Diabetes Test Strips: Keep a Tab on your Disease

September 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Today, a majority of our population is suffering from different kinds of diabetes. People suffering from diabetes need to undergo a constant check up of their blood sugar levels so as to prevent their glucose levels being out of control. In earlier days, diabetes testing was quite a cumbersome process, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, you can easily check your blood glucose level with the help of a glucose monitor and diabetes test strips.

Although diabetes test strips give you an exact figure of your glucose levels, these can be quite expensive to use. Hence, you must make sure to use these test strips properly so that you do not end up wasting them without obtaining any accurate results.

How to Use Diabetes Test Strips

Before starting the procedure, be ready with your diabetes test strips, glucose monitor and lancing device. You will be performing the piercing action with the lancing device, hence make sure to choose a part of the body (like finger tip) that you are most comfortable with.

Place one of your diabetes test strips in the glucose meter and test the code present on it. Now, match this code with the code number printed on the test strip vial label and proceed only if the code matches. In case you do not find a match, you will have to adjust the meter code by using up and down keys.

Once you get matching codes, wait for the glucose meter’s ready signal which may look like a blood drop on your test strips. Once you are able to see the symbol, pierce your finger with the help of lancing device and extract a blood drop. Now place this extracted drop of blood on one of the diabetes test strips that you placed in the meter. This should be done as per the instructions given in the manual.

The glucose meter will notify you of the results by producing a beep or any other sound. After this, you can discard your test strip and your device will be turned off automatically.

Proper Handling of Diabetes Test Strips

The test strips for diabetes should be properly stored within their original container with a closed lid. The special material of the container helps in preserving these test strips by keeping them dry. Also, it is best to keep the strips in one container only instead of transferring them continuously from one container to another.

The diabetes test strips should be used immediately after they are removed from their storage container. Avoid exposing these to the outside environment, particularly direct light, for prolonged periods of time. Avoid keeping the test strips in a humid area such as a bathroom or kitchen. Keep them at a dry place in a closed container.

Handle the strips only with thoroughly washed and dried hands in order to avoid wetting them. Also, diabetes test strips should be kept away from extremely hot or extremely cold conditions.


Buying Diabetes Supplies Online is Fast and Easy

June 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you may be thinking about the issues associated with living with diabetes. Your doctor will discuss the symptoms and possible treatments. They know that living with diabetes is going to affect all the aspects of your life. It is going to change your way of thinking and what foods you can or cannot have. It can be overwhelming at times, but you need to be aware that people do live with diabetes. They do that every day. You can be one of those people.

You will need to regularly check your blood sugar, usually a few times each day. That is a lot of diabetes supplies. It is hard to have enough supplies on hand, as you try and manage your diabetes. That is true especially when you first get diagnosed with it.

When you find yourself running low on any diabetes supplies, and instead of running around town and using more gas for those emergency trips to the drug store, you can go online and order it that way. It will save you time and gas money. You can then make sure that you have all your supplies ready to use.

Buying your supplies online can be done at any time of the day or night. When you realize that your supply is running low, you can always go online and place a rush order. Another advantage of buying your supplies online is that you can browse a huge selection of items and brand names. You can find the best bargain for your buck. It can always save you time and money.


Ordering Diabetes Supplies Online

June 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

If you have been managing diabetes for a while and are hoping to save some money on your diabetes supplies, check with your doctor about ordering these supplies online. A little bit of research can lead to significant savings on your monthly diabetes supplies.

Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, start asking other people you know who have diabetes, where they order their diabetes supplies. Start making a list of companies using online reviews as well, and then begin your research.

There are many diabetes supplies that can be ordered online – from a continuous glucose monitoring system, lancets, control solutions, to insulin pumps but you need to validate the online supplier.

First, check out the BBB (Better Business Bureau), to be sure there are no complaints or lawsuits pending. Then, check to be sure that your health insurance plan is accepted by the company. If you narrow down your list with these two requirements, you can then begin to check other requirements you may have.

