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Cheap Diabetes Test Strips

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Cheap Diabetes Test Strips: A Primer

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is an insidious, degenerative disease that affects every organ in the body, and if managed badly can lead to amputations of limbs. The most common misconception about diabetes is that it is a singular disease. Diabetes is a cluster of disorders which affect the body’s metabolism of glucose.

Types of DM

  1. Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes – The cause of this form of DM is unknown, and this occurs in children and young adults who cannot produce enough insulin in the body. Patients need to take injections every day.
  2. Type 2 or Adult onset diabetes – This type of DM is often attributed to being overweight, having a bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle. DM is managed with medication, a strict diet, and exercise.
  3. Gestational Diabetes – When pregnant women with no known history of the disease suddenly develop high blood sugar, they test within normal parameters after childbirth.

Common Symptoms of DM

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Increased hunger

Managing Life With Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic condition. This means that the body isn’t performing one of its tasks effectively the fallout of which has to be managed. Once you have been tested and you have consulted with a doctor, you can go about managing your disease so that you are at your productive best!

The most common course of treatment for diabetes is:

  1. Regular testing
  2. Low Glycemic Index (GI) diet
  • Moderate exercise
  1. Medication / injections

The Cost of Diabetes

Diabetes-related deaths in the world amount to nearly 1.5-5 million deaths in a year and roughly 415 million people globally were diagnosed with DM. The most common riff among the Public Service Announcements (PSA) is that regular monitoring of blood sugar can ensure that you take better care of your health. However, testing equipment can be expensive – diabetes’ economic cost was estimated at USD600 billion and upwards worldwide. For patients of the disease, testing regularly can be prohibitive regarding cost. It’s not all negative though, there are economical options available in the market, and that is what we will look at today.

What are Test Strips? How Do They Work? Why Do You Need Them?

Diabetes test strips are coated with Glucose Oxidase. This chemical reacts with the glucose in your blood. The chemical reaction produces Gluconic Acid. The part of the strip (which is inserted into the Glucometer) has two terminals which are electrified by the reaction of the Glucose Oxidase and blood glucose. This current is measured by the meter which then gives you your blood sugar reading.

Test strips are the easiest way to regularly monitor your blood sugar. For patients with Type 1 DM, and for older patients of DM, daily testing is a necessity. Diabetes strips are not reusable, so, you have to be stocked up, and this will cost you money. The best way to manage is to buy wholesale quantities or buy cheaper strips.

Diabetes Test Strips

Diabetes test strips last anywhere between 3 to 6 months. However, it is best to go by the dates given on the box. Since they have a reactive substance, it is best to use strips quickly once you have opened the packaging.

Cheap Diabetes Test Strips

There are a lot of instances when cheap means poor quality – clothing, for instance, is one such niche. With medical equipment, people choose not to risk it and prefer to buy more expensive brands assuming quality. However, most companies also sell low-cost options for people who are looking for economies. If your healthcare provider covers the cost of test strips, like in the UK, then you are in luck.

Let’s look at a few recognizable names of Diabetic test strips, in no particular order, here so you can make an informed choice.

  1. OneTouch Ultra Blue

    – This brand of strips is more than a decade old and is well-trusted. They come in packs of 25, 50 (with a pack of 10 free), and 100. The 100 pack is priced at up to $249.99 in some pharmacies. OneTouch Ultra Blue test strips have by far the lowest co-pay on most health plans. It has 100% coverage on Medicare PartB (subject to terms and conditions of service providers). The company, OneTouch, has a solution which will show you if the strip works or not. Ultra Blue is one of the top-rated products at more e-retailers and is one of the best selling as well. The strips are best used with a OneTouch machine.

  2. FreeStyle Lite

    – The FreeStyle brand is a part of Abbot pharmaceuticals, which is among the best known in the world. FreeStyle Lite test strips come in packs of 25, 50, and 100. They are available at most big box retailers and are covered by most healthcare plans.  At retail, a pack of 100 costs around $199.98. The patented technology on these strips ensures easy and quick application of the sample. Not only that, you need a very small sample size for each strip. You can re-apply blood up to 60 seconds after your first sample; this means the likelihood of wastage is very low. They have a promising program which ensures an automatic copay every month, so you are saved from the filing process as well!

  3. Accu-Chek Aviva Plus

    With a sample size of 0.6 micro liters, the Aviva Plus test strip works for all people. The strip is designed in such a way that the sample falls on to the tip so that it can be used by patients of all ages. You don’t have to position your finger at an awkward angle to give a sample. You can subscribe for door delivery of the strips to your home if you order directly from the website. The strips are sold in 25, 50 and 100 count boxes, sometimes in sets.  These strips work with all Accu-Chek Aviva devices.

