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Monitoring your blood glucose is an important part of effective diabetes management. It is especially important for people who take insulin. Many people find that it is difficult to make blood glucose monitoring a routine part of their lives. So, if you are struggling with checking your blood glucose as recommended by your healthcare provider, you are not alone.
An American Diabetes Association survey found that "21 percent of adults with type 1 diabetes never checked their blood glucose. Of those with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, 47 percent never monitored, and among those with type 2 diabetes who were not using insulin, 76 percent never checked.''
William Polonsky, in his book "Diabetes Burnout," lists the top 10 reasons to hate checking your blood glucose. They are as follows:
What are your personal barriers? If you know what your personal barriers to checking your blood glucose regularly are, there are things that you can do to overcome them. Some general tips:
We look forward to hearing from you. Please share your experiences with glucose monitoring. Do you find it hard to make glucose monitoring a routine part of your life?
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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How do those of you who test up to 10x day afford it? I pay $40 for 50 test strips and that's with health insurance? That's $584/year just for the strips, not to mention the lancets, needles and the super expensive insulin itself.
I find it a very peaceful time. A time just for me.I sit in my recliner, put the foot rest up and play with all the gadgets. To me it is kinda fun. My cat sits on a table next to me.
Monitoring is the key in beating diabetes
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about an year back. My doctor did not start any medications immediately and advised me life style change. When I was diagnosed, my HbA1C was 8+. But with lifestyle change within 3 months I was below 6.
It is very important in this disease to monitor yourself. I used a web based software to log and monitor my parameters [www.friendofdiabetic.com]. The more you log your parameters, more it acts as a feedback to improve. I don’t think I would have achieved A1C of 6 without monitoring what I was doing.
I am T1 and only recently began testing 3-7 times per day again. What makes it difficult is convenience. I am on the go with my work, my life etc. Sometimes, I just want to sit down and eat or I am meeting people and want to make the most of that meeting and don't want to take the time to test. It's laziness mixed with feeling its a hassle.
However, I decided, after seeing another T1 friend almost lose her eyesight, have to miss 8 weeks of work and undergo massive eye surgery that I still had a choice, I am not in those stages and I need to get it together. I just do it now and do not allow myself a choice. I still miss some readings, but before meals I check. It's helped me significantly since I know what is going on, I am encouraged to keep it in tighter control.
its amazing, ive been drniinkg the cinnamon and honey mixture like tea every morning for 4 months, now it could all be in my head but, my outlook and everything has increased greatly, my springtime allergies have ceased to exist, (i was a smoker of 2 years) a few weeks after drniinkg it it gave me the strong urge to stop smoking, and helped greatly during that 1-2 week period of weaning off the nicotine, it gives you a great amount of energy if taken with breakfast for the WHOLE day
I USE WALMART BRAND RELY-ON METER AND STRIPS..EACH CONTAINER OF STRIPS HAS A DIFFERENT RANGE OF WHATS CONSIDERED NORMAL SUCH AS: 104-174 THE NEXT VILE OF STRIPS MAY SAY 99-160..DOES THAT MEAN IF MY RESULTS ARE WITHIN THAT RANGE I AM DOING GOOD?
i have been a type 2 diabetic for about 15 years reciently i had a heart attack now i have to find a way to enjoy the foods i like without being hungry all the time
I wish to add to the monitoring barirer list another one: L A Z I N E S S ! Which can be deadly. One of my friend who has multiple serious risk factors and I have known 25 years became extremely lazy. That is not masquerading as depression. A schizophrenic
but a somewhat milder degree of severity of the illness going back 30 years his initial medications to control the symptoms were highly unpleasant and suffered a lot, from the cyclical nature of the depot injection's effect that from injection zombied him a bit then the plateau phase as alive and happy and as the drug wore off bit restless and bit disturbed in the 3 weekly cycle. The new generation drugs like Zypprexa oral form he is taking liberated him from the alternating misery of mood and physically feeling unwell to a clearer thinking. But at some costs: he became diabetic as result of the drug's side effect and been liberated from responsibility too. He does not care much about health and refuse the important adjuvant psychotherapy so essential. If he did accept, his medication dose could be reduced with attendant less harm to organs. Could have been educated and given skills to tolerate some level of anxiety and with lifestyle changes plus allowing himself to be inspired by others so afflicted who did the above and decided to go back to work, study, some are psychiatrists in practice! He choose to combat me instead and enjoy a contented parasitic lifestyle on social benefits.-
I take insulin for 40 years. I hate testing- I read of a Canadian company testing a pad that goes under their common wrist watch that senses blood sugars; giving results as needed on the watch face.