For example,some of the companies on your list may offer free shipping. Some may have a minimum order amount, but that might be feasible for you each time you order. Make sure there are no upfront expenses, and if there is a no-risk guarantee, take it, and try them out.

There may also be some extra incentives for you to try a company, and these are good to note. Maybe a company has an order reminder that you can set up with your email account to help you stay on top of your supplies. Companies may offer free items to entice you such as cookbooks or meters or even online support. This is a great way to stay connected and may tip the scale in that company’s favor.

Take your time and have a checklist. Once you realize the ease and savings of ordering online, you may never have to invest that much time keeping up with your diabetes supplies again.


Why You Should Buy Diabetes Supplies Online

December 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Managing diabetes is hard enough without having to run around for supplies. Diabetes medication is easy to order online once you have your prescription in hand. You don’t need to waste any gas driving to and from the drugstore anymore! Making sure that you have your diabetes supplies ready is part of managing your disease. Online shopping is extremely easy once you find the right products at the best price.

For one thing, buying supplies online is something you can do at any time of day or night. If you suddenly realize that you are running out of something, just log onto your computer and place a rush order. Online shopping for diabetes supplies allows you to compare prices as well. You can take your time without feeling rushed at a pharmacy counter. Also, shopping online gives you privacy.

Another major advantage of buying your supplies online is the ability to browse a huge selection of items and brand names. At your local pharmacy, you are limited to the inventory stocked by the store. Before you run out of your supplies, check out the wide range of items available right from your home computer.


Consider Insulin Pens or Insulin Pumps to Help Manage Your Blood Sugars

November 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

For the millions of Americans managing diabetes every day, each year brings with it new hope for treatment, particularly in the delivery of insulin to the body.

But before we discuss the types of treatments available, it’s first important to fully understand how diabetes affects the human body. Diabetes, for all intents and purposes, stems from an individual having an excess of glucose in their blood.

Glucose – also referred to as “blood sugar” – is “food” for cells in muscles and tissue as well as the brain, providing them with critical energy.  But an excess of glucose can severely impact neurological and cardiovascular functions, such as causing numbness in limbs.

Therefore, the cornerstone of diabetes management is keeping glucose levels stable using insulin. Normally, diabetics should periodically monitor their blood sugars and inject insulin as appropriate. But there have been some encouraging developments on that front.

Insulin pens, for example, deliver insulin just under the skin and already contains insulin; as a result, diabetics don’t need to withdraw insulin from the vial into the needle. Insulin pumps, meanwhile, can be used instead of injections; a computer chip continually monitors blood sugars and automatically releases insulin through a tube under the skin.

Talk to your doctor to see if either option would be right for you.


Lancing Devices Explained

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Retrieving a daily blood sample is a necessary step in keeping one’s diabetes under control. Simple monitoring reminds patients to keep on track throughout the day.  Diabetes supplies such as a lancing device are designed so that self-testing can be done simply, effectively and without much pain.

A lancing device is a tool, which propels a lancet into a patient’s finger to get a blood sample. Keeping the lancet and lancing device clean is very important. It is recommended that a person also swab their finger with alcohol before use.

After use, it is recommended that the lancet be discarded. There are proper ways of discarding the lancet since it is sharp and has come in contact with blood. It is recommended that lancets be put in a puncture proof, metal container, which is leak proof, has a tight fitting lid and is labeled a biohazard. Never share lancets since it could increase the likelihood of spreading blood borne pathogens and other diseases. The lancet and lancing device must be cleaned before and after each use.

Many diabetes supplies can be purchased on-line. Ask your physician to recommend a brand that is of the highest quality and be sure to keep yourself well stocked.


Think Ahead: Keep Diabetes Supplies in Stock

September 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

There are many precautions a person diagnosed with diabetes needs to take. There are diabetes supplies a person needs to have on hand to test glucose levels, diabetes medication they may be prescribed to keep their blood sugar at a safe level and learning how to eat better and exercise more to combat weight problems.

