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Newly diagnosed T2 - Blood Glucose Monitoring

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Libby81, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I was diagnosed approximately two weeks ago. Therefore, I'm currently a regular visitor to my surgery. Please can anyone advise me whether I should be able to get monitoring equipment via my surgery, and prescriptions.

    I'm very much interested in the Freestyle Libre, as that accommodates my love of gadgets. I also love how discreet the system is along with all the stats you are able to have. I cannot believe though the cost in the system, so before thinking about committing to this type of system I feel I need a popular, realible, tried and tested way to begin monitoring my blood.

    Any help, advice information, will be very much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance x
     

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  2. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi. Evidently a lot of Type 2s are not issued with meters on the NHS..some are. I was..don't know if Scotland differs...but I had other issues...don't know about you. But - ask...and I think if your doctor is at all wavering over maybe giving you a meter and prescribed strips..it can do no harm to say that you have gone away and informed yourself a bit, and while you understand that some doctors are reluctant to issue them as they fear patients may get stressed by high readings (I am told, by the way, by a specialist that that's the only real reason..other than local budget and standard policy), you want to try lowering your BS by reducing carbs and you need a meter to see what foods are working/not working in your favour.
    If you still have no luck..there's a range of meters to choose from (sometimes free offers). I use the Verio One Touch (it's easy but has critics); the cheapest one (still perfectly effective) is the Accucheck...explore on line ..on Amazon. Should be less than £20 for a reasonable meter...maybe similar for each pile of strips. Any more expensive is pointless.
    If you wait for the doctors to test (ie. an HbA1c test of your 3 month average), you won't know what's happenign in between tests....one way or another - get a meter, and record your food taken and your readings before and 2.5 hours after meals (these should roughly match if you're not eating too many carbs), and record times - this will reveal patterns etc. To make a dent - cut out bread and cereal and see the difference it makes. Good luck.
     
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  3. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply. There's so much to take in. Finding this forum has been a huge help. Thanks for all your information on the different devices available. There's so many out there it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, so having recommendations will help.
     
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    #3 Libby81, Mar 18, 2016 at 11:32 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2016
  4. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi. Apparently the SD codefree blood sugar meter is the cheapest, but also pretty well thought of. it's about £13, with 50 test strips at under £8. To give you an idea, I now test about 4 times a day, but was testing more early on to establish patterns. I now test on waking...around midday (because I am on other drugs which can effect blood sugar), and just before my din dines and 2.5 hours after. Advice of many here would be eat to your meter...every new food you try - test before and after. Normal range is about 4-7mmols. I was hitting 20.5 initially, but with a very low carb diet - I'm now in the normal range. Don't let it wind you up..it's just another thing for us to deal with is all.

    Try these links - first one is this site (with lots of info on that meter, including a you tube vid. The second is Amazon and you can see the price etc. I am also copying the wonderful @daisy1 into this comment - she'll post really useful info for you to take in.

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/blood-glucose-meters/sd-codefree-blood-glucose-meter.html
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Codefree-Glucose-Monitor-Monitoring-Testing/dp/B0068JAJFS

    Good luck. Paul
     
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  5. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @Libby81

    Hello Libby and welcome to the forum :) Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask more questions and someone will be able to help. I hope you find the testing equipment that suits you best.

    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 over 150,000 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

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes-and-whole-grains.html

    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

    LOW CARB PROGRAM:
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/low carb program


    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 bloodglucose 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.
     
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  6. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum :) I am type 2 and was issued with a meter which I was told should be changed after three years unsure what they cost but would be lost with out mine....
     
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  7. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thanks all for the information. I'm still in the early stages of having the diagnosis. Was diagnosed on the 11th March, then had to go back from another blood test on the 17th March, and now have to see the doctor on 21st March.
    Maybe, I'll get given a blood glucose meter next week. The doctor wanted to do another test to make sure. She also said she would then refer me to the clinic in the local hospital.
    Currently in my family, my grandmother, mother and sister all have diabetes. My sister is the 4th generation, and I'm the 3rd generation. So with that in mind I would think its highly likely it will definitely be diabetes. Doctor thought there might be slight chance it wasn't. Hence why she wanted another blood test.

    Is that procedure normal when being diagnosed? Or does it very depending on where you live, doctors, family history?
     
