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Diastix testing strips

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 3 minutes read

Diastix test strips detect sugar (glucose) levels in your urine. They are for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is associated with uncontrolled high blood glucose levels. This occurs when either you're not producing enough of a hormone called insulin (type 1 diabetes) or your insulin is not working properly (type 2 diabetes).

In healthy individuals, glucose is usually not found in the urine. As people with diabetes have high blood glucose levels, their kidneys can't filter all the glucose out of their urine. As a result, Diastix can help indicate your glucose levels. It is an alternative if you do not like testing your blood. Self-monitoring of glucose is mainly for people with type 1 diabetes. However, sometimes it can be beneficial for type 2 diabetes. Diastix is available over the counter and by prescription.

When should I use the product?

It is best to speak with your doctor before using Diastix. Your doctor will tell you when and how often you should use the product.

The test strips are helpful for detecting hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and can be used in various situations, such as when experiencing symptoms of abnormal blood sugar levels, during illness, or as part of regular diabetes management. It is important to follow the instructions provided with the test strips and consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on when and how to use them effectively.

How do I use the product?

  • Collect a sample of your urine in a container.
  • Dip the test area of a test strip into your urine sample and remove it immediately.
  • Follow the timing instructions for the product.
  • Match the test area to the color chart on the side of the bottle and write down your result.

How does it work?

Diastix testing strips are a type of diagnostic tool used to measure glucose levels in urine, particularly in individuals with diabetes. These strips contain a chemical reagent that reacts with glucose in the urine, producing a color change that corresponds to the concentration of glucose present. The mechanism of action involves a reaction between the glucose in the urine and the chemical reagent on the strip, resulting in a color change proportional to the glucose concentration. The color change is then compared to a color chart provided with the test strips to determine the glucose level in the urine. This simple and rapid method provides valuable information about blood glucose levels, aiding in diabetes management and monitoring.

Who should not use the product?

Certain medications, such as levodopa and vitamin C, can interfere with the test results. If you take any medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether they interfere with Diastix.

Urine glucose tests like Diastix are less accurate than other glucose tests such as finger-prick blood tests and interstitial fluid monitors. Diastix relies on your kidney threshold for filtering glucose which can vary between individuals. Also, the reading does not reflect your current blood glucose level. Instead, it reflects that from a few hours ago. Diastix is also unable to detect low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia).

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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