Keeping on top of all daily diabetes supplies is particularly important since a person would never want to be without them. Lancing devices are part of the protocol used in measuring a person’s blood glucose level.  It is important that these devices remain clean and sterile. Therefore, part of any diabetes supply kit should include alcohol swabs. Alcohol swabs will ensure a person practices safe testing. Keeping their lancing devices free from germs, bacterium or potential viruses will help to ward off any potential diabetes complication.

There are many businesses which sell diabetes supplies that will be able to put patients on a schedule and ship these supplies for free. This works out so that patients don’t have to worry about reordering.


Glucometers: The Basics

March 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

glucose_meterIf you’re diabetic, or know someone who is, chances are that you’ve at least seen a glucometer. If you don’t know what one is, they’re a necessary tool used with diabetes to check blood sugar levels at certain times of day. They’re manufactured by many different companies and come in different styles and with different options. Glucometers test blood samples from patients to determine the level of blood sugar; this allows the diabetic to monitor their blood sugar level and administer sugar or insulin as needed.

A lancet is used to puncture the skin, usually on a finger tip, and obtain the blood sample. This sample is the placed on a test strip which is placed into the glucometer. The small computer inside the machine then calculates the level of sugar present in the sample and displays this as a number on the built in screen. Levels between 80 and 100 are normal, while above indicates the need for insulin and below indicates the need for a source of sugar. Normally, these sources of sugar should be small and contain refined sugars, like a piece of candy or chocolate.

With the aid of a glucometer, patients can avoid debilitating conditions like diabetic comas. A diabetic coma results from both extremes in blood sugar levels. These comas are frightening and can be life threatening, but with the aid of a glucometer, medication and a healthy diet, the risks of these can be greatly lowered.

All glucometers work on the same principle; a blood sample is analyzed for sugar levels. Glucometers differ mainly in size, placement of test strip and the location where blood samples can be obtained. Most have to have a sample from a finger tip, but this can be a painful experience, especially when the tests must be performed multiple times in a day. Newer glucometer models allow for samples taken from the inside of the forearm and other areas, though these glucometers tend to cost a little more than older styles.

Some glucometers require the test strip to be inserted after placing the sample on it, though these are older models and are becoming increasingly rare. Newer models require the test strip to be placed into the top of the glucometer, with the absorbent strip facing out, toward the patient. The sample is then touched to the top edge of the test strip, which wicks the sample into the strip itself and is then tested by the computer, and results displayed for the patient’s information.

Glucometers are battery powered for portability, though some have rechargeable batteries like a cell phone. Most work on simple AA batteries, though. Many diabetics carry a small, preloaded syringe of insulin with them and keep a glucometer for home use and one in their vehicle or on their person. A glucometer must be used with the correct test strips, or the sample will be analyzed improperly, or not at all. To determine which test strips are right for a certain glucometer, read the information in the User’s Manual that comes with all new glucometers. This will give specifics like brand of test strip recommended and style needed.


Pros and Cons of Insulin Pumps

The insulin pump is a medical device that is used for managing insulin levels in the body to treat diabetes mellitus. With the help of this device, a patient can administer the right amount of insulin in his or her body, in order to maintain the right insulin level. Thus, this device helps to ease the process of maintaining insulin levels in the body.

The device includes:

  • A pump, along with the controls, batteries, and processing module
  • Inside the pump, there is a disposable reservoir for keeping insulin
  • A disposable infusion set, along with the cannula is included for inserting in the skin
  • A tubing system is included for interfacing the disposable insulin reservoir to the cannula

The insulin pump acts as an alternative to daily injections of insulin that are administered by an insulin pen or syringe. It helps a diabetic patient go through intensive insulin therapy, if the patient requires the insulin injection in tandem with lowering fat and blood glucose monitoring. Through the insulin pump therapy, a patient can replace slow acting insulin for insulin requirements, with the constant introduction of rapid acting insulin dosage. This device helps an individual administer single type of fast acting insulin injection in the following two ways:

  • Bonus dosage of the drug to correct a high glucose blood sugar level.
  • Basal dose to constantly pump a dosage of the drug to stem over the insulin need, during meals and during the night.