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    #7 Libby81, Mar 19, 2016 at 11:49 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2016
  8. Liam1955

    Liam1955 Type 2 · Master

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    @Libby81 - Hello and Welcome to the Forum.:)
     
  9. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thank you Liam :)
     
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  10. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi @Libby81 had a repeat blood test when I was first diagnosed - I assumed this was normal to double check the accuracy of the results. Better safe than sorry. :p

    I was told (like many of us type 2s here) that I didn't need to test by our practice diabetes nurse. My GP, who is also now my diabetes doctor, is happy for me to test, but he's not permitted to give me strips on prescription. But I eventually bought my own meter - these are generally fairly cheap - it's the test strips that can be very expensive. That's why you'll be recommended the SD Codefree on the forum as the strips are at least half the cost of other brands. A meter and a reduced carbohydrate diet are the two best tools you'll have to control diabetes, and even if you're not actually diabetic, watching your diet will probably be the way to keep from following in your family's footsteps in the future...

    Robbity
     
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  11. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Libby and welcome! were the others in your family diagnosed at the same age as you?

    And how can your sister be fourth generation when you are third?
    By the way, I'm third generation too but I have no idea if the earlier generations had it so I could be fifth for all I know.
     
  12. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi Totto,

    To be honest I'm not sure what age my grandfather was diagnosed, my understanding is that it was later in his life. My grandmother had her diagnosis in her early 70's, she is type 1, and has been from the start. Mum and sister have only been diagnosed in the last 5/6 years.

    The generation thing is based on the fact both mums parents were, and are diabetic. Mum has followed by having it, and now me and sister. I am the elder out of the two of us hence where we fit in the generation scheme of things.
     
  13. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd say you and your sister are the same generation so that makes both of you third generation.

    Do get a meter if you can't get one on prescription. Testing is vital, only way to be in control.
    You may want to ask your doctor about MODY, that is monogenetic diabetes. Runs in families to an even higher degree than the more common type 2.
     
  14. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi totto,
    You are correct on the generation thing. I intend on getting a meter, just thought I'll ask in the doctor first. In this day and age, if you don't ask you don't get. Whether they say yes or no.

    I've never heard of the MODY diabetes, through there were only two types. As I've discovered though that isn't the case.
     
  15. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I got a meter and test strips by telling my diabetes nurse I wouldn't eat on single gram of carbs until I could test, not half a carrot, not a sliver of fruit, only bacon, eggs and butter. That scared her enough.

    My GP looked into MODY but felt I was a more traditional multi-genetic diabetic and I think that is true. I have no markers of metabolic syndrome though but as long as I can keep my BG normal I'm not fussed about why I'm diabetic.
     
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  16. Libby81

    Libby81 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Well I can but try. I'm hoping the doctor will give me a monitor though, got another long term medical condition so hopefully that will influence the doctor decisions.
     
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  17. holdfast

    holdfast Type 2 · Member

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    I have type 2, but no medication prescribed. I have lost weight and my hba1c is now 42. I have not been prescribed a test kit so it's difficult to tell how changes to my diet and exercise regime affect my blood glucose level. Thanks to the advice in previous posts I shall look into paying for a test kit myself.
     
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  18. Liam1955

    Liam1955 Type 2 · Master

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    Hi @holdfast - Should you not get prescribed a Blood Glucose Meter? The SD Codefree Meter is popular with forum members as the Test Strips are the cheapest to buy. Just click on this link:

    http://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/codefree-blood-glucose/

    Here in the UK we use mmol/, state you are Diabetic for vat exemption.
    And if you buy in bulk - the Test Strips work out even cheaper.
    5 Packs = 264086. 10 packs = 975833.
     
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  19. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You might find my post " analysing xmas" interesting, it shows how changes to my diet and exercise regime affected my blood sugars on a daily basis - using a Freestyle Libre to record all blood sugars, the cronometer program to record all foods and a fit bit for the walking. My current hba1C is now very similar to yours .
     
  20. Eireannn

    Eireannn Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The Freestyle Libre is absolutely amazing (out of experience). The NHS are doing trials and I was fortunate to be on the list for 6 weeks and I'm on my last sensor. It's been so amazing just scanning myself which takes 3 seconds then setting up blood testing strips and having to prick my finger. It also gives your fingers rest. I had purple bruises all over my fingers but they're gone now.

    The cost is expensive but worth it and I think they'll replace your sensor for free if it's damaged or fallen off in the 2 weeks. Downside is that it has a 15 minute delay so if you're feeling shaky and your bloods read about 5mmol, it's best to do the finger prick as a reassurance.

    Good luck and all the best :)
     
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