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Reactive Hypoglycemia How often you check your blood glucose level

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by kondziad, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. kondziad

    kondziad · Newbie

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    Hi. I am writing to ask you how often you check your blood glucose level (test-strip)? I am afraid that I have become obsessed as I use about 15 strips a day. In addition, I had problems getting a drop of blood, which causes myself to sting a few times ... I feel a bit depressed.
     
  2. Buster_

    Buster_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm a type 2 and the most I've routinely tested was about 5 or 6 times a day, but this was when I was learning about my condition and how different foods and meals affect me. I now test much less, often not at all for several days.

    I think it's necessary for type 1's (and perhaps others?) to check much more frequently through the day, as they have to calculate insulin dosage etc.

    It's very easy to become obsessed with the numbers on your glucose meter but I think you know that testing as often as you currently are is not good for you, body or mind. Don't beat yourself up about this though, there will be plenty of opportunity to change things for the better. Perhaps you can find a way to focus on other aspects of managing your diabetes, or set yourself a maximum number of tests each day and gradually bring it down? How are you doing with your diet and exercise? Can you make any little improvements there that will encourage you and give you other things to think about?

    As for getting blood, I found that instead of squeezing just my fingertip I get much better results if I start at the base of the finger and squish all the way up, sort of like pushing the toothpaste up from the bottom of the tube.

    I know it's easy to say these word, but try not to feel too down. You're not alone, there are plenty of friendly people here on the forum who will listen and offer advice and support.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. miahara

    miahara Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    When I had to finger prick, after a few weeks of recording results I developed a fairly good idea as to how various foods and exercise impacted my BGL so I reduced stabbing my digits and would test for just one meal per day and alternated breakfast, lunch and evening meal over a 3 day period.
    As for getting sufficient to test, I found that running my hand under the hot tap and holding my hand below waist level helped a lot.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @kondziad if you are checking your bloods 15 times a day, Libre may be more cost effective than finger pricks (and nicer on your fingers). Abbott still have their free trial offer available from their website.

    However, some people find that the constantly available numbers fuels their anxiety.
    I appreciate things are different for me as I have Type 1, but I still think, when I check my levels, why am I doing it and what am I going to do with my results? If I am not going to do anything, why am I checking? If I think my levels are low, and I will treat a hypo, that is a reason. If I am going to use the numbers to calculate my insulin dose, then that is a reason. If I am learning the impact of certain foods, then that is a reason. If I am learning the impact of exercise, then that is a reason. If I am checking to see my levels are safe to drive, then that is. a reason. But If I am checking for the sake of checking and will do nothing different regardless what the number is, why am I checking?
     
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  5. DEBBIESCOTT

    DEBBIESCOTT Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My wonderful DSN gave me libre to try as I was having to prick my finger 10 plus times a day, it’s life changing and she’s put it on prescription. I scan probably 30 times a day (b/s very unpredictable and no hypo awareness)
    Think it depends where you live and how good your DSN is, and I’m not type 1 nor on insulin
    Good luck
     
  6. Bittern

    Bittern Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Once a day on waking, it's enough to show me trends, and in addition if a new food is added to my diet.
     
  7. Bubbleblower

    Bubbleblower LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately that is a scam, they won't give you a free sensor no matter what and don't mind lying. Given how often their sensor breaks and their horrible "customer service" it's probably cheaper to get another brand.

    Also because otherwise you will have to call their customer service regularly, which takes more than an hour each time, because the simplest things are extremely complicated, and your BG will raise very high during these useless conversations.

    If you get a reliable CGM it is cheaper than fingerpricking all day and you learn a lot more from it.

    I also had problems getting blood from my fingers. Apart from washing them with warm water and rubbing them, what also helps is throwing blood in the fingers so to say.
     
  8. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't really test anymore, because I know what foods are good and bad, and I just assume my bloods are too high all the time. I'm not recommending this, and I think there's more than an element of depression in my reluctance to test. Still, obsessing over 2hr marks wasn't really doing me any good. I get a HbA1c done every 2-3 months because of a separate health issue, and I just go by that.
     
  9. jape

    jape Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    According to my libre reader, I check on average 26 times a day - between 30 and 60 minutes during daytime when I am awake, and once when I wake up during nighttime. When I experience a hypo, it might be between 15/20 minutes until I get back in safe territory. For me,it has become like when I check my watch to see what the time is.

    When I still used the strips, it was 4 times a day - when I woke up, and before each meal.
     
  10. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you have had problems with Libre.

    I have been using it for years and find it great. I have very few failures and find Abbott very supportive when I do. I have never had to wait more than 20 minutes on the free phone line and they provide clear instructions to gather the data that they need. They have always replaced a faulty sensor for me.

    I have also tried DexCom and found the way I use Libre to be more accurate (and cheaper).

    In no way has Libre or their free trial been a scam for me.
    In fact, I failed to understand how giving something for free when you don't have to provide any payment details can be a scam.
     
    #10 In Response, Oct 8, 2021 at 11:50 AM
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  11. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Do you always check hypos and hypo recovery with a finger prick?
    All CGM are less reliable when low (or high) and due to the delay between interstitial fluids and blood sugars, CGMs will be delayed in recording a recovery.
    Libre 2 has attempted to overcome the delay but as this is through extrapolating the current trend, it can take even longer to recognise when the trend has started rising.
     
  12. bellapodus

    bellapodus Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    4 times a day (before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner and before bed) unless I feel iffy or miscalculated the amount of carbs I have eaten, then I test 2 hours after that meal too
     
  13. finzi1966

    finzi1966 · Member

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    Can’t comment on the rest of your complaints about Abbot and the Libre but the free sensor isn’t a scam: I’ve literally got one sitting in my arm right now.
     
  14. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi and welcome to our forum, I have Reactive Hypoglycaemia and testing is a huge part of understanding what happens when we eat certain foods that trigger the reaction. If you're not sure what happens, we do have a sub forum on Reactive Hypoglycaemia and there is a sticky post on testing.
    I went through the same, test, test, test, and given that I was told to eat every three hours, that is a lot of test strips!
    Do you keep a food diary? It's no use testing unless you have a resource to compare.

    Because of all this trial and error. I found that i get the RH symptoms when I eat carbs and sugar.
    After being in Keto for a few years and healthy, not having hypos is great, avoiding those carbs, I also use intermittent fasting every day, and I only eat in a small window, so unless I have another illness, I only test pre meal and two hours after, just to see if my body is in normal levels.
    It's ok to test, but you can cut down when you believe that, you have seen the results of testing the same food a few times and it doesn't effect your blood glucose levels.
    Or, when you see that the food is causing symptoms and your blood glucose is not in control, out of normal levels. Stay away from that particular food.

    You will work it out.

    What diagnostic tests have you had?

    Stay safe.
     
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