Advantage of administering insulin dosage with the help of the insulin pump:

  • It is more convenient to use them than using syringes.
  • With it, one can easily administer rapid acting insulin dosage.
  • With the help of the insulin pump, a diabetic patient can deliver the right amount of insulin that is needed by the body.
  • In the long term, this device helps an individual save more money than multiple daily injections.

Disadvantages of administering insulin dosage with the help of an insulin pump:

  • The insulin pump is more expensive than the syringes used for injecting insulin.
  • It needs to be worn most of the time, so the users do not have the freedom to participate in certain kinds of activities like water sports or other rough activities.
  • Some patients feel that wearing it all the time is uneasy.
  • As it treats with the help of rapid acting insulin dosage only, a patient has the chance of suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis if the pump does not contain enough fast acting insulin dosage.
  • As it is battery operated, if the device remains discharged, a patient’s administration of insulin may be affected, which may lead to complications.
  • Its users need to administer the effective delivery of insulin, as it is battery operated, else there can be some malfunctions to the device.

A Short Guide to Selecting Glucose Monitors for Diabetes Control

January 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Glucose monitors are a mainstay of the treatment regimen for anyone with diabetes.  Glucose monitors can differ greatly in form, but they all share a universal function–to measure the amount of glucose in the blood. Most glucose monitors utilize a test strip that contains chemicals that react to the blood in predictable ways that vary according to blood glucose concentration.  This reaction can be measured electronically by glucose monitors to obtain a value for blood glucose concentration. While all approved blood glucose monitors are highly reliable, there are a number of differences in terms of weight, appearance, testing speed, testing convenience, and other factors that are important to diabetics. Remember that the need to test blood glucose levels is the single most important facet of diabetes control, so it is worth while to do some research before selecting glucose monitors.

One important component to consider when looking at the features of different glucose monitors is the size and ease of use of the glucose monitors. The monitor should be large enough to be easily used yet should be small enough to easily carry on your person. The actual optimum size will clearly vary by individual, so it is impossible to make a sweeping recommendation on the best size of glucose monitors. If possible, look at glucose monitors that require the least number of steps possible. Many glucose monitors can give consistent results after only a couple of steps, whereas others can be quite complicated to operate. Glucose monitors that are easy to use and operate have less of an impact on the patient’s life.

When shopping for glucose monitors, the diabetes patient should evaluate the quality of the glucose monitor’s display. A display that is difficult to read is clearly more difficult to use than other glucose monitors but, more importantly, a display that is difficult to read increases the likelihood of errors which could result in compromised treatment. Display quality is of particular importance to those who suffer from some of the eye difficulties that are a common side effect of diabetes. It is preferable to use glucose monitors that are backlit rather than using a dimmer front lit display. A backlit display is much easier to read in poorly lit areas.

For those who are considering using a form of continuous insulin delivery such as an insulin pump, the ability to keep track of historical glucose levels is vital. Many glucose monitors will save results for a week or more, but more data is needed to create the sort of base line that one would like to have when using automated insulin injection systems.  For those who are familiar with basic computer accounting and/or charting software (think of spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel), some of the higher end glucose monitors offer the ability to interface with a computer (typically via universal serial bus (USB) connections) and download the results which can then be charted and shared with your physician.


