Blood Sugar Magic – Lifestyle program for people with high blood sugar. This is part 3 in our series on things you should know when testing your blood glucose. We hope you find the series informative and useful. The information provided is intended for Australian audiences only and is general in nature. It does not replace advice given to you by your health care professional. Please read this disclaimer and the following terms and conditions carefully before proceeding. Hi, I’m Peter Lwin. Welcome to Blood Sugar Magic. Your test strips play an important role in blood glucose testing. I’ll put together some Do’s and Don’ts for getting accurate results. Test Strip Don’ts Do not use your test strips if they appear cracked or damaged in any way, likewise if you’ve got any holes or cracks in your bottle, it basically means that the test strips inside have been exposed to the moisture and they’re probably not working properly so in either case, throw either the test strip or the bottle away and start with either a new test strip or a new bottle.

Do not apply blood into the test strip before it’s been inserted into the meter. You can actually damage the meter in that way. What you should do is insert the test strip first into the meter and in most meters what you’ll see on the screen is a test strip with a blinking drop of blood which means that the meter is ready to accept blood and then you can apply the blood to the test strip. Do not rub the blood sample onto the top of the test strip, instead touch the test strip onto the blood sample and let the test strip draw in the blood automatically, and when it’s taken enough blood the meter will either count down or you’ll hear a beep or both, and that’s when it’s time for you to take the test drop away from your blood sample.

Do not have the test strip in contact with your blood sample for longer than needed. Usually when the meter has taken up enough blood, it will either beep or count down or both which means it’s time for you to take your finger away. Now if you leave your finger there for longer than necessary what can happen is for meters like the True Result or the True Balance which are from the Nipro range, that can affect the accuracy of their reading.

Do not combine two bottles of test strips together. Each bottle has its own expiry date so if you combine two bottles with two different expiry dates then some of the test strips that you may be using may be expired. Now if you’re using test strips which come with a code chip and you combine two bottles together – that could be a problem also Each bottle has its own code chip with its own code number, so if you’re going to combine two bottles together, then some of the test strips that you are using for that code chip may be incorrect. Do not use the test strips past the expiry date. You could get an error message on the meter or you could get an inaccurate reading. If you’re using the True Balance or the True Track or the True Result from the Nipro range, then be aware that they have a 120 day expiry date from the first day that they are opened. Now that means that you’ll have two expiry dates, the expiry date that came with the bottle and you’ll also have that 120 day expiry date.

Now you’ve got to choose the one that’s earlier so that becomes the true expiry date for that bottle. Now using the True Balance bottle that I have in front of me as an example. Today the first of October 2012 so if we add 120 days to that, the expiry date will become the 1st of February 2013. Now the expiry that came with a bottle is the 19th of July 2013. So the 1st of February 2013 is the earlier expiry date so we choose that one as the true expiry date for these test strips.

So if you’re using any of those brands what I suggest you do is make sure you write that 120 day expiry date on the bottle with a texta. That way you won’t have to remember and it’s right in front of you, so you won’t forget. Now if you find that the actual expiry date that came with a bottle is earlier than the 120 day expiry date that you have worked out then go with the expiry date that came with the bottle..

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