1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

How Often To Test Blood

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by 9's, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I have just been diagnosed with type 2. I had my first appointment with the diabetic nurse on Monday 2nd July, although my doctors practice failed to tell me I was diabetic.. Well they did tell me I was prediabetic in January and nothing to worry about when my readings were 7.4 and 2 weeks later 8.1 in January. Last week I was 8.7. I only found this out because I asked for the readings after watching the truth about diabetes on tv, otherwise I still wouldn't be aware of the condition. The nurse has put me on slow release metformin and said that I don't need to have my blood tested for another six months. Is this right. I have also been diagnosed with an excessively fatty liver 3 months ago. Although again at the time my doctor told me I had a slightly fatty liver and nothing to worry about. Apart from changing my doctor can anyone tell me if 6 monthly blood tests are the norm. Doesn't seem right to me.
    Thanks
     
  2. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,156
    Likes Received:
    14,198
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hello 9’s and welcome to the Forum!
    First let me tag in @daisy1 for her useful info post.
    I can only speak from my own experience, my first two reviews with blood tests after diagnosis were every two months. However I do think that’s unusual, most people have reviews every three months I think. Most Type 2s here also self monitor at home to test what foods are good or not for our blood sugars so we don’t have to wait 2, 3 or even 6 months to see how we’re doing.
    Have you been given any dietary advice? If so what was it? Do you have weight to lose? Sorry for all the questions but it’ll help us to help you.
    I was well overweight on diagnosis. I embarked on low carb eating, which has helped me lose loads of weight, control my blood sugars and almost certainly reduce fat in my liver.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. rhubarb73

    rhubarb73 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    2,853
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi - I’m 7 weeks in to Type 2 and also have a fatty liver; and the best advice I got from here was to go low carb on the diet, and self test blood sugars before and (2 hours) after every meal. The readings will jump about but with the right diet you should see improvement over time.
    Did your blood test also do a full liver function test; it probably did so make sure you get a print out of your results and ask them to show you the liver function section.
    I’ve seen significant improvements in those results between my two most recent tests - following a good diet and losing weight helps the liver to repair itself and the body to use up some of the fat stored there.
    Welcome to forum -lots of friendly helpful people here.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    26,459
    Likes Received:
    4,873
    Trophy Points:
    248
    @9's

    Hello 9's 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 need to and someone will be able to 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 235,000 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 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. Most of these are 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.
     
  5. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,672
    Likes Received:
    19,866
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Welcome to the forum @9's. It seems you had a 3 month retest after your initial Type 2 diagnosis in January, which is usual to confirm the initial diagnosis.
    NHS and NICE guidelines are that T2s should be tested every 3 months until blood glucose levels are stabilised, and then every 6 months. So as your bgs seem to have been stabilised a test every 6 months would be correct.
    Some surgeries, including mine, only refer for a HbA1c test every 12 months. It is best that you get a blood glucose monitor so you can check your bg levels yourself.This helps you to work out which foods affect your bg most, and your progress between HbA1c tests. Type 2s don't usually get meters and test strips on prescriptions, and we have to fund these ourselves.

    Have a read round the threads, and ask any questions you want, the people on here are friendly and supportive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thanks for the advice. On the readings of 7.4 and 8.1 I was told i'm pre diabetic and not told the readings. It was only when I recently asked for the readings that I was told i'm probably diabetic. An appointment was then made to see the diabetic nurse who ordered the new blood test and it was 8.7. If I hadn't asked for 6 month old results I would never have known.
    Cheers
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,672
    Likes Received:
    19,866
    Trophy Points:
    198
    If you are in UK your gp surgery should allow you to access your test results online (and reorder repeat prescriptions and make appointments). You need to apply to your surgery to get their code to allow you access.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi Rachox, thanks for the advice. I was told to lose weight by going low carb. I have been doing that anyway for about 6 months after being told I had high blood pressure and cholesterol. My coles. has come down to 1.9 but I have put on over a stone!! Not too sure how that works. I have been eating mainly white fish (oily once a week), chicken, tuna etc., with brocolli, kale, mixed beans etc. Very little carbs except for porridge in the morning. Cheers
     
  9. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Cheers Rhubarb73
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I had 3 monthly HbA1c blood checks to begin with. Now 6 monthly. Every 3 months is usually the norm to start with. Unfortunately you are another victim of diabetes care which is, basically, waiting until the patient gets worse before doing anything about it. You need to get a meter to check your glucose readings before meals and two hours afterwards. Aim for a second reading no more than 2mmol higher. If it is you may have eaten too many carbs. Not sure about the fatty liver buy plenty of knowledgeable people on here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,672
    Likes Received:
    19,866
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Porridge isn't good if you are Type 2. I used to have porridge for breakfast until I tested and found it had spiked my bg to 10.4 two hours later. I haven't eaten it since. Some Type 2s find it doesn't spike them, the only way to know how it affects you is to test before and after eating.
    Eggs, bacon, high meat content sausages, kippers, muhrooms, or high fat yoghurt are better for breakfast.
     
  12. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    Trophy Points:
    198
    That's a bit strange. Test you BG before and after the porridge. Keep testing if it's high to see the effect. Most of us have had to experiment on ourselves because of the lack of proper advice.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,156
    Likes Received:
    14,198
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Thanks for the info on your diet. Have you ever calculated your actual carb intake in a day? I ask because, beans and porridge are quite high carb, as @Prem51 says the only way to know for sure what these foods are doing to you is to test.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thanks rachox, i only have the measured 40g porridge @ 34g of carbs. The beans etc. I only have maybe twice a week @ approx 50g of carbs. Mainly it's green veg. I'll have to get myself a tester as you say and see the reactions to different food groups. Cheers
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  15. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,156
    Likes Received:
    14,198
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Here’s some info you might find handy:


    Taken from a post by @Bluetit1802 as she wrote it so nicely:


    The most popular meters for self funding T2's are the Codefree and the Tee2 because the strips are much cheaper than other meters, and you need a lot of strips. You can't buy them in pharmacies.


    Try here for the Codefree meter


    http://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/blood-glucose-monitor/

    (Showing as out of stock at the moment but also available from Amazon, link below.)


    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


    The Tee2 is here and the meter is free.


    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product-category/shop/tee2/


    Amazon link to Code Free:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Codefree-G...F8&qid=1530778189&sr=8-2&keywords=sd+codefree



    Don’t forget to check the box that you have diabetes so you can buy VAT free. (for either meter)

    Edit to change Amazon link to one that actually works!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,788
    Likes Received:
    3,337
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @9's,
    What I read was that reducing weight is importanr for treating fatty liver.
    Maybe you need to find a GP who keeps you correctly informed and knows about fatty liver and diabetes !
    Ask him/her about weight loss and what else to do !!
    Best Wishes !!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. 9's

    9's · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Cheers kiteoc. I'm about to change docs, so here's hoping
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  18. Suffolk gal

    Suffolk gal · Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi 9's, this is likely a daft question, but how do you know you have a fatty liver? In other words, given that most surgeries seem to fill us full of rubbish information, how does any one of us know that we don't have a fatty liver? I'm not trying to think up more things to have but it's a worry.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook