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With all the different types of test strips, which ones are right for you?

There's no doubt that price is an important factor in choosing the right glucose test strips and meter. But have you ever thought about the other features of a test strip that can make life easier? Some glucose test strips have a little something extra that goes beyond the features of the meter and the bottom line. In short, there are different types of test strips, something you should keep in mind.

The surprising different types of test strips

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about test strips, there are a few things that might catch you by surprise:

  1. Many test strips use 'wicking' technology. This pulls a small sample of blood into the test strip through a very absorbent tip. Wicking technology means less blood is required for an accurate reading, and that leads to less pain and faster results.
  2. Some allow for blood to be placed directly on the strip. Some strips allow you to place the blood on the strip itself, then place the strip into the meter. This comes in handy if you tend to take your time getting a blood sample and "time out" on the usual test strips, meaning you have to start the process all over again.
  3. Some use a channel. Some strips have a channel that pulls blood into the tip of the strip, while others have the channel on the side. This is important because of how you might hold your meter. You might find it easier to use a strip that has channels on both sides, rather than one single channel at the top.
  4. Older strips may reuqire larger samples. Older styles of test strips might require that you deposit a drop of blood on a designated area on top of the strip. These seem to be falling out of favor with consumers because the drop is usually much larger than what the more modern test strips require.
  5. Some strips are curved. While some test strips are straight and narrow, others have a curve to them, or a small section that "stands out" from the rest of the strip. These test strips can come in very handy for those ho have limited vision, as you can feel your way to the testing area, rather than simply guess and hope.

The easier your glucose testing is, the more likely you are to do it on a regular basis. Try out several types of test strips until you find the one that works best with your lifestyle, needs and budget.

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