The company was forced out of business a few years ago by pharmaceutical interests & the Canadian government. They were so close to bringing the device to market---too close to be unsettling to Big Pharma.
I am so very disgusted & I tried to raise awareness in my country but was ignored & shot down.
Any one know of any relation to diabetes and thyroid problems?
Blood glucose monitoring seems pointless as the only solution that will really make the difference is to lose the weight. Lose the weight and there will be no problems whatsoever, the diabetes goes away, the neuropathy goes away, the complications all go away. It seems providers are all about insulin. I am on pills and will stay on pills. Insulin only makes weight loss more impossible than it seems. I have improved my diet over the years and eliminated many foods that cause high sugars. I'm entering the menopause stage and have experienced vaginal infections that I though were uti's and urologist confirmed they are not uti's. So a new day is beginning to increase walking with the help of better shoes, eating healthy choice meals as they are 300-400 calories and the right portions, and monitoring blood sugar levels more frequently. At least every day is a new start and there's always the opportunity to do it.
I am Type2 Diabetic for the past 17 years. At present I check my BG level every morning first thing when I get6 up. I do not do it more often and have seen this gives me a reasonably good control and awareness. Even when when I am not good with my diet since it will show next morning usually I get back on track within one day.
Toni: Have you tried using alternative sites to test your blood sugar? You could also try finer lancets.
What are the daily nutritional values you should try to meet, e.g. carbs, sugars, fats, etc per/day or per meal?
Checking my glucose level is painful. I am developing a phobia about it. Do you have any suggestions for decreasing the pain.
Anita: Newer meters require much smaller samples. Here are a few tips:
1. Use the clear cap on lancing device
2. Besides the arms, you can use the fleshy part of the palm and base of thumb.
3. Rub the area selected with your hand for a few seconds.
4. The area to be lanced should be lower than your heart (gravity).
5. Press the lancing device against the skin with moderate pressure
6. Hold the lancing device down on the skin to force the blood out until you can see the amount of blood needed.
Remember that alternative glucose testing site results may differ from fingertip testing (which is the most accurate). Test from the fingertip when you note that glucose levels are changing rapidly (i.e. after exercise). Use fingertip blood glucose testing if you think your blood sugar is low or if you are not aware of symptoms when you become hypoglycemic, or if the alternative site results do not agree with the way you feel.
Sticking my finger 3 times a day for three months has got my fingers bruised and sore. Is there another way to test B.S.L. without drawing blood from my fingers? I have tried to poke my arms but blood will not readly come out in sufficient amount to activate the meter.
i never check my bloodsugar, im so ashamed of it. Ill have good intentions, then i just fall off the wagon again.
Many patients are so used to being blamed and criticized for their efforts at diabetes self-management, that they are reluctant to see their healthcare provider. Your thoughts on this subject?
Checking my blood glucose just gives my doctor another reason to express his "disappointment"
MB: We just want to reassure you. Diabetes is a progressive disease. You can do everything right and still eventually need to go on medication. Keep up the good work and learn all you can about diabetes at the education classes. Your feelings are normal but please discuss them with your healthcare provider.
I've recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My Dr. told me five years ago to diet and exercise, which I tried, but obviously failed at doing. I thought I was trying hard and feel like I've brought this disease on myself. I'm so depressed and cry so much that I don't think I have any tears left. Yet somehow my body produces more. I've been on metformin once a day for 5 days and have tested a lot but my numbers are high in the morning and low after dinner. Can I have after dinner snacks? I have to go to more diabetes education classes, but I need to know that I will soon know what I can and can't eat. I feel hungry all the time. I'm on information overload right now. Are my feelings normal. Thanks for any help you can give me.
About diabetes burnout, diabetes burnout is common amongst diabetic individuals because of the high maintenance involved with diabetes management. A good book on diabetes burnout is "Diabetes Burnout" by William Polansky. The author explains symptoms of burnout, why it happens and what you can do about it.
Readers, any advise for newbie? If you haven't already, I would recommend you see a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and dietitian. Diabetes is a balancing act and it is important to know what affects your blood glucose and how to balance it. I would endorse any books promoted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Mayo Clinic has a new book on diabetes, "Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book".
Suffering from major burn out and trying to break out of the rut I'm in. I've been T1D for 14y and I've progressively been checking BG less and less...I'm trying to figure out why I'm on this path, but more how do I get off!!!
