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Daily Testing of Blood Glucose Levels

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by The Grey Panther, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. The Grey Panther

    The Grey Panther Type 2 · Member

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    Some while ago my local Medical Practice issued me with a Bayer test kit. This was issued at the same time that I was put on tablets to help control my blood glucose.
    I take two blood samples each day, - one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. This provides me with an average value. I rigorously record and chart the values. The average value matches the measured HbA1C, taken every 6 months.
    However, the local Medical Practice now only issues a prescription for test strips once every two months, which means that I now have to purchase tests strips in order to maintain my daily testing routine.
    What is the guidance for testing of blood glucose levels using Bayer test kits? - When should testing be done? How often? Is it reasonable to expect a patient to pay for test strips?
     
  2. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not many people here with T2 get prescription strips unless they are on insulin they are usually told there is no need to test so most of us buy our own and the cheapest are the Codefree ones from HomehealthUK you have to have the Codefree meter for them though
    https://homehealth-uk.com/
     
  3. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    I see from your profile you are on Gliclazide. This is one of the drugs where it is essential you test regularly and especially before driving (if you are a driver). It is an insulin promoting drug and therefore you can hypo. There are no hard and fast rules about when to test (other than before driving) but I would certainly test before bed and at any time you think your blood sugars are going low so you can take hypo avoiding action. This is the reason you have been given a meter and have strips on prescription - those of us not on this type of drug have to buy our own. On Gliclazide you should be prescribed sufficient strips for your safety..
     
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  4. The Grey Panther

    The Grey Panther Type 2 · Member

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    Curiously, my local Medical Practice has now issued me with FOUR different test meters, - first a Bayer Contour meter, then some Italian job which didn't work, then a Bayer Contour Next meter and lastly a Bayer Contour TS meter. I'm told that Bayer provide the meters for free (which is why the Medical Practice must be keen to issue them!), but it seems a bit odd to provide the meters but no guidance as to when to test and a relucatance to prescribe test strips.
     
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    The reluctance to prescribe test strips is purely down to cost cutting, and yes, meter manufacturers provide loads of meters free to GP surgeries so they can be handed out to diabetic patients safe in the knowledge that the patient is likely to keep buying replacement strips, and also the surgery will have to keep buying them. This is where Bayer and others make their money.

    One of the main side effects of Gliclazide is low blood sugar. This can happen if, for example, you miss a usual meal, or drink too much alcohol, or exercise more than normal, and probably in other circumstances. If your blood sugar goes too low you can hypo, so you need to be able to self test at these types of times to check how low you are. Overnight is also a problem in some people, which is why you should test before bed.

    All I can suggest is you put these points to your nurse/GP and ask for more strips. Failing that you could buy your own. If you find they are expensive there are other meters with much cheaper strips. (The Codefree for example)
     
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  6. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm on Gliclazide a drug that could cause a hypo. I'm lucky in that I get lancets and test strips free on prescription. My own testing regime has shown that my BG never really falls to a level that could result in a hypo so I just test every couple of days and rotate the test between pre and post breakfast, lunch and dinner and the occasional test before bed, thus I use two test strips every second day. I'll occasionally do an 'out of sequence' test just to see how something new in my diet has influenced my BG. Last time was when my wife made some low carb/sugar (in theory!) mince pies and actually they didn't result in a significant spike in BG, much to my relief as they were very tasty. :)
     
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  7. The Grey Panther

    The Grey Panther Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks to the various responses to my original question, I'm getting some sort of idea as to what blood testing is really all about. With no guidance from my local Medical Practice, I figured that what I would do is monitor a daily average and see how this compared with the 6-monthly HbA1C blood test. I get quite a close match (HbA1C = 49).
    But as for testing blood glucose when I might be getting low, I find that a bit puzzling as I KNOW when blood sugar levels are getting low and I need to do something about it.
    What I DON'T KNOW is when blood sugar levels are getting high.
    I'm seeing the Practice Nurse tomorrow, so I'll have a chat with her and see whether she has any bright ideas.
     
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  8. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I have had plenty of experience of testing blood glucose levels and keeping a food diary for the purposes of monitoring how well I tolerate foods and what to avoid.
    You seem to have a lot of faith in your medical team, that, I have discovered is found to be a trust you should have an open mind about.
    My experience of over sixteen years of coping with blood glucose problems, my team of many doctors, dsns and even one specialist was unfortunately making me eat foods that I shouldn't and the advice I got was killing me.
    However, the real reason for testing is to see what foods are giving you the high blood glucose levels repeatedly. To give you an idea how well you are doing. And to help your medical team determine what treatment you need.
    To see trends in your readings and to omit the foods to get your Hba1c test back down to as near normal levels as you can.
    A lot of testing before meals and two hours after first bite, should become rigidly recorded along with portion size and quantities of which foods.
    Testing when you get up will give you a false reading due to a what is known as dawn phenomenon. It's a natural boost of glucose you get from your liver when you wake.
    So wait till you have done a few things before breakfast.
    Testing indiscriminately will not give you a good basis of how you are doing.
    Only test like this, if you feel unwell or unusual.
    Hope this helps.
     
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  9. Energize

    Energize Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @The Grey Panther

    May I suggest (on the assumption you drive / ride a car/motor/bicycle etc) that you test every time before you drive - if only so that you can prove to any insurance company that your levels were above 5 in the event of an accident. If you can't prove this, then whoever's fault the accident is, you will be considered to be responsible. When driving, you will/should have been advised to test every 2 hours if on a longer journey etc. All this can be found on the internet.

    I agree it would be worth discussing this with the Nurse when you see her tomorrow and suggest that, to comply with this, you will need more test strips than currently supplied. You should, I would hope, then have your prescription increased accordingly. For what it's worth, I'm prescribed one pot of 50 test strips but, if I was to test every time I went to my car to drive (if more than 2 hours since the last test) plus times when I felt I was going hypo, I would actually need more, I have to say. I'll be working on remedying this in the near future (when the time is right ;) )
     
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  10. The Grey Panther

    The Grey Panther Type 2 · Member

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    This information is really useful.
    I have always wondered why my blood sugar is high first thing a.m., - usually about 7.5 or 8, as I test first thing on waking. So now I shall leave things for an hour or so and see how that goes.
    I have certainly found that testing has shown that certain foods are to be strictly avoided, - certain processed foods can be guaranteed to give a spike in readings, even if the labels tell you that there is no (or low) sugar in them.
    The comments made in response to my initial query have been very useful, - many thanks everybody,
     
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  11. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Here's someone's ideas on how to use a blood glucose meter if you have type 2:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14045524.php

    Initially, you'll test quite frequently. As you figure out what foods are ok and what to avoid, you can greatly reduce the testing.
     
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  12. 1954jessy

    1954jessy Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I am lucky. I am diet controlled and my surgery issued me with a meter, strips and lancets whenever I need them.
     
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