Are you finding it expensive to test your blood sugar at home? Many times we hear people complaining that the blood glucose monitors which are used at home are convenient, but, expensive. This has undoubtedly led to some persons not testing their blood glucose.
To Test, or Not to Test
It is, however, important for us to test our blood sugar as often as the doctor recommends. The main reasons for this are: 1) it is always good to know your reading before taking medication so that we can adjust accordingly and, 2) testing before we eat can be used to guide us as we make our food choices and to determine the quantity we consume, still bearing in mind that moderation is the key.
It is said often enough on this website that diabetics should aim to eat smaller portions of the foods which will not result in a sudden, and high spike in our blood glucose. Knowing our numbers and also what to eat is a solid foundation to help us to control diabetes, and, possibly eliminate this horrible disease.
Paper for Blood Glucose Testing
What if you were offered a new and cheaper way to test your blood sugar at home? What if you were told that you can test your blood sugar using paper and that it will be cheaper than using the traditional strips?
Clemson University found a way for us to use paper to test our blood glucose and it is cheaper than using the strips. This news is accompanied by an inspiring story, one in which adversity is used creatively to solve a problem.
Oh my God! I am out of Strips!
Imagine yourself in Tanzania. You are a Ph.D. student and you have had diabetes all your life. You are on a school trip and excited to see and be in Tanzania, but, you ran out of blood glucose strips and you cannot find the correct ones for your testing machine.
It’s been six (6) days since you last tested. What do you do at this point?
- Get angry?
- Blame your teacher for planning this trip?
- Blame your husband/wife for not packing enough strips?
- Get upset because you were too busy to stop at home and get some additional strips?
- Get innovative and create something that others will have access to in the future?
It’s Time to Meet Kayla
Kayla Wilson can relate to this story. She was given the opportunity to see first-hand how difficult it is for some persons in Third World Countries to access the kits to test their blood glucose at home. Kayla realized the strips were expensive and so she decided, rather than panic and complain, it would be worth her while to network with one of her professors to solve the Tanzanian problem.
Interesting enough, is that her act will be far-reaching. Note, Tanzania is not the only place where strips are either hard to get, or they are expensive. Kayla and her professors’ hard work, will turn Kayla’s’ demise into a blessing for billions of people all over the globe.
Now, Meet Life Tab
Life Tab is a piece of paper which is coated and is used to test blood glucose. Follow the steps below to use Life Tab to get a reading:
- Use a piece of alcohol prep pad to wipe your finger
- Use a lancelet with a new needle o stick yourself
- Drop some blood on the Life Tab paper
- Wait for the color of the paper where the blood was dropped to change
- Use your mobile app to read the color
The blessing in having something as simple, and, as cheap as a tab of paper to do such an important task (check blood glucose) cannot be overstated. According to Dean (the professor who helped Kayla), “we’re hoping by making something relatively cheap and affordable, we will get people to better monitor.” (Clemson, 2016).
We have a little wait before the Life Tab will be made available for the general public to use. It will be released in 2018. I am sure you will agree with me that this will be worth checking out.
Man’s Best Friend is in the Loop
Yes, you probably figured out what I am about to write. Vet Tab, the counterpart to Life Tab was created to test dogs and is expected to be available by 2017. The good news is that we will not have to stick our friends, instead, we will use their saliva to obtain their blood glucose reading. I am sure pet owners and pets alike will be equally happy.
Technology is favoring both diabetic human and dogs, in the form of a blood glucose monitoring paper. The one for humans is called Life Tab and Vet Tab is the one for diabetic dogs. These tabs will be cheaper than the traditional strips and will be done without sticking our dogs since it uses their saliva for testing.
It is hoped that these will be made readily available for especially Third World Countries, where the cost of strips are expensive and sometimes hard to get for certain machines. The expected rollout times are 2017 for Vet Tab and 2018 for the Life Tab. Fingers crossed as we continue to make the right food choices and become more active in our determination to be diabetic-free.
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- Clemson, S. C. “Researchers Eye New Technology to Help People, Dogs, with Diabetes.” WBAY. Young Broadcasting of Green Bay, Inc., 27 Aug. 2016. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.