Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Requirements for how glucose test strips are used will vary with monitoring devices. Check the instructions for using glucose test strips with the make and model of the monitoring device that you use. The general method for use is that a glucose test strip is placed into the monitoring device. Then you use a special needle to pierce your finger and put a drop of blood onto the glucose test strip. The strip contains chemicals that will react with the glucose in your blood; when the strip is inserted into the meter, the device can "read" the chemical reaction and provide you with a measurement of your blood sugar levels. After you get a test result, the glucose test strip is removed from the monitoring device and disposed of.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Glucose test strips should be used for checking your blood glucose level if you have diabetes. With this information, you will be able to proactively maintain your blood sugar in the target range suggested by your medical professional. You can use glucose test strips with your monitoring device at home, at work, and when you travel.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Other manufactures may produce generic test strips that work with your glucose monitor kit. These are usually cheaper than brand name test strips. However, always carefully check the packaging of the generic test strips to see if your glucose monitor kit is listed as compatible. A generic test strip may not work with your monitor even if it looks exactly like the brand name one. If your results seem unusual, the generic test strips may not be working properly.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    All meter systems have three separate components. First is the meter itself. Usually smaller than a cell phone, it is the brains of the system.

    The next component of the system is test strips. They are thin flexible plastic matchsticks between half an inch and an inch long; usually an eighth inch or so wide. They are actually quite a bit more complex than they appear; sandwiched between the plastic top and bottom is quite a bit of science. The strips are designed to wick in a small blood sample for analysis by the meter. They are disposable one-shot wonders.

    The third part of the meter trilogy is the lancing device. Often vaguely pen-shaped, this is a spring-loaded plastic mechanism whose job it is to poke a small hole in your skin with minimum pain.
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    You may be surprised when you go to buy replacement strips for your blood glucose meter. The meter that seemed like a bargain at the time of purchase may turn into a major expense when it comes time to pay for strips, especially if you don’t get reimbursed for them by your health care insurance. In the long run, the strips will cost you more than the meter itself. Most meters will only use one kind of strip. 

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Generic test strips are often less expensive than brand-name strips by the manufacturer of your diabetic meter. It's okay to use generic test strips, but you’ll need to check the label to make sure they are compatible with the specific make and model of your meter. If you use generic test strips, make sure they give you consistent results.
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    Alternative blood glucose monitoring, such as the upper arm, thigh, calf, and palm, is available with some blood glucose meters. Make sure to check your meter for the availability of this feature before using alternate sites. Alternate sites will give you more options, but these sites may not be as consistently accurate as your fingertips. For example, readings from alternate sites may vary after eating, taking insulin, or during low blood glucose periods. 

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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    With many meters, the machine needs to know stuff about the strips—the one-shot meter “food” that sucks in the drop of blood for testing. The vial of strips will have a code number printed on it. It is vital that the meter knows what this number is.

    Some meters use a chip that plugs into the back of the meter, some make you enter the code number using the keypad on the meter, and the newer models are self-coding so you don’t have to worry about it at all.

    That said, you need to know which kind your meter is. If you have a model that needs to be coded and you don’t code it, your numbers can be way off. If you don’t have the energy to read through the manual that came with the meter, call the toll-free phone number printed on the back of the meter. The folks that make the meter will be happy to talk you through the process.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Glucose monitor kits require a small sample of blood. In most cases, a lancet is used to prick the fingertip causing a small drop of blood to surface. Some glucose monitor kits are designed to be used on other locations such as your forearm, upper arm, thumb, thigh, or calf. The drop of blood is then placed on a test strip and inserted in to your glucose monitor device. These test strips are previously treated with a solution that reacts with the glucose in your blood. Glucose monitors then analyze this sample by either measuring the amount of electricity that travels through the strip or the amount of light that is reflected off the strip. A digital display will show your results measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).

     

    Although most at-home glucose monitor kits work similarly, be sure that you completely read the instructions enclosed with yours. Also, follow your doctor’s instructions. This will reduce your risk getting incorrect blood sugar readings.
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    If you have tried to stuff your meter, pen or syringes and insulin, and other supplies into a purse or briefcase, you’ll know how handy a special bag can be. Carrying cases can help organize all your supplies and keep them in one convenient place. They can also insulate your insulin from hot or cold temperatures.