terminals which is visible in a meter present in it. The amount of current transferred indicates the amount of glucose present in the blood. However, in some of the test strips, no current meter is present. Instead, the amount of glucose is identified by the change in colour of the strip. The strip comes with a colour chart which can be referred to determine the glucose levels. Though these are less accurate than the ones with electric meters, they are much cheaper and therefore, opted by people with economic constraints.
These strips are readily available in pharmacies and online stores. Though disposable and not meant for re-use, some of the strips allow reapplication of blood during the test if required. The quantity of blood required for the test depends on the type of strip used, however, 0.5-1 microlitre usually suffices. Generally, they are fit to use after 3-6 months of opening, however, instructions provided on the box or leaflet that comes along with the strip must be carefully read so that no misinterpretation of the results of the test occurs.
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.