August 5, 2015

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose – Part 1

Why is it that type 2 bloggers are the only ones that urge other type 2 people to test regularly? And yes, it can be tough on a budget. I will not deny that, but with the testing supplies and meter that can be purchased at Walmart, this should help many people. Other people can write the manufacturer of their meter and request financial assistance. You will need to follow their instructions carefully or financial assistance will be denied.

A great way to manage diabetes is through self-monitoring of blood glucose levels (SMBG). There are limitations and barriers to SMBG, which ultimately affect outcomes related to adherence of medications. Most people do not care and that is a shame that they are willing to let diabetes manage their lives. Even this article in Diabetes in Control does little to educate people about SMBG.

The study researchers felt the study revealed barriers to blood glucose testing and integration of testing in the lives of patients. The main outcome of this study was to find out the perspective of patients of SMBG in a clinical setting. The study suggests that patients are having a difficult time incorporating SMBG in their lives. Many patients are not even sure of their target glucose goal, which diminishes their motivation of SMBG. More education is needed to promote best practice for SMBG.

Most people on a budget refuse to use the supplies necessary to help them manage their diabetes. This forces them to operate in the blind and not manage their diabetes and then they become upset when their A1c trends upward. Others refuse to test because they don't want to prick their fingers because they fear the pain. I can only say that if the testing is done properly, there should be little pain and while I will admit that occasionally I test outside the best area on the side of my finger tips, I seldom have much pain.

This is wrong and you should expect pain here.

Still the wrong area and expect more pain here.

Image result for blood glucose testing This is the area that is generally the best for testing.

Many people do not take the necessary steps to properly test. You should wash your hands with warm (or as hot as you can tolerate) water and soap. Then rinse and thoroughly dry your hands. Do not handle test strips with wet hands, as you will make the reading unreliable. Been there, done that, and it is a great way to waste test strips. Once your hands are washed and dried, then you may consider yourself read to test.

First, have the lancet device ready for use. Second, remove one test strip from the test strip container and carefully insert it into the slot on the meter. Now set the prepared meter down and use the lancet device to prick your finger. If you do not receive enough blood, it may be necessary to increase the depth the device will penetrate the skin and reprick your finger. It may be necessary to gently squeeze the finger to obtain sufficient blood. Now, take the meter with the test strip inserted and gently guide the test strip into the blood, letting the blood wick into the test strip. Gently set the meter, with the test strip still in place, on the counter so that the number that appears after about five seconds can be easily read. Now, you are ready to record the time and the reading.

Continued in the next blog.

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