Using Blood Glucose Control Solutions: When and Why

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of their meter and test strips. The fact that control solutions cost extra, necessitate the use of a test strip, and have expiration dates so need to be frequently replaced makes their use prohibitive for some people. Convenience is another issue since not all glucose meter kits include a control solution, and pharmacies may not stock solutions for each brand of meter.

However, the Food and Drug Administration recommends people use glucose control solutions:

  • When opening a new test strip container, and periodically while using that container of strips.
  • When people get unusual test results.
  • When meters are dropped or otherwise damaged.

These recommendations are naturally intended to prevent people from basing their blood sugar management on false readings owed to meter or test strip malfunction.


Using Control Solutions

For the uninitiated, glucose control solutions are liquids containing a known amount of glucose. A drop of this solution is placed on a test strip, instead of a drop of blood, and the meter reads the solution’s glucose level. If all is functioning well, the meter will automatically indicate the control solution is within range, or the glucose level will match a range given on the meter’s test strip vial.

If the control solution’s reading is outside its accepted range then something is amiss, and users should:

  • Check to see whether their test strips have expired. If not, were the strips ever left uncapped in a steamy bathroom, exposed to light, extreme heat, or cold?
  • Check the expiration date on the blood glucose control solution. If it’s still usable, was the solution shaken well before use? Was it tightly capped when not in use?
  • Consider that the meter may be malfunctioning, particularly if it were recently dropped.

If there is no ready explanation for an out-of-range control test, or if the meter might be damaged or on the fritz, users should get in touch with the meter’s manufacturer.


Accuracy Assurance

Obviously, the upside of using glucose control solutions regularly is knowing the glucose readings that diet and insulin adjustments are based on are accurate.

Without using control solutions, people eventually realize unexpected symptoms might be owed to a test strip or meter problem, but meanwhile may suffer some discomfort, anxiety, and possibly dangerously high or low blood sugar levels.

So, although using glucose control solutions is another task among many for those managing diabetes, we may choose to incorporate that quality assurance into our management routine.

Source: Mayo Clinic
Photo: Pixabay


More Articles

Having diabetes is cause for concern, however it doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate all of your favorite foods from your diet completely....

With diabetes becoming more of an epidemic each and every day, being knowledgeable about the disease, its effects on the body as well as ways to...

If you’re a diabetic or live with one, it can be tough trying to figure out the best foods to eat because your priority is to control your blood...

In this post, I will show you the 10 best ice creams for diabetics.

When you think of sweetened foods that a diabetic shouldn’t consume,...

If you’re living with diabetes, snacking is a necessity because going for more than 3-4 hours without eating can be detrimental to your health....

More Articles

For diabetics, choosing healthy snacks can be a daunting task.

A good rule of thumb is to pick out snacks that are rich in protein, fiber,...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Eleven Clinical Studies

After eleven clinical studies and 300,000 participants, researcher Vasanti Malik and her team of researchers...

Diabetic women often have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetic women. A study funded by Jenny Craig proved that diabetic women have an...

Many recent studies have proved that magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. This magnesium...

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns.

The...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...