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Test Strips withdrawn

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by SHEILAC, May 13, 2010.

  1. markd

    markd · Well-Known Member

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    I travel to the US quite frequently and buy a lot of stuff there as it is generally cheaper - not test strips though!

    Even in WalMart, OneTouch test strips are around twice as expensive as here - and I've no idea why.

    Are they 'artificially' cheaper here, due to NHS bulk purchases, or is it tha the US uber-capitalist model merely rips-off diabetics?

    These days, I really don't *need* to test very often at all, but I have become a bit addicted to it and get rather anxious whenever I try and reduce the frequency

    I've never had strips on prescription, apart from the first few weeks, so I suppose I could save a little cash if I cut down my testing frequency - I get through a couple of packs per month, if I don't watch myself..

    mark.
     
  2. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    I am distressed too that my test strips have been refused. I went to see the doctor about it and about the fact I take regular Hypos, I actually was Hypoglycemic long before I was diagnosed with Diabetes. He told me I can't take hypos with type 2, so glad my hubby was with me as he backed up what I say and that I go as low as 2 on the monitor. But I wanted to cry, scream, anything to get rid of the frustration. He said I don't need the test strips,that I can control my hypos and he will see my in a month and explain all to me, then he cut my Metformin from 4 a day to two. So next day I eat as normal, went to Tescos after lunch,used 1 of my last strips to I was 7.2 so I felt happy to go, eat an apple along the way and when I came back an hour later and sat with a cuppa on my computer I went hypo, it was only 3.8 but I felt so ill. I don't know, I'm fed up with it. Please feed back if only to reassure me.
     
  3. gefmayhem

    gefmayhem · Well-Known Member

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    Try to buy some strips from somewhere.
    Keep a food and test results diary and present those to your doctor.
    If its your 'ordinary' doctor who has refused you strips, try the same action when you next go to a diabetic clinic, or vice versa.

    I was lucky in that just as my health centre stopped my prescription for test strips, my diabetes spiralled out of control and I was put on insulin.
    I was able to argue that under government guidelines I require to test before I drive.

    Do you drive much?
    If so try that argument - If you have a hypo while driving, it can be dangerous for you and others.

    This is from the Diabetes.co.uk page but I think its based on official guidelines
    Driving safely

    You should not drive if you;

    Have difficulty recognising the early signs of hypoglycaemia.
    Have problems with your eyesight, which are not corrected with glasses.
    Have numbness or weakness in your limbs.
    Have been drinking alcohol.
    If you are unsure about any of these you can talk to your diabetes team for more advice.

    Try to avoid low blood sugars while driving by:

    Always carry carbohydrate (sugary) food in your car.
    Not driving for more than 2 hours without eating a snack.
    Not missing, or delaying, a meal or snack.

    Checking your blood sugar levels before and during your car journey.
    Carrying identification both on yourself and in your car - you should identify that you have diabetes



    If you feel a hypo while driving
    STOP driving as soon as it is safe to do so
    Remove the ignition key and move into the passenger seat. This is to avoid any suggestion that you may be "under the influence of drugs" whilst in charge of a car.
    IMMEDIATELY take glucose tablets, a sugary drink or sweets.
    Follow this by taking a longer acting carbohydrate e.g. biscuits or crisps.
    Check your blood sugar.
    Do not resume driving for 40 minutes after blood sugar is above 4mmols

    If you have an accident whilst you are hypoglycaemic, you should get legal advice and the support of your diabetes care team.


    Hope this helps and good luck
     
  4. gefmayhem

    gefmayhem · Well-Known Member

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    and you obviously know that is utter rubbish (insert stronger word here).
    try and do some google research on type 2 and hypos.

    I think its all about proving yuor case and not giving up
     
  5. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    Thank you so much for reply. I was diagnosed 3 years ago but they said I probably had Diabetes for much longer. It was the diabetic nurse who recommended I might benefit from using the strips. I got to grips with my diet thought that was hard, and started eating things to help my high cholesterol, my chol; improved greatly and my diabetes went down by 6 points. We believed it was using the test strips which give me the confidence to make decisions about my diabetes. I normally check my blood sugar before and after walking, sometime I'm alright other times I am very low and don't always realize it.Then suddenly I am in a mess and it can last for up to 45 minutes. So it is important I check.Why the government want to make it harder for us Diabetics I don't know. My Sister is Diabetic and became insulin dependent after fainting at work. She suffered like me prior to that. But I so appreciate your replies as I was feeling very low this morning. Thanks
     
  6. gefmayhem

    gefmayhem · Well-Known Member

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    I'm an occasional poster but have had a lot of good advice from these pages.
    I like to be able to help if I can - as do most of the people who use this site.

    There is lots of good advice here, so keep browsing.