  4. Accu-Chek SmartView

    This strip too comes with the Accu-Chek convenience of filling the strip at the tip so that all users can use it without any hassles. A tiny sample size, improved accuracy of results, and usability across all Accu-Chek devices mean that this strip is among the top-ranked This also comes with a subscription option so you can have it delivered home. The strips come in packs of 50 are each pack is priced at $41.90. A 100 pack of this product works out to around $71.00 which is great if you are looking to economies.

Diabetes test strips are an essential part of managing the disease. It helps you monitor your health at home and saves you to time and effort of having to run to a lab every time to get your tests done. With time, the diabetes test strips have become more effective and they are so portable they fit in trouser pockets for those on the move.

If you are a diabetic, don’t worry about it costing you money. A lot of health care plans cover diabetic strips, and you can get reasonable copay. Look for the companies that offer you this option and buy accordingly. DM is a degenerative disease over time, but, it has become very easy to live with.

Causes for Diabetes

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diabetes
  1. Lack of insulin production-

It is the leading cause of type 1 diabetes. It occurs when the insulin-producing cells in our body are damaged or destroyed and eventually stop the production of insulin. It is needed to move blood sugar into cells throughout the whole body. The resulting insulin deficiency can leave too much sugar in the blood and not enough in the cells for energy.

  1. Genes and family history-

Genetics is another factor that plays a significant role in determining how likely you may develop some diabetes. The biologists do not fully understand the role of genetics in getting diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, research shows that if you have a parent or a sibling with diabetes, your chances of getting it yourself increase.

  1. Gestational diabetes-

A few percentages of pregnant women may get gestational diabetes. It’s thought that hormones produced in the placenta interfere with the body’s insulin response. It leads to insulin resistance and also high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Women who produce gestational diabetes during their pregnancy are at huge risk for developing type 2 diabetes later. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women that give birth to a baby that weighs more than 10 pounds are also a huge risk.

  1. Age-

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you grow old, the risk of developing diabetes increases after the age of 45 in particular. Although, the occurrence of type 2 diabetes is increasing among children, adolescents, and young adults. Few factors include decreased muscle mass, reduced exercise, and weight gain as you age. The age of 30 usually diagnosed with diabetes.

  1. Obesity-

Excess body fat is the main reason for insulin resistance. Fatty tissue causes inflammation that can lead to insulin resistance in the body. Also, many overweight people do not develop diabetes, and more studies needed on the link between diabetes and obesity.

  1. Poor diet-

According to the American Diabetes Association, inadequate or poor nutrition can develop into type 2 diabetes. A diet that is high in calories, fat, and cholesterol increases your body’s resistance to insulin.

  1. Lack of exercise-

exercise

Exercise ensures muscle tissue respond better to the insulin in the body. Constant resistance training and aerobic exercise can lower your diabetes risk.

  1. Hormonal conditions-

Although this condition is rare, certain hormonal conditions can also lead to diabetes. The following conditions can cause insulin resistance: Cushing’s syndrome that causes high levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone in your blood. It raises blood glucose levels and causes diabetes; Acromegaly happens when the body makes a lot of growth hormone. It can lead to excessive weight gain and diabetes; Hyperthyroidism develops when the thyroid gland produces a lot of thyroid hormone. Diabetes is one of the complications of this condition.

Accu-Check SmartView Test Strips

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accu-chek

Diabetes – A Disorder That Is Catching Up

Diabetes though more commonly called a disease is not a disease but a health disorder. It is when the insulin secretion by the body is not able to match the insulin required by the body to keep the sugar levels under check.

While type 2 diabetes is the more well known one of the two, type 1 is slowly but rapidly gaining attention. When a young person or even an infant is diagnosed with diabetes, they come under type 1, while older people and those with a hereditary history of diabetes fall under type 2.

Testing Your  Sugar Levels

No matter which type a person comes under, diabetes is one health disorder that needs to be monitored constantly. Earlier when diabetes was not so prevalent, people used to have their routine blood tests and bi-monthly check-ups with their doctors or diabetologists.
Today, the increased awareness and seriousness of this health issue has increased the demands for such a test. As it is not possible for a person to go to even the nearest lab and get their blood sugar levels tested every few hours or at least twice a day, technology has come to the rescue as always.

Accu- Chek SmartView

There are many handheld machines and devices that help us in determining the blood sugar levels, within a matter of seconds. One such device is the Accu-Check SmartView. This is a handheld a device that fits neatly into the palm of your hand, hence extremely easy to carry along in your bag, to check your blood glucose levels as and when desired.

