February 6, 2012

Type 2 Blood Glucose Testing Problems


When two people you respect write about the same topic with seemingly opposing viewpoints, it really can make you scratch your head. Gretchen Becker first covered this and I was in full agreement with her. Her blog is here. Then David Mendosa covered the same study on February 3 here.

Gretchen's statement, “Here we go again! It seems that every few years another group announces that blood glucose (BG) testing strips aren't useful in patients with type 2 diabetes who don't take insulin.” This is an explanation often faced by people with type 2 diabetes not on insulin.

David's statement, “A big new review shows that people who don’t use insulin are wasting their time and money when they test their blood glucose.” This is something that got me to thinking and rereading both blogs very carefully. Both statements seem to be heading in the same direction.

After reading and rereading both blogs about this study in done in Europe, it is important to understand that the same types of studies are done in North America. The governments in Europe, Canada, and the USA, plus the medical insurance companies in the USA are all looking for ways to lower costs.

What should offend every person with type 2 about these studies is they use the term SMBG (self-monitoring of blood glucose) as if it were the culprit. They then state that blood glucose testing is a waste of time and resources. What they omit is that the medical professions in all countries are lax in giving patients the education necessary to understand how to use the blood glucose readings. They provide very little in guidance to their patients for proper decision making when looking at blood glucose readings.

Some of us around the world have been fortunate to receive some education in what to do with our blood glucose test results. Others have been able to research online and self-educate themselves. It is knowing how to adjust diet and exercise to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible that gives meaning to testing. The readings are truly of no value unless you know what to do to bring high readings down and how different foods affect your blood glucose levels. This also applies to preventing lows and all extreme highs and lows.

In essence, you need to become your own science experiment with yourself as your own lab rat or mouse. This is where the challenge is and where learning how diet and exercise affect your blood glucose proves knowledge can be very powerful. There are many factors like general health, other diseases, mental or medical conditions can make this even more of a challenge.

This discussion is for those people not using insulin. So read both blogs and you will see that they are in agreement. They have stated that education is the power in knowing how to use blood glucose readings to adjust diet and exercise and possible other lifestyle adjustments for better health.

1 comment:

Ila said...

Plus, when testing is used by lots of type 2s the emphasis is on post meal. Peronally I think you need to see what your bg is before a meal so you know how many carbs you an eat. This is true whether you use insulin or not.

I happen to use insulin, but it's for basal only so I still have to watch what I eat. I can understand the criteria of whether you use insulin or not being used for number of testing strips recommended for type 1s since they an go low so quicky. And, T1s have to use insulin.

I'm gonna stop now beause I will only become less easier to understand the more I write on this subject.