A Short Guide to Buying Diabetic Test Strips Online

December 28, 2006 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Diabetic test strips are a vital component of any diabetes control treatment regimen. Diabetic test strips are small chemically coated strips that react with the patient’s blood in a way that changes based on the concentration of glucose on the patient’s blood. The glucose monitor can detect the way in which the chemical reaction proceeds in order to judge the concentration of glucose in the patient’s blood. Since diabetic test strips are a continuous ongoing expense for those who must deal with the disease of diabetes, many patients have begun to purchase diabetic test strips from mail order companies or through the internet.  This is a great way to save money on diabetic test strips and other diabetes testing supplies, but there are a few key concepts to keep in mind when using the internet to purchase your diabetic test strips.

First, you should make sure that the internet retailer that you are using to buy your diabetic test strips is reliable.  Check with online diabetes advice and support bulletin boards and other places that rate online pharmaceutical merchants and make sure that the majority of the other people have had a positive experience with the seller. Customer reviews are the very best way to evaluate any internet business, and companies that sell diabetic test strips online are no exception.

Be cautious of any internet marketer who sells diabetic test strips that does not publish a telephone number. There can be times when you simply can not wait for an email response and it is important to be able to count on the ability to talk to a customer service representative to handle your high priority questions.

If you have become convinced that the internet marketer that you are considering using to buy your diabetic test strips is reputable, the next thing that you must do is make sure that the company clearly lists the expiration date of any diabetic test strips that they sell. Diabetic test strips are not guaranteed to produce accurate results beyond the expiration date, so it is important to keep this in mind. Most reputable online merchants will not sell expired diabetic test strips, but accidents can happen even with the most well intentioned marketer. Be sure to check the diabetic test strips the moment they arrive and contact the online company immediately if they have expired or will expire before you have the opportunity to use them all. If you have heeded the advice of the previous paragraph, you should call the telephone number of the online merchant to get assistance. In this vein, be sure that you have enough diabetic test strips, or quick access to an emergency supply, so you can be prepared in case there is a problem with the diabetic test strips that you buy online.


Paying for Diabetic Testing Supplies

December 22, 2006 by  
Filed under Diabetes Supplies

Diabetic testing supplies such as glucose meters, test strips, and other devices used to monitor blood sugar levels, are a recurring expense for diabetic patients. For those who do not have adequate medical insurance, paying for diabetic testing supplies can create an enormous financial hardship. Fortunately for diabetics, the government programs of Medicaid and Medicare now cover diabetic testing supplies, thereby providing some financial relief to those who truly need it.

Medicaid is an insurance program funded by government on both the state and federal levels. Medicaid benefits are typically limited to those who are of extremely low income or have certain other qualifying conditions. All Medicaid enrollees who have diabetes are eligible to receive free diabetic testing supplies, including a limited number of lancets and test strips. While Diabetic testing supplies are covered fully, which is a good thing, many other types of diabetic testing supplies are covered by Medicaid as well. An unlimited number of syringes per month are covered by Medicaid, as are blood sugar monitors, specialized glucose meters and other important diabetes test supplies. If you are covered by Medicaid and need to obtain diabetes test supplies, you must make sure that your pharmacy not only will bill Medicaid directly but is also registered with the section of Medicaid that covers diabetic testing supplies and other diabetes equipment.

Medicare is a more general purpose program than Medicaid and is typically offered to those who have certain qualifying conditions and medical requirements as well as those who are over the age of sixty five. Until recently, Medicare did not cover the costs of diabetic testing supplies. Fortunately, Medicare does now cover diabetic testing supplies along with other diabetes equipment. Medicare covers lancets and test strips to a limited number per month. Currently Medicare will cover up to one hundred test strips and the same number of lancets per month for diabetic patients who use insulin and the same number per every two months for those who do not use insulin, but be sure to check with your pharmacist or call Medicare customer service to see how many lancets Medicare covers as this number can occasionally change. Medicare may be able to cover more test strips and lancets per month if you physician will document that you have a need for more diabetic testing supplies.

Those who are not covered by any insurance program, public or private, may still be eligible for free or reduced price diabetic testing supplies through their local pharmacies or state governments. People in this situation should check with their local pharmacist or their state health board to determine if they have any access to free or reduced price diabetic testing supplies.


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