This device is highly accurate in its readings, so much so that even professional diabetologists consider the readings for their analysis of the patient and their glucose levels. This is a simple device that can be used by one and all. Whether a young adult with type 1 diabetes or an old person with type 2 diabetes, they can very well rely on the readings given by this device.

Accu-Check SmartView Test Strips

The Accu-Chek device has a small opening at the base wherein a strip has to be inserted. The person’s whose blood glucose level has to be measured will have to use the pen provided with the device to prick the tip of their finger, just enough to produce a couple of drops of blood, good enough to get the patch on the test strip. The device then reads the blood and gives its reading within 5 seconds.
Test Strips

These test strips come in boxes of 25 strips as well as 50 strips. For those who want regular readings and feel they need to test more frequently can opt for the 50 strips box as it costs lesser than two boxes of 25 strips each.

Cost Effective

While diabetes involves a lot of unexpected expenses when it comes to maintaining the body within optimal glucose levels, these strips have made caring for your sugar levels cheaper. They are much more time and cost effective than going to your nearby lab to get your blood checked on a regular basis.
Accu-Chek SmartView has also been one of the five most consistent meters in the recent times, making this a good investment for those with this metabolic disease. As this device can be used for years on end, it is a onetime investment for the patient or the family as a whole.

One Device For The Whole Family

The test strips are one-time use and need to be used as per instructions to get the precise readings. One device can be used by multiple people as all they will have to invest in additionally are the needles, to avoid infection. The device or the strip’s accuracy is not affected by the number of people using it.
Hence if you have more than one member in the family, whole glucose levels need to be monitored, you can very well buy one device, one box of Accu-Chek SmartView strips and monitor the glucose levels as and when you want.

Convenience

As mentioned above, using this device and these strips to monitor the glucose levels is the most convenient manner in which one can keep track of their blood sugar levels. Whether you are home or traveling, you can rely on these strips to give you an accurate reading, every single time.
These strips are easily available in pharmacies all around, and if the stock is unavailable at the pharmacy near you, you can always check online. Accu-Check has various channels and sources through which it ensures its’ users have stock of these strips at all times. This makes it extremely convenient and reliable too.

Conclusion

Diabetes as a disease or a disorder does not have any definite cure. Research is still going on to understand how exactly this disorder arises and how it can be cured or avoided at the earliest. When you do not have a cure, the only way to keep yourself or your near and dear one safe from unexpected complications of diabetes is to keep the blood glucose levels under check. With Accu-Chek SmartView Strips you can ensure you are well equipped to take a reading as and when you desire.

Accu-Chek Aviva Test Strips – A Review

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Accu-Chek-Aviva

Digital, handheld Glucometers have made the life of diabetics easier than ever. Running to a doctor every time they experience any variation in their symptoms and then waiting for test results and then having to go on a different course of treatment is time-consuming as well as had for their overall health. A glucometer at home means they can monitor their disease and take better control of their lifestyle to ensure the quality of life.

Test Strips

An integral part of this gatekeeping process is a diabetic test strip. A test strip uses a chemical reaction to give a diabetic an accurate read of their blood sugar levels. There are plenty of brands of test strips available in the market; we are going to be looking at Accu-Chek Aviva Test Strips.

The review will cover the following topics:

  1. About Accu-Chek Aviva
  2. Key Features
  3. Elaboration of key features
  4. Negatives
  5. Pricing

About Accu-Check Aviva Plus

The Accu-chek Aviva Plus test strip is compatible with the Accu-chek glucose meter and is intended for single person use only. The testing equipment is part of a system that includes the digital glucometer, lancing device, and lancets. The test strips are sold separately as well for refills.

Key Features of Accu-Chek Aviva Plus

  1. Easy to use
  2. Quick fill
  • Automatic Coding
  1. Advanced Accuracy
  2. Tiny Sample Size

Key Features Explained

  • Easy To Use – When a product is labeled “easy to use”, the key component of this is the design of the product. When it comes to a diabetes test strip, there is only so much you can do regarding design, which is why placing the test portion of the strip at the outer end of the strip works so well. You can place your pin pricked finger at the tip; once your sample is sufficient, the glucometer will give you the reading you need. This simple design change makes this strip usable for all age groups. Diabetics with type 1, or juvenile diabetes, will find self-testing much easier with this test strip.

 

  • Quick Fill – Self-testing for diabetics can prove to be frustrating. A pinprick will let out blood, but to get a sufficient sample size, you’re left applying pressure and trying to extract enough blood to place on the strip. The quick fill technology of Accu-Check Aviva Plus ensures that your sample size is soaked up fast and you get an accurate reading of your blood sugar. Quicker filling time means a faster result as well. It the larger scheme of things this might seem inconsequential, but a diabetic patient lives on accuracy and the timing of their results.

