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Doctor refuses me test strips TWICE

Discussion in 'Ketogenic diet forum' started by Footygirl, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Footygirl

    Footygirl · Newbie

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    Hi am two weeks into the keto month challenge To start with I was using few last strips I had to hand.
    ive dropped a dress size which pleases me, but Doc refuses me strips to support my efforts. I was doing a shorthand of, below 7 in the morning, ideally in the fives. Just attained that when strips ran out.
    how can I monitor my levels now? I asked for Hb1ac monthly then. No again still three months. Loads of patronising guff about getting my level down to 49 from 58 in five months but no support!!!!!!! I wrote an impassioned logical letter but still no go. Why are they so inflexible?
    So, how else do I monitor Myself without testing BG?
    I am getting to grips with portion size and how many net g each meal has. I am veggie so using higher carb veg and CHEESE and eggs. no cravings. Just made cloud bread. Unusual but a bit of keto bulk with keto soup.
    thanks for any advice/ help.
    Cant afford to buy strips myself at moment with one thing and another!
    Take care everyone.
    Footy Xxx
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome @Footygirl

    Unfortunately it’s unusual for type 2s to be prescribed testing strips unless they’re on insulin or other blood glucose lowering medication, so self-funding is the norm.

    I’m tagging @HarryBeau who I believe successfully argued for them to be prescribed. Hopefully she’ll have some tips for you.
     
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  3. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

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    @Rachox has info on the cheapest meters
     
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  4. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    I have never, in over 8 years, been given test strips. Frequent Hba1c is useless as it takes 3 months to change. I get a chance to have a Hba1c once a year.
     
  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Hi @Footygirl


    Here’s some info on UK meters, and to be clear I have no commercial connections with any of the companies mentioned.

    Spirit Healthcare have a meter with cheap strips, the Tee2 + found here:

    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-plus-blood-glucose-meter/

    with the strips found here:

    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-testing-strips/

    Some members have got a free Tee2+ by phoning up to order, with a large order of strips they often throw the meter in for free:

    Phone number 0800 8815423


    With more expensive strips is their Caresens Dual which I currently use, this one has the advantage of glucose and ketone testing in one machine, it’s to be found here:

    https://shop.spirit-health.co.uk/collections/caresens-dual




    Home Health have recently bought out this one, but I haven’t heard any reviews yet, links to strips and the meter:

    https://homehealth-uk.com/all-produ...ose-meter-test-strips-choose-mmol-l-or-mg-dl/


    There are also discount codes for when you come to buy more strips - "navii5" and "navii10" will give you 20% off purchases of 5 packs of strips and 25% off 10 packs of strips respectively (these are printed on a business card supplied with the meter).


    And to be totally transparent I used to use the SD Code Free from Home Health which has the cheapest strips available if bought in quantities of 5 or 10 pots with the codes below. However I found it to be becoming less and less reliable. Here it is for anyone wanting to give it a go, just bear in mind it seems they are replacing it with the Navii, details above.

    https://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/codefree-blood-glucose-monitoring-system-mmoll-or-mgdl/


    and here for the extra strips

    http://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/sd-codefree-test-strips-to-be-used-only-with-the-sd-monitor/

    There are discount codes if you buy in bulk.

    5 packs 264086

    10 packs 975833


    Disclaimer, I haven’t used any of the discount codes I have quoted so I don’t know if they are still current.


    Don’t forget to check the box if you have pre diabetes or diabetes so you can buy VAT free. (for all meters and strips)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. LaoDan

    LaoDan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I self fund too, assuming you’re T2, you only need to test until your new eating patterns settle in. Afterwards, just for maintenance and or trying new foods. Also you don’t need to test mornings... hope that helps
     
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  7. cdpm

    cdpm Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    this is common
    where i live they wont give you
    many unless you are on insulin or
    a hypo causing drug
    and i first began with metformin
    which they said doesnt cause hypos
    so only 3 strips a week
    but guess what?
    i got hypos
    it can be very hard with no strips
    or only a few
    i feel for you
    i hope you can somehow manage
    to get some
     
  8. Footygirl

    Footygirl · Newbie

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    This is in wrong place! Sorry. Response to my post : Refused test strips twice by Doc


    Thank you all so much for all that gold star advice and all the information re meters. I think I can get new meter plus strips for less than one lot of present strips. So grateful.
    Bless your cotton socks all. X
    Keep safe
    Footy

    Edited by moderator - @Footygirl I moved this to the correct location.
     
