SANANTONIO - In an effort to save money, some diabetics are turning to the black-market to buy glucose test strips and by doing so could be putting their health in jeopardy,

For the past seven years, Stella Garcia has tested her glucose levels three times a day.

I'm real bad with my glucose levels, so I have to have them monitored, she said.

However with retail prices of more than a dollar a strip, Garcia said she is always looking to cut her costs.

Many diabetic patientsare finding lower prices these days online, especially on websites like eBay and Craigslist, but health officials warn to be on the lookout on these sites for expired strips.

Hector Verastigui of the University of Health Systems Texas Diabetes Institute said, Once they (test strips) are expired, they are not going to give you good readings at all.

Verastigui said doctors rely on accurate test strip readings to determine the best treatment for their patients, and inaccurate readings due to expired strips could lead to doctors unknowingly making a patient s condition worse.

The I-Team found several sellers on eBay and Craigslist offering glucose test strips far below market value. The I-Team even found a listing on Craigslist offering to buy old strips.

Garcia said she would like to save money, but with death of two younger sisters due to diabetes, she saysshedoes not want to take any chances withmonitoring her disease.

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