 

  • Automatic Coding – Coding is an integral part of testing systems in diabetic self-testing. Without this, your test strips won’t be able to deliver the ideal outcome – an accurate reading. All glucometers come with a code which has to be entered so that the strips provide accurate readings. The automatic coding in the Accu-Chek systems means that every new pack of strips can be used without hassle. Another time-saving innovation.

 

  • Advanced Accuracy – The above-mentioned innovations in the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus ensure that the test results are accurate and are a better aid in helping diabetics manage their disease. Improved accuracy in tests keeps more diabetics clued into their disease and enables them to live a more active, diabetic-friendly life.

 

  • Tiny sample size – Diabetics usually have issues with blood clotting. This is one of the many ways in which the disease impacts an individual. Tiny sample size for self-testing ensures that this issue can be sidestepped. Like most other strips in the market, the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Test Strip also needs a sample size of 0.6 microliters.

 

Negatives

Based on our research of some customer reviews on online shopping portals, as well as the information available on the home website, there seems to be some issue at the manufacturing level. This glitch with some lot numbers (mentioned on the site) means the strips aren’t working and don’t read the sample. This means more strips are used, and people are buying more strips to self-test.

Price

The price of test strips is one of the driving factors behind purchasing them. Diabetics need test strips to self-test at home. So, a prohibitively priced product which is also not covered by insurance is a burden on them. Accu-Chek Aviva Plus is priced at $60 for 100 strips. There are some great deals online for those users who aren’t covered for strips in their healthcare scheme.

Insurance

The copay offered for diabetic test strips all depends on a person’s health insurance, as well as on whether companies are willing to offer cash-based rewards for regular users who buy in big quantities. Accu-Chek test strips aren’t covered by some health care insurance providers, so, it does tend to become an expensive proposition in the long run for some people.

Verdict

Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Diabetic test strips are a good buy; however, some recent issues have meant that the strips don’t work effectively, some strips are sold well after their sell-by date and that insurance provider don’t cover Accu-Chek. If you are looking for a quality buy, you can invest in Accu-Chek; however, do your research about the lot numbers so that you don’t get a defective product.

Diets to Reduce Diabetes

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diet
  1. Fatty Fish

It is one of the healthiest foods on Earth. Sardines, Salmon, herring, mackerel, and anchovies are excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have benefits for heart health. Getting enough of these fats on a continuous basis is essential for people with diabetes, who have an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. EPA and DHA protect the cells that line inside your blood vessels, and reduce markers of inflammation, improve the way your arteries function after eating.

  1. Leafy Greens

Green vegetables are low in calories and extremely nutritious. They also have very low digestible carbs, that can raise blood sugar levels in your body. Kale, spinach and other greens are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. In one of the researches conducted, increase in vitamin C intake can reduce fasting blood sugar levels and inflammatory markers for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Also, greens are good sources of the antioxidant’s lutein and zeaxanthin.

  1. Cinnamon

It is a delicious spice present with potent antioxidant activity. Several controlled researches has shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and also improve insulin sensitivity. Long-term diabetes control can typically be determined by measuring hemoglobin A1c, reflecting your average blood sugar level over 2 to 3 months. In one research, type 2 diabetes patients who took cinnamon for about 90 days had two times the reduction in hemoglobin A1c, compared those who received standard care.

  1. Eggs

They provide an amazing health benefit to the people. In fact, they are one of the best foods for keeping you full for many hours. Constant egg consumption may reduce your heart disease risk in many ways. Eggs decrease inflammation and also improve insulin sensitivity, it increases your “good” HDL cholesterol levels and also reshapes the shape and size of your “bad” LDL cholesterol. In one research, people with type 2 diabetes who ate two eggs daily as part of their high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

eggs

  1. Chia Seeds-

These seeds are excellent food for people with diabetic conditions. They are extremely high in fiber, but low in digestible carbs. About 11 of the 12 grams of carbs in a 28-gram serving of chia seeds filled with fiber, which does not raise the blood sugar levels. The viscous fiber in chia seeds can lower your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which the food moves in your gut, and it is absorbed. It may help you achieve a healthy weight because fiber can reduce hunger and make you feel full. Fiber can decrease the number of calories you absorb from other foods eaten at the same meal.

Bayer Contour® Next Test Strips – A Review

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Bayer Contou

If you are a diabetic, test strips are an integral part of your disease management. Test strips are one of the most convenient innovations and help millions of patients keep a tab on their diabetes without having to go to a lab every time for their tests. Nearly all Big Pharma companies manufacture handheld digital glucometers and test strips.

