Testing Your Blood Glucose

Diabetes is a disease threat that has affected over 16 million people in the United States alone. There are even more who may have the disease but may not yet be aware of it. This disease affects the body’s ability to process and respond to insulin. There are two major forms of diabetes and both are the result of elevated blood sugar levels brought about by insufficient amount of insulin in the body.

An important part in trying to treat the disease is by being able to detect it at the earliest time possible. The chances of effectively treating diabetes are improved by being able to effectively detect the early signs of the disease and treating it. Detection can be done through monitoring of the blood glucose levels.

One way that diabetics can monitor the blood glucose concentration is by checking blood samples at different times of the day and then given the appropriate dose of insulin in order to put the blood glucose levels in check. A common method of getting blood samples is getting it from the fingers with the use of a finger lancet. Although the blood may also be taken from other parts of the body, the fingers provide the most convenient way of getting blood samples for blood glucose monitoring.

After the blood sample has been taken, it is then placed over a glucometer in order to give the proper blood glucose readout. The glucometer has become one of the most important devices being used by many diabetics today. Through it, diabetics may be more able to accurately and conveniently check their blood glucose levels and treat them in a timelier manner.

The first blood glucose testers were developed by Dr. Helen Free in the 1940’s. The first ones were done by checking the blood sugar levels in urine. Blood samples were eventually used due to the fact that the urinalysis tests were not able to effectively and accurately detect blood sugar levels for monitoring and treatment.

The materials used in the production of the common blood glucose testers consist of the test strip which is usually a porous material made from polyamide, polysulfone, polyolefin, or cellulose. The meter is composed of printed circuit boards and sensors designed to detect sugar levels in blood.

It usually has an LCD screen which shows the readings of the blood glucose. Then there is the lancet which is usually made of a stainless steel needle that is placed inside a plastic housing and used to puncture the skin to bring out the blood for testing.

There are new studies being made in developing better and more accurate blood glucose testers in the future. Another method being eyed is the use of implantable sensors that can provide diabetics with the monitoring of their blood glucose levels without ever gong to the hassle of getting blood samples. Systems like these have been developed in order to help make life for diabetics even more convenient and easier despite the hassles that such a disease might bring.