Monitoring can be tedious but it beats the alternative of not knowing what is happening so you can take action. I have been a diabetic for close to 40 years and was very glad when the monitors came out for personal use in the early 80's. No more guess work, urine tests or waiting for the Doctor's office to call with the results. I now have a 5 second meter that talks to my pump. Makes life much simpler and easier. All of you who are working at monitoring keep at it - you are the only one who can do it. Life is much better knowing and controlling than not.
I absolutely hate monitoring, and the reasons are very much the ones you cited: I don't like the constant reminder I have diabetes, it hurts, nothing ever seems to be done with the results except to allow my doctor to pass judgement on me based on the numbers, and it is depressing--I feel like crying every time I test, whether the results are "good" or "bad". It is a constant reminder I can no longer eat what I want, when I want, or as much as I want.
Having just been diagnosed with diabetes and faced with all the new tasks involved with managing your diabetes can seem overwhelming at first. As you become more familiar with the process, it will become more routine and less time consuming. Remember, it's an ongoing learning process and you are not expected to know it all initially.
I've been diagnosed about one month. My doctor wants me to keep a log that summarizes weight, cals, carbs, blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin taken and times. When I include the time spent planning meals (I carb count), it seems that my whole day is devoted to maintenance. I know that my doctor wants me to learn and recognize conditions and trends, but will this level of tracking always be necessary?
I have type 1 diabetis and without checking your BG I would not know how much insulin to give. Check blood on average 6 to 9 times a day and so used to it that it does not bother me a bit. Would be glad if I did not have to but there is no other way to take care of my diabetis. Ann
I "solved" one my challenges to glucose monitoring by putting glucose monitors in various parts of the house, so I never had an excuse of not having a monitor handy. One in my purse, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom. I also keep fast-acting insulin pens in these locations. It was such a simple change, but has had a major effect because now it is almost always "convenient" to test and dose.
Do you respond to email?
Sorry, forgot to sign our names. Nancy and Peggy
We could not find the specific ADA survey, but have read several studies that the 21% figure is about right. Some more recent studies indicate that self blood glucose monitoring adherence has improved in the past decade. In an article in the American Journal of Medicine, it states that “adherence with the recommended frequency of self-monitoring was more common among patients with type 1 diabetes (34%) or insulin-treated type 2 diabetes (54%) than among patients with oral agent only treated type 2 diabetics (20%).” This study found that more frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose improves glycemic control regardless of diabetes type or therapy.
Karter, A.J., Ackerson, L.M., Darbinian, J.A., et al, Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and glycemic control: The northern California Kaiser Permanente Diabetes Registr, American Journal of Medicine, 2001, vol. 111:1-9.
does anyone know where I can find a report on this ADA survey?
I have had type 1 diabetes for 53 years, I keep my weight under good control, blood readings do very a lot I test 5 times a day, take short acting and long acting insulin, I've just learned to take care of myself, it's really not that bad, just hang on diabetics, life could be a lot worse.
I was overweight and depressed for years until I came across this amazing program called fit4lyfe.It completely changed my lifew hile maintaining who I was. It takes into consideration that a dieter and person who works out needs a life and has a life,maybe kidss too, and for me I hated working out. This program is a personalized one on one approach to successfully eating and working your way to losing weight and feeling great! check it out
Sorry, I forgot to put my name to my posting.
Tom, firstly worrying is going to be Detrimental to your glucose levels. I have type 1 diabetes 50 years. I do up to 10 tests per day. I think if your HbA1c is reasonable then you are doing well. I know my bgs tend to be like yours, up and down all day, but my doctor tells me as long as the HbAic is ok then not to worry about it. Even non diabetics have varying bg levels each day. Woohoo, I'm off to Italy for a cycling holiday in September.
Itest morning fasting, then before lunch, before dinner and 2 hr in evening...short-acting insulin before meals per sliding scale, Regular at bedtime. Most of the time blood sugar is well controlled, even though I don't follow a meal plan, other than ignore most white foods(except potatoes, my weakness). Blood sugar stays in good control on this plan and it's easy to follow. AlC is good on this plan, according to doctor. I also take cinnamon caps morning and evening and this seems to help a great deal. Anyone else tried this? Lois R.
I test my bg at least 7 times a day. Take insulin to cover my carbs and take a small amount of long lasting insulin. Testing is no problem. Wish I could afford to test more often. Would love to have a A1C lower than 6 all the time. Have been a Type 1 32 years.
sometimes my numbers vary a lot.i worry and get upset.i'm told not to worry and don't get upset.i have to ask-why take it at all ?i just don't understand.i try to take a positive attitude.i just don't care.i've learned not to believe anything about diabetes.
Great post! I love the top 10.
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