    #8 Footygirl, Oct 13, 2020 at 6:14 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2020
  9. DaisyDuke 2

    DaisyDuke 2 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi, I went to order my usual repeat prescription of test strips the other day, only to fine them missing from my prescription.

    After speaking to the pharmacy, he sent a message to the doctor, a few day late I got a letter from my surgery to say that because I not not take diabetic drugs I don’t fall into the category for needing test strips?

    Just wondered if anyone else has experience this?

    I was diagnosed T2 over 3 years ago and put on Metformin, but this didn’t agree with my tummy, after finding this sit, diet doctor and sugar free Londoner, I ditched the Metformin and started on a low Carb diet.

    I test every morning, before and after meals, it’s a useful tool, I like gardening and after a long session last somer my blood dropped to 1, on another occasion, after earring just half a scone it went to 30.. if I hadn’t known this by testing I couldn’t of altered the situation.

    I’m feeling a little nervous at not being able to test, especially as I like to try different recipes now and then see the effect on my blood after 2 hour.

    Additionally, I’m feeling a lot penalised for taking the natural route, the one GP’s (government) doesn’t recognise... So, in theory if I agree to take the recommended drugs i.e. Metformin, then I can have the test strips? How bizarre!

    Any advise.. would be great
    Thanks
     
  10. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi @DaisyDuke 2

    For most type 2s in the UK, those wanting to test need to self fund. If you’ve been getting them on prescription until now then you’re the exception rather than the rule. Those on insulin or other blood glucose lowering medication should be prescribed them, but for those using diet or diet plus metformin, the norm is to self fund.

    One or two people have fought this - @HarryBeau is one - but they are in a clear minority.

    If you’d like advice on which meter to get - the strips are the major cost - let us know.
     
  11. DaisyDuke 2

    DaisyDuke 2 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Because I have an under active Thyroid I get all my prescriptions free and so, didn’t really think about it until not?

    I will speak to my doctor in the new year, he’s also diabetic so I might get somewhere?,
    And a little baffling because when I spoke to him about my meter, he said he would leave me a new one at reception, very strange.

    Yes, help getting a better Meter would be great thank you.
     
  12. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If you're going hypo without medication then there's something strange going on, (eg reactive hypoglycemia, insulinoma etc etc), though it's much more likely that that reading of 1 is a meter error (they do happen). If my bg was down to 1 I would be in a coma. Meters do over read as well, if you get an unusually low or high reading it's always best to retest.
     
  13. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The meter manufacturers make all their money out of the blood testing strips so they often hand out free meters....
     
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  14. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Test strips are not that cheap to the NHS. Quick. Multiply by the number of type 2s in the country and you can see why they don't want to prescribe as standard. Plus drugs like Metformin don't cause hype so not monitoring I guess is seen as not as important. I think we all know the risk of long term hyper but it's not as immediate so maybe it's not seen an needed to monitor for

    Also those who don't have diabetic meds don't get free prescriptions. If you have to pay I suspect it's possible to get strips cheaper than prescription cost

    Not saying it's right, or not. Not testing apart from 6 (or 12) monthly hba1c just means it takes longer to catch issues and then potentially a move to drugs that does need monitoring

    But NICE guidelines are that type 2 outside of the hypo potential drugs don't have strips prescribed. Not sure if there are penalties on doctors who override this?
     
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  15. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    There are a few popular meters used by type 2s on here. As I mentioned, the cost of the strips is important as they’ll be what you spend most on.

