Can I Use Diabetic Test Strips That Are Past Their Expiration Date?

For people with diabetes, accurate blood sugar readings help them make decisions about insulin dosage, food and exercise, and how well they are managing their condition. That means diabetic testing supplies have to be reliable and give accurate blood sugar readings. Yet what about expired testing supplies? Learn whether it’s safe to go past your test strip’s expiration date.

What Is a Diabetic Test Strip?

A diabetic test strip is a small piece of material that contains numerous important chemicals. Diabetic test strips are coated with a special enzyme, which is a type of protein that performs a specific chemical reaction. When a drop of blood is placed on the test strip, this enzyme reacts with the glucose in the blood. It creates an electric current that your glucometer (glucose testing machine) reads. The more glucose present, the larger this electrical current. When the glucometer reads the level of current, it gives you a number. This allows you to learn what your blood sugar level is at any given moment.

People with diabetes should test their blood sugar frequently, ideally multiple times per day. This gives you a sense of how your body reacts to food, activity, and time since your last dose of insulin or other medication. People who test their blood sugar frequently have the best sense of their diabetes management. This allows them to have better glycemic control, lowering their risk of diabetic complications. Checking the diabetic strip’s expiration date is one way to take charge of your health.

Why Diabetic Supplies Expiration Dates Are Important

The enzymes on diabetic test strips are the same as proteins found in living cells. Thus, eventually, those enzymes will die. One way that these enzymes die is if they are exposed to heat or humidity. This causes the protein to become denatured, or misshapen, and it no longer does its job.

Another way that the enzymes die is when they become too old. Just like all living things, enzymes break down over time. When this happens, the enzyme no longer reacts with glucose like it should. Your test strips might give readings that are too high or too low. That means your diabetes testing supplies no longer provide an accurate understanding of your diabetes management.

Should You Go Beyond Test Strips’ Expiration Dates?

Checking the test strip’s expiration date is essential. Expired diabetic test strips must be discarded immediately. They are no longer able to measure blood sugar reliably. Using expired test strips may give you readings that are higher or lower than your actual blood sugar level. Unless you frequently check your expiration dates, you may not even realize that your supplies are too old.

The best way to stay on top of your diabetes health is to get plenty of extra test strips and measure your blood sugar levels often. Sell Test Strips Here buys extra diabetes testing supplies and gives you cash. We only take test strips within six months of their expiration date. Check your diabetic test strips’ expiration dates to sell any extras during this window of time. This allows you to get fresh, new test strips that will give the most reliable measurements. When you sell your extra supplies to Sell Test Strips Here, you know that you can sell before you hit your diabetic testing supplies expiration dates.