    Have a good weekend :wink:
     
  7. suzybee

    suzybee · Member

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    I have type 2 and take Metformin one am and 2 with main meal and I have always tested intermittently with a meter I bought myself which was the Accu chek compact plus. My previous surgery always provided me with test trips. I have moved in Somerset to the Mendip area from South Somerset and my original meter played up so before purchasing another meter I checked with the diabetes nurse (who was the only one allowed to discuss it with me) which test strips they support in case of any changes and she told me that people with type 2 don't need to test as we don't get low results and anyway the new NICE guidelines has said that they will not support them on prescription to Type 2 diabetics. I have a lot of other health problems and take a myriad of very strong drugs including morphine and I know that my HbA1c is about 6.2 but I still was totally unhappy to not do the occasional test when I was feeling really unwell so I have resorted to having to purchase privately myself. NICE guidelines would be ok if all human bodies acted in a totally predictable way but lets face it we all know that, sadly, is very untrue. :shock: Suzy
     
  8. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

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    suzybee
    So do I :cry:
    See your GP as some pain medication can effect your BG levels also the side effects
    from the pain medication can be the same as a hypo

    you need to test just to find out whats going on

    That is why my new GP gave me strips :eek:
    or get referred to pain clinic
    as my pain consultant also prescribed test strips with the pain medication :)

    Worth a try

    PS morphine is good also for stopping the metformin skids :wink:
     
  9. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    Hi, its good to read other people also suffer other conditions apart from their Diabetes. I don't feel so odd. I too suffer extremes of pain,I have Osteoarthritis, so any change in the weather from hot to cold beings on the joint pain.I was prescribed Statins for the control of Cholesterol and not realizing they would effect my pain level and sent it through the roof. It was the chemist at my local Tescos who realized what was happening when he saw the amount of pain relief I was on. On his advice I discontinued taking the Statins and within 3 months I was off the strong pain relief because I didn't need it. So I made an informed choice about that, I felt good, if I don't live as long as I would have on the statins, at least I will do it without that horrendous pain. What I can't understand with the removal of our free test strips is, the blanket disregard for us Type 2. It's been a horrendous week, my sugar craving is out of control, I've eaten that much sweet stuff I feel ill. You see I am a recovering Bulimic, I have been in recovery for some years, but when I was diagnosed with Diabetes, the diet control triggered my fear of food control, I asked for help and it was good, but they felt the testing of my blood sugars would help. It did, because it was my machine doing it not me,so I made great strides and brought my Diabetes down by 6 points and my Cholesterol my good cholesterol up.
    It's been a really bad week and I feel so let down. I will have to get to grips with it, but food disorders don't deal with a rational mind. Sorry to pour all this out. But thanks for being there.
     
  10. Sue Morton

    Sue Morton · Well-Known Member

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    They get the strips from abroad different countries have different prices its the same as people who go abroad and bring back cigs and then sell cheaper.

    I have a Bayer Contour and on the Bayer site they sell their strips £23 can't remember if you then have to pay p&p on top. So even the manufacters are making a mint out of them. On eBAY got them for £16.99 still not cheap but more affordable. (I am also a pensioner)

    I have just had my HBc1a (can nevr remember what its called) done and see the DN on 23 and hoping that my BS level has gone down my own stravation test was 6.1 so am hoping that my appointment with the Doc on 24th Sept I can get the test strips on preceription by showing that I am taking my diabetics seriously and have also lost 3 stone. But I don't hold out much hope but will give it a try even if I am given them every 2 or 3 months will help.

    Best of luck to everyone getting the strips we need
    Sue :)
     
  11. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    thanks Sue, it really does help to hear from people. I forgot to mention I have an appointment with my Doctor this week, my husband will come with me. I have decided to write it all down and hand it to him. This morning was a bad one I woke up sobbing, my husband says even if we have to go without something else we will but the test strips. I have written to my MP, and hope to meet with our councilor too. I read what the governments response to this is, it seems it's down to our local GP, so unless we have a sympathetic one, all we can do is struggle to pay. I know I had a bad reaction this week, so I need to get a grip and take care of myself.It's hard being Diabetic and Hypoglycemic at the same time. It made me cross when the Doctor said to me ' well eat a bit of sugar if you feel your levels drop' as if it was that simple. Sometimes the symptoms are the same for Hypos and Hypers, so without testing I can't ' just eat sugar'.
    I will let you know how I get on at doctors..
    Thanks again.
     
  12. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    Hi Sue, everyone, I went to the doctors to night, I can have 1 packet of test strips per month, but only because I'm Hypoglycemic and that my condition is separate to my Diabetes.. He sees no benefit of Type 2 testing. He believes there is no positive benefits by doing so. He does not see that testing and comparing how foods effect a person can alter the outcome at all. I did pass onto him information I had down loaded supporting the testing of Type 2 for people who take responsibility for their Diabetes. He said they are learning new things all the time about Diabetes. That he rules nothing out but that testing has not been proven to be beneficial for type 2 diabetes