    The Tee2+ from Spirit Healthcare which has cheap strips (not the cheapest strips but very reasonable): http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-plus-blood-glucose-meter/ with the strips found here: http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-testing-strips/ I got a free Tee2+ by phoning up to order the meter and 10 boxes of strips and they threw the meter in for free. Phone number 0800 8815423

    The meter with the cheapest strips is the SD Codefree. Strips need to be bought in bulk using the codes below and the manufacturer is in the process of switching people over to a new model (see below). http://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/blood-glucose-monitor/ and here for the extra strips http://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/sd-codefree-test-strips-to-be-used-only-with-the-sd-monitor/Discount codes for bulk orders:

    5 packs 264086
    10 packs 975833

    Also from Spirit Healthcare, with more expensive strips than the Tee2+ is their Caresens Dual. This can be used for testing ketones too (strips for that very expensive). https://shop.spirit-health.co.uk/collections/caresens-dual

    Home Health have recently brought out a new meter, the Navii, which will eventually replace the Codefree. https://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/glucose-navii-blood-glucose-test-strips-50-strip-pack/. https://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/gluconavii-blood-sugar-meter-glucose-monitor-starter-kit/

    There are also discount codes for when you come to buy more strips - "navii5" and "navii10" will give you 20% off purchases of 5 packs of strips and 25% off 10 packs of strips.

    Don’t forget to check the box if you have pre diabetes or diabetes so you can buy VAT free. (for all meters and strips).
     
  16. DaisyDuke 2

    DaisyDuke 2 Type 2 · Active Member

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    I don’t think I’ve ever had a hypo? Wouldn’t know what that is? I just eat some nuts and had dinner...

    It’s never been that low since, lowest 4.1 the other week... I do a lot of gardening, walking/jogging and house work to work of what I eat, it works.
     
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    #16 DaisyDuke 2, Dec 26, 2020 at 10:16 PM
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  17. DaisyDuke 2

    DaisyDuke 2 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Arr thank you for all that info, I’ll look into... I still have some strips left for my old machine OneTouch, I’ve have purchased these Online before when the pharmacist ran out thin they are about £9.

    Are the Machines you’ve recommended more advanced/newer models, more reliable than the OneTouch?

    Many thanks for your help
     
  18. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I can understand you being frustrated many t2's struggle getting strips unless on insulin. But being on a diet doesn't meet any of the criteria to require test strips... hba1cs are expensive.. even as a t1 im only entitles to the 3 monthly

    A hba1c gives an average of the last 3 months but is slightly biased to the latest month.. so the advice above that it does change quickly is incorrect.. you can have a test just a couple of weeks after the last and see a reduction in numbers.. I know I've done it as I went through a period where I had hba1c done ever 3 to 4 weeks

    You could contact a few meter companies and they will send you a meter and 10 strips.. or you'll need to shop around for best cheap strips

    If using lots of strips you could consider trying the freestyle libre as this will provide more info and after 14 days give an estimated hba1c
     
  19. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi. I don’t know anything about the one touch. Of those listed, the Navii is the newest. I use the Tee2. They’re recommended here because of their ease of use and price of strips.

    All meters have a range of error of around +\- 10-15% and as a type 2 managing with diet only or a combination of diet and metformin, it’s the general trends that are more important than the absolute numbers. If you use the same meter and are consistent with when you test, then you’ll come to see what is ‘normal’ for you.
     
  20. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Meters have standards to comply with and even the most expensive meters have the same standards to meet.. none if them are lab grade and will give you 'good in the ball park' numbers


    I use contour next meters as I have found those very consistent ie 1 test after another the numbers match where with cheaper meters ive seen much wider variance although still within the accepted tolerance but contour strip are one of the more expensive

    I've use one touch vario and found them very consistent with the contour

    To be fair the exact number is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it shows 9 or 10mmol either way its high. Again 3.4 or 3.6mmol it too low
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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