Blood testing meters visual check function

Some of the old meters you were able to get an idea of if your blood sugar was low, medium, or high via the test strips. This was really helpful if the meter stopped working.

I don’t know of any meter that you can do this with, not to mention any names, such as Roche, but pharmaceutical /equipment companies say that their products are so reliable that you do not need this function any longer... I know as I have brought this topic of conversation up more than once. The number of times I have had two blood testing meters, one thrust into each arm pit to warm up sufficiently to take a measurement on those cold days when you are out doing something fun, I can not remember, but if I had a kr for every occasion I would be a wealthy man!

Does anyone know of a currently available test strip that it’s possible to check if you are low, medium, or high on?

To any drug companies that might use this site, for the diabetic that lounges on the couch all day, your blood testing products are probably rather good, for the diabetic who doesn’t, some contingency really would be a great assistance... such as to be visually able to tell from the strip the rough value of the BS... better yet a reliable BS wrist watch... or the holy grail for diabetics... a cure (sadly as pharmaceutical companies see diabetes as a cash cow, there really isn’t the incentive to pursue this goal...).

The low temperatures are slowing down enzymatic reactions that can be measured. Whether the result of this reaction is visible or not the low temperatures are the problem. Thus you will have a result with a visible strip but it is most likely of no use. A meter with temperature sensor can try to calculate the temperature influence to compensate this effect.

In the pharmacy a new meter costs 10€ in Germany. Most starter kits are even free (the revenue comes from the test stripes). So you do not need to be that wealthy to have more than one meter.

Holger, thanks for the reply.

The main problem is that the meters don’t work when they are cold (I carry two meters with me when doing most of these activities). Performance can be greatly affected by bloodsugar, this can be an issue when out doing things in cold temperatures. If I do have to stop and check my BS then it would be highly helpful if the meter gave me an instant result. As it is, I generally need to put both of the meters under my arm pits for 20 minutes before they are warm enough to work… 20 mins in minus something or other, with minus something else, wind chill leads to a not ‘happy bunny’ and it’s not a very practical solution; thus the wish for a quick visual check.

Electro-chemistry isn’t my forte, but does this not depend on the reaction method of the strips used? The likes of the old BM144 strips used to change colour owing to the concentration of sugar in the blood, I have no idea of the chemistry required to do this, but they were an extremely effective back up until they were withdrawn from the market… ‘because the new meters were so good’…

The other point to bear in mind is that the blood is warm when leaving the body, even taking cooling into effect, how cold does it have to be before an erroneous result is generated???

So your answer didn’t help me, but I hadn’t consider the electro chemical part of making things happen.

It may be that the meter is more sensitive to low temperatures than the stripe. But I am not sure about that. What about Betacheck stripes?

Are you seriously pining for the old days of Glucostix?

Their advantages:
  • Cheap
  • Visually, you could see where you were.


  • Complicated - you had to put blood on the strip - wait 30 or 45 seconds - then blot off the blood with a cotton ball - then put the strip into an optical-sensor based meter.
  • Tests took almost a minute
  • Seriously, you miss the cotton ball?

There is a company that has brought these back from the dead - and are selling them at least in Australia here:

Personally, it would be a nostalgic trip for me to test that way again.

But test results in 5 seconds and no cotton ball win for me.

A urine test is for you! It too would be cold but the strips function in just about anything. We used to laugh under a tree at the side of the trail.

Holger, I’ll have to see if they are available in Norway.

Drewgolden, I only pine in as much as at the weekends it’s not unusal for me to be doing twenty odd km ski trips with a ruck sack that’s pushing the same number of kgs; this includes two blood testing meters that invariably don’t work when the temperature drops under 6 deg C. The old BM 144s were great on these occasions, okay they took two minutes but you had a pretty good estimate of how high or low your blood sugar is. The older I get the less easy it is for me to feel accurately so now checking becomes more important. One meter and the old BM 144s as a back up used to be my standard kit… and yes I pine for this!!!

Leo2, urine tests gives you a time lag, normally two hours between what your blood sugar is (even when active and the time lag may be reduced, it’s still not a very useful tool. In the first 20 minutes from leaving the car, my blood sugar can drop by 10 mmols/ltr, checking my urine would indicate a blood sugar of (probably) ~ 13 mmols/ltr, so no sugar required, but a blood test would show 3 mmols/ltr.

I’ll see about getting some of these Betasticks… will be in France later this week, probably easier to buy a pack off the shelf while I’m there.

Thanks everyone for the comments.

These would actually be really good to put in an emergency kit in case of natural disasters where power is cut off for days …