Home Health: How A Diabetes Test Kit Works

Learn how diabetes test kits work to measure the amount of glucose in the blood or urine. It's fast, accurate, and convenient.

Diabetes test kits are used to measure the amount of glucose in the blood or urine.These kits can help determine if an individual is diabetic.They can also be used to monitor glucose levels for those that have been already diagnosed as being diabetic.

There are many kinds of diabetes test kits.One kind measures glucose by immersing specially treated strips in a urine sample.A reaction occurs, resulting in a color change on the wet strip.The colors range from blue-green or green to brown.The colors on the wet strip are then compared to a chart that is included with the kit and the results are read within a few minutes.

Another kind of diabetes test kit is the finger-stick mail-in kit.The kit includes vials, plastic capillary tubes, lancets, and instructional information.These kits usually require the user to do a finger prick with a lancet and withdraw the blood sample into a capillary tube.The amount of blood required is usually specified in the instructions.The blood from the capillary tube is then deposited into a vial, marked with an identification label and mailed to the specified laboratory. After the kit is mailed, results are usually obtained within a few days.This kind of kit is convenient for those who want an economical and confidential way to test their blood sugar.


The more advanced and popular diabetes test kits utilize technology to give quick results.These are the digital blood glucose meters.These test kits are usually compact, easy to read, and simple to operate.To use the meter test kit, simply turn on the monitor, use a lancet to prick your finger, and apply a small blood sample to an absorbent test strip.Insert the test strip into the designated slot, (usually found at the base of the meter) and wait for the reading.Results are usually displayed within seconds on the screen.

Some meter test kits provide special test strips with a color spot on the back.When the spot is totally colored, the user can be assured that they have applied the correct amount of blood to the strip. Others are equipped with indicators that check the quantity of the blood sample to ensure accurate results.Some meters beep to confirm the blood sample amount or to indicate that the reading is ready for viewing.Many diabetes meter monitor kits are quite small and fit easily into handbags or briefcases.Some have programmable alarms to remind the user throughout the day about testing times.Others allow testing to be done from multiple sites on the body, i.e., forearm, upper leg, hand etc. and they usually require just a tiny blood sample.

The meter test kits are also designed to accommodate different types of users. For example kits designed for users with dexterity limitations have large easy-to-handle test strips and large display numbers.Some kits are specially designed for the visually impaired.They contain testing meters with voice instructions on how to do the test step-by-step."No strip handling" diabetes test kits are even easier to use.The user turns on the meter and a test strip emerges from the bottom slot.The blood sample is applied to the strip.A beeper alerts the user to the test results on the screen and the strip is ejected for disposal.

Diabetes test kits are available in many colors and designs.They range from the economical to the expensive and the kits are designed to reflect the individuality of each user.They are therefore adaptable, easy to use, and convenient.

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