– As one of the nearly 26 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, controlling your blood sugar is an important part of promoting good health and well-being both in the short and long-term futures. If your doctor has instructed you to test your blood sugar regularly with a glucometer, you must care for your machine properly to get the best results. At drugstore.com, we have the control solutions you need for proper maintenance.
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Sometimes called a blood sugar monitor, a glucometer is a device that is used to measure the amount of glucose or blood sugar that is currently in the body at any given point in time. Most glucometers involve pricking your finger with a needle device known as a lancet and then dispensing a drop of blood onto a special testing strip. This strip is then placed inside of the glucometer to activate an electrode inside. The electrode measures the reaction between the glucose in your blood sugar and an enzyme in the test strip called glucose oxidase. Once the reading is complete, the glucometer displays the amount of sugar in your blood on a digital screen.
What Is a Control Solution?
Control solution is used as a part of glucometer maintenance. Its purpose is to ensure that the diabetes test strips are working properly with the monitor. Although all glucometers are slightly different, most control solutions are used the same way. You will place a certain number of drops of the control solution onto a testing strip and then put the strip into the glucometer. The solution contains a specific amount of glucose and should produce a reading within a certain range that will be listed on the packaging. If the reading displayed by the glucometer is within the range given, the test strips are fine, and the glucometer is working properly. In the event that you get a different reading, there could be a problem with the test strips or your glucometer. Consult the instructions included with the control solution to learn what steps to take if you obtain a different reading.
Why Use Control Solution?
Using a control solution is very important to the success of blood sugar monitoring at home. If you use defective test strips or your glucometer is not working correctly, the readings that you receive could be inaccurate. This could lead to serious problems, including dangerously high or low blood sugar levels being ignored or administering too much insulin. Even if the readings are only slightly off, they will give an inaccurate picture of how well your sugar levels are being controlled. This can make it difficult for you and your doctor to monitor your progress. Because testing your strips and glucometer with control solution is so important, your physician will likely recommend that you do so every time that you open a new container of testing strips. The control solution can be reused until it reaches the expiration date listed on the packaging, which is usually 3 to 4 months after it is opened. Be sure to store the control solution as recommended by the manufacturer to keep it fresh.