We will be reviewing Bayer Contour Next Test Strips. Here are some of the key aspects that this review will cover

  • Basic introduction to how strips work
  • About Contour® Next Test Strips
  • Features
  • Elaboration of the key features
  • Savings for the consumer

How Do Test Strips Work?

Test strips work by a simple chemical reaction. The chemical compound present in a test strip (the portion where the sample is collected) reacts with the glucose in the blood. This reaction electrifies two terminals on a test strip (which are inserted into the glucometer); the electricity is emanating from this reaction is measured as your blood sugar reading.

Bayer Test Strips

Contour Next

Bayer Contour® Next Test Strips are an innovative product that promises to make testing easier and also more pocket-friendly. The technology that allows for the convenience is patented, and the product is presented as a top of the line product in this category in the market. It is easily available at all major retailers, and also connected with health care providers, so users are eligible for a copay.

Features:

The Bayer Contour® Next Test Strip has the following features:

  1. No Coding® Technology
  2. Second-Chance Sampling
  • High Performance
  1. Compensation for interfering medications like Vitamin C and Acetaminophen
  2. Tiny sample
  3. Five Second countdown
  • Is used exclusively with Contour® Next Meters

Breaking Down Contour® Next’s Key Features

  • No Coding – Coding in diabetes meters is a way to calibrate your machine to ensure that you get the same result no matter which testing strip you use. Most machines have to be manually coded (e., you have to enter the code in the machine). Bayer is the first company to bring about the No Coding® technology across its products. The patented technology in the Contour® Next strips makes this one of the most accessible test strips on the market.

 

Since a lot of meters have to be manually coded, the chances for errors are higher. There could be a mistake while coding the machine that will hinder your results. A botched test means you will not be able to manage the disease properly and will have to rely on a lab report. The entire point of investing in a portable, handheld meter is lost.

 

  • Second-Chance Sampling – Another patented technology from Bayer, this kind of sampling allows a user to re-apply blood on a strip. The meter will indicate if a sample is inadequate and the user can re-apply the sample immediately. This saves extra patient strips, extra lancets, as well as the frustration of having to re-do the test. Even though the sample is applied again, the glucometer still gives an accurate reading. This feature makes the Contour® Next Strip a very economical piece of testing equipment.

 

  • High Performance – The patented technology in Contour® Next strips makes this one of the best performing test strips in the market. The tiny sample size, as well as the no coding technology, makes this one of the most accurate test strips in this category.

 

  • Compensation for interference’s – Interference’s in test strips can compromise your readings, and this can often be the difference between a well-managed life to a rapidly deteriorating one. Contour® Next strips caters for commonly occurring interference’s like Acetaminophen and Vitamin C, this again adds to the accuracy that the test strip offers.

  • Tiny Sample – The sample size of handheld glucometers is measured in microliters. A single prick from a lancet doesn’t exactly produce a huge blood spurt. The user will have to apply pressure at the site of the wound to bring out more blood for the test. Contour® Next strips, however, use a tiny sample size of 0.6 microliters, which makes it very convenient for testing.

 

  • Five Second Countdown – This is a basic feature and ensures that you make a log of your results.

 

  • Exclusivity with Contour® Next meters – Contour ®Next uses a lot of patented technology. Not only that, this strip has a different formula from standard strips and needs to be used only with Contour® Next meters for the best results. Contour Next strips use glucose dehydrogenase-flavin adenine dinucleotide (GDH-FAD) as the substance against which blood glucose will react. This means it will not be compatible with most meters. Bayer is one of three companies that use this formula.

Savings

As a diabetic, one of the first things that patients look into is the money they spend on managing this disease. Contour® Next has a saving plan called Contour Choice which helps customers save more money. The more they buy, the more they save, and in the long run, this is something that customers will appreciate. Privately insured patients can save up to $105 on test strips if they buy more than 300 test strips.

Availability

Contour Next test strips are easily available online and in big-box retailers everywhere. The strips are most commonly available in packs of 50 (these are the ones eligible for the Contour Choice program benefits) as well as in packs of 35 and 70. However, these don’t come under the Contour Choice benefits.

Price

This is where Contour Next is miles ahead of its competitors. A pack of 50 strips is priced at $12.78. This is by far the most economical option for diabetics.

Conclusion

Contour Next Diabetic strips combine patented technology, a great price point, as well as remarkable features to emerge as the best in the market in this category. The test strips, with the lucrative offers from the parent company, are a product that should be in every diabetic’s care kit.