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At home glucose test

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by kemilly3, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi all,

    I am being tested for PCOS as a scan, and then follow up scan, show cystic ovaries. My bloods came back with HbA1c level as 40 mmol/mol which is within normal range (although, for me, worryingly close to pre-diabetic). My doctor is being great and has referred me on to a gynea but as PCOS, diabetes and insulin are all linked I wondered whether it was worth doing a fasting glucose test to check if I have a problem with insulin/glucose. I don't want to ask for a test for test sake so was thinking of doing a home test first, and if that came back raised, to ask for a fasting test through my GP (I don't want to waste their time or take the focus off the PCOS investigation, or come across as a hypochondriac, hence not requesting this straight away). I'm assuming I could just test in the morning before eating using a standard at home blood glucose test? Good idea or terrible idea?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Neither one nor the other really. It won't change anything but on the other hand you will have some information you never had before or possibly be reassured if the result is good. As I have said elsewhere I am not a great fan of fasting tests but I strongly recommend that people own a meter and test occasionally for learning purposes or to predict big trouble.

    So get a meter and enjoy yourself.
     
  3. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Squire, yeah, that was my thinking, knowledge being power and all!
     
  4. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Hi there. While I agree that testing is a good idea the FBG (Fasting Blood Glucose) test is becoming less commom as this can catch the action of possible dawn phenomena (the body's own release of of stored glucose to prepare the body for expected energy use).
    By all means get a meter and start testing but test before the first bite of food then two hours after the first bite. Do this for each meal for a few days then this will give you a better idea of what is going on. Hope this helps.
     
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  5. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Oh, and keep a diary of what you eat and your meter readings.
     
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  6. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Yes, a meter is a good idea, but as said above, the morning fasting test is too unreliable.
    Test immediately before you eat, then again an hour and 2 hours after first bite. See what happens.
    The home oral glucose tolerance test could also be done, but before you attempt that, some normal meter readings would be more helpful.
     
  7. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks guys, that is really helpful. Off to buy a meter then!
     
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  8. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Surprisingly, you can get a perfectly good meter free, as I was delighted to learn when I first arrived on this site. The TEE2 comes in a nifty little pouch with a few test strips, lancets, gun and testing fluids for making sure your machine works correctly before you start, and also to reduce the anxiety around your first test, as you don't have to worry about new technology AND sticking a lancet into yourself all at the same time. (Actually the lancets are so fine, they really don't hurt appreciably.) You will need to order some test strips, as you will soon use up the few supplied, but you can go on for a while on the number of lancets they give, if you don't mind re-using them. I have found the suppliers very speedy and helpful and a real person is available on the telephone 24/7 if you have any queries. I recommend ordering a spare free lancet gun, as the one in the pouch has a very weak spring.
    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-blood-glucose-meter/
     
  9. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Alexanda. I looked into that but wasn't really comfortable passing over doctors details before speaking with him.

    I popped into Lloyds pharmacy this morning to do a fasting glucose test (at about 9.20, have been up for a couple of hours, not eaten) and my reading was 6.3 which I take it isn't massively great... I've bought a meter with 10 strips so will do tests before eating and two hours after eating for 5 days and then take the readings to my GP when I see him in a couple of weeks.
     
  10. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand what you say about passing on Dr's details, but I am glad things are progressing to your satisfaction.
     
  11. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    I ordered online and they emailed back with some questions, including asking who my doctor was, so I popped into the pharmacy and bought after my reading this morning instead :)
     
  12. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @kemilly3, your fasting readings and you HBA1C are very similar to mine. Your doctor will consider the HBA1C as the gold standard rather than home tests. They should start testing you at least annually.

    I'm tagging @daisy1 who has some great advice for new members .

    Have you been offered any medication for PCOS?
     
  13. kemilly3

    kemilly3 Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi Alison! Good to know I'm not alone :) I really hope not to reach 42 HBA1C so am going to do everything I can now to try stop it. I had my bloods done 2 years prior and it was 36 so it's going to get worse unless I do something now I think.

    I've got a follow on appointment on the 5th so hoping for some light to be shed then.

    Blood reading this morning was 6.5 :( Assuming though if it drops back down again after 2 hours then it's dawn phenomenon and I shouldn't worry too much? (do non diabetics experience dawn phenomenon too?)
     
  14. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @kemilly3

    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you want and someone will help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 250,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
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  15. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I can see that must have been disconcerting. I have never had anything like that with Spirit Healthcare, who market the TEE2. Perhaps the firm you contacted thought you might want to claim VAT exemption as a bona fide diabetic. Anyway, it's good you found a fatherly pharmacist you feel you can trust, and best of all that you now have a meter and the means to take your future into your own hands. If you decide to monitor your bg levels regularly, you might want to check that the price for the strips that go with your monitor are competitive (assuming you can't persuade your GP to give you some). Even the cheapest strips on the market cost a lot when one is checking many times a day.
     
  16. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realise that the FBG was falling out of favour because of DP. DP is typically only an issue for people with diabetes so I would have thought was useful. I had heard, and it might not be true that silly people would work really hard for a couple of days before the test to make their FBG look better than it is - but you cannot fool a HBA1C so easily. Interesting to hear that it is also for DP - it almost doesn't make sense.
     
  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    At my surgery they used to do just FBG tests in all their routine blood checks for everyone. If it was suspect, they called you back in for an HbA1c. This applied to all patients on routine health checks. They discontinued this some years ago and do an HbA1c instead.
     
  18. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My wife recently had her full annual check. FBG and unfortunately no HBA1C.
    They only do a HBA1C if your urine sample of FBG show an issue. So not even a standard yet.
     
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Maybe next time she is called in she could ask for one, if she is interested that is.
     
  20. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Currently I am doing my first test of the day fasting but just before breaakfast, so maybe 2 hours after getting up. I presume this has allowed the dawn phenomenon to wear off by the time I test, so I am getting a lower figure, but my main rreason is that with my Raynauds it is just too hard to get blood from my fingers straight after being inactive in bed. There is a principle that one should not do tests if the results, whatever they may be, will lead to no change in our actions. I am not clear if there are any actions I can do to prevent the dawn phenomenon, or even if that is desirable, so why do a test that may be skewed by it? On the other hand, since the dawn phenomenon is supposed to happen around 4am, maybe getting up earlier and using all that bg as intended rather than lying in as I often do til 8-9 might be a good idea?
     
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