Diabetes Home Care Management - Testing

Describe the process you go through when testing with blood glucose reagent strips.

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Blood glucose reagent strips

Reagent strips are saturated with glucose oxidase, an enzyme that interacts with glucose. When a drop of blood is placed on the strip, the glucose oxidase chemically reacts with the blood glucose. The resultant reaction changes the color of the strip. The higher the glucose level, the greater the reaction, so the more dramatic the color change. The blood glucose level can be determined by comparing the color of the strip with a color chart. For accurate results, test strips should be stored at room temperature and away from moisture. To protect the strips from moisture, bottles should be closed after use.

The disadvantage of reagent strips alone is that they do not give an exact glucose measurement. They are accurate enough, however, to alert patients to seriously high or low levels of glucose. Examples of reagent strips available overthecounter (OTC) are Chemstrip bG and Glucostix. To determine a more accurate blood glucose level, the reagent strip must be combined with a blood glucose meter. (See below.)

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