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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Frequent urination
- 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:
- Regular testing
- Low Glycemic Index (GI) diet
- Moderate exercise
- 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 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.
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.
– 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!
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.
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.