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Test strips restriction

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by heleni62, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. heleni62

    heleni62 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi, this is my first request for information from fellow Type 1s. I control my blood sugars by being carb aware and frequent blood glucose testing ( up to x8 per day). My last HbA1C was 50 - which I am pleased with. My problem is that I have just moved house and have had to change my GP. At my previous practice my repeat prescription allowed for 200 Aviva test strips monthly. My new practice is not prepared to give me more than 100 strips per month, and, in fact this month have refused my request for strips completely. The receptionist (don't start me) suggested that I am "over testing". I am a nurse with 13 years ICU experience so my understanding of the condition is good. I'm feeling quite stressed by it all, and just wondered how many times a day other Type 1s are testing. I look forward to hearing your replies.....it can be quite isolating dealing with diabetes.
     
  2. dtennant9

    dtennant9 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Helen

    Welcome to the forum.

    I test around as frequently as you do but I have never had any issues getting as many strips as I want. When I order my prescription I get 200 strips and there have been occasions where I have ordered this more than once in a month, sometimes when I won't order in a month. It just depends on how many I have.

    I'm sure someone, possibly @noblehead , used to have a link to a letter which was issued to practices saying that strips should not be limited for Type 1s and that we should have access to however many strips is necessary to allow us to control our condition.

    Someone will still have the link, or you should be able to find it by searching the forum. Maybe you could then take this along to your GP as a gentle reminder.
     
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  3. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You need to go visit your GP and explain that as insulin has been prescribed then it's negligent on his part to not allow you the tools (Test strips) to administer the correct amount of insulin. Also point out you drive so you have other road users to consider plus the DVLA rules and regulations to comply with.
     
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  4. dtennant9

    dtennant9 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  5. dancer

    dancer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago a GP asked how many times I tested each day. When I told her it could be 6 - 10 times, more if driving, she said that was too much. When I pointed out that I used a pump, that changed everything.

    Even before I went on the pump, I was trying to improve my control and tested more than 4 times per day. Your practice doesn't seem to want you to do the minimum of testing before each meal and before bed. Why not ask your DSN to write to them, saying you require at least 200 strips per month? . . . You'll be saving them money, in the long run!
     
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  6. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    If I ever encounter a GP that has this approach to me I will make sure that I get the practice manager and "Diabetic" GP in a room and simply ask them why they have decided that the best way to deal with Type 1 diabetics is to try and kill them off by reducing their ability to manage their blood glucose levels. I will then ask them who my family should target the medical negligence case at when I die early of complications caused by their short sightedness. I want to watch them squirm and feel incredibly uncomfortable in regard to this point.
     
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  7. heleni62

    heleni62 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Thanks for the D of H letter link - I've printed it off. I have an appointment on Friday with one of the GPs at the new practice, hopefully I wont have to flash the letter, but it confirms to me that I am not being unreasonable in my request for 200 strips per month. Why does it have to be so difficult.........
     
  8. dtennant9

    dtennant9 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't need to be difficult.

    Like I said, I've never had an issue but I know that a lot of people do have issues.
     
  9. ewelina

    ewelina Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I used to have lots of problems with my gp. After a letter from my diabetic clinic and a few emails from me saying I cant do on 3 strips a day if I go to the gym, have a job where im active, they give me 150 per month now. That is not enough for me and I simply buy on ebay. Im going to change my gp after summer hoping to get someone more understanding.
    testing 10 times a day is absolutely normal if you want to manage well this condition.
     
  10. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Ewelina, please take my approach and get your GP and Practice Manager in a room and ask them why they are breaking the Hippocratic oath by trying to kill you... See how they respond. If you are planning on changing GP anyway, then this should be fun!
     
  11. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Certainly not unreasonable @heleni62.

    Before the Dept of Health letter was sent out to gp surgery's my own Dr was disputing the amount of test strips I was using at the time, insisting that I shouldn't need to test more than 4 times a day, despite my reply he wasn't prepared to listen so I mentioned it to my Consultant and they wrote a letter to the practise stating that test strips should not be restricted, after that nothing was ever mentioned again.

    So if you are under a hospital diabetes clinic get your Consultant or DSN to write a letter for you if they continue to ignore your request for more strips, good luck.
     
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  12. fred1234

    fred1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am lucky my gp doesn't question any of my requests. He/she sign them off no problem. My unistik 3 no bother, and I get the fine needles too. So I can't complain. I unfortunately have other medical conditions that affect my skin and I get prescriptions for special cream for this too. Included is special shower gell. Don't know how I would manage without their cooperation. Good old nhs in some cases but there should be no differences whatsoever ever.
     
  13. jackvdbuk

    jackvdbuk Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    is 8 times really necessary though? what are you testing for, surely there will be days where it is in perfect control with carb counting and routine?

    i have had similar problems with the accuchek mobile cassettes (a percentage of tests always display "too little blood or error re-test" and them questioning why i test 3-4 times+ a day (new regime). i do understand where they are coming from though even if it is really stressful to not have enough to test every day as many as i like... NHS is sadly very expensive to run.
     
  14. Atalay

    Atalay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There is a catch to using strips; If you are in control of what you eat every meal, you generally get the same result every time. So, I know what happens what I eat, how much I eat, when I eat (after a week of trial and measuring bg) I only use one strip at nights, before bed. If I overeat for some reason, I sometimes use an extra strip during the day. Regular eating habits help a lot on using less strips a month.

    Dont forget that overeating carbs and sugary food will cause your bg get stable in 2-4 days, quickest.

    Every metabolism is going to probably act different, not that stable and predictible like mine, but this way works for me totally great.
     
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  15. ewelina

    ewelina Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    To be honest Ive given up on my gp. Shortly after diagnosis he advised me to test once a week. Shocking.I dont think he understands difference between type 1 and type 2 (but even for type2 once a week is bad). I dont really have much contact with them now. I have very good and supportive diabetic clinic and my prescriptions are done through pharmacy. Getting few more strips would be nice though :)
    What annoys me the most that they tell you that you over test and make you feel guilty for using more than 4 strips a day. I understand that is not cheap and to be honest I dont mind buying 2 extra boxes of codefree testing strips a month (which are much more affordable) but gp that gives you wrong medical advice is unacceptable.
     
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  16. Emmotha

    Emmotha Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Test as much as u need to for good control. And if you drive you have to test by law!
    My GP did this once, I rang my clinic team and they sent out a letter. Now there is a note on my GP info to say "type 1, do not restrict test strips". My clinic was outraged that the receptionist told me not to test more than 6 times a day.

    Also, if u have ever used a cgm @jackvdbuk u will know that there are many more variables than simply carb counting.

    Better safe than sorry!
     
  17. Curly604

    Curly604 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I completely understand you needing to test often even though my diet is very stable I do test about 8times a day due to a variety of reasons especially exercise even if i run the same 4miles after eating the same food I get a different reading every time therefore really important to keep testing.

    Luckily my doctor is a amazing and is now giving me up to 300 strips a month just in case and to allow me to build up a stock.
    I'm sure your gp will understand when you explain the variables in every day life. For me no day is the same
     
  18. tomfalc

    tomfalc Type 1 · Member

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    Yes - for some of us it IS necessary. I have gastroparesis, which makes digestion unpredictable. This means I am frequently higher or lower than I should be, and need a lot of tests to correct. I also drive, so need to test regularly to stay safe and legal. On top of that, this is the regime my consultant by prescribed and shouldn't be changed by my GP or a receptionist. I know I am expensive, but that is the way it is. I am just trying to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can. In return I am working and paying taxes.
     
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  19. sp41700

    sp41700 Type 1 · Active Member

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    8 is an average so could be much more! Before I started with the libre i used to test a lot more.

    But just to give you a rough idea of how the 8 could be made from:
    4 a day 3 meals plus bed.
    1 before driving and 1 every two hours during driving.
    spoilt / errors.
    At least two per hypo.
    Basal setting/testing with a pump.
    changes to treatment due to weight loss / gain or a change in work routine.

    After having T1D for 20 years, I am not one of the lucky ones who seem to have it under control with little effort. I really have to work intensely at it to get some sort of normality.


    Luckily I have never been restricted on the number of test strips. I normally run to about 200 a month. I have been told by one of my DSN's that some T1s have reported restrictions on test strip prescriptions.

    It has obviously been identified that T1ds with improved control are less likely to suffer from complications. For some of us to maintain that control we have to test more intensively.
     
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