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

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

Caring for children comes with its challenges, especially for babysitters. Things can get even more complicated when those children have diabetes...

More Articles

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making...

Caring for children comes with its challenges, especially for babysitters. Things can get even more complicated when those children have diabetes...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Diabetics are constantly looking for new ways to help them deal with their disease. One of the best methods that often goes unnoticed is Chinese...

When it comes to type 1 diabetes, research suggests there is a clear genetic component responsible for the development of the disease. Yet genes...

In addition to disrupting your sleep, experiencing high blood sugar during the night can be dangerous. The three primary causes of blood sugar...

Danica, better known by her YouTube username, DiabeticDanica, has had Type 1 diabetes...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Food often becomes the focal point when it comes to discussing a diabetes diet, but the beverages you drink could be affecting your weight and...

When you are struggling with an illness like lupus, arthritis or asthma, the medications you take could have secondary effects on your body. What...

A healthy diabetes plan is essential in keeping low blood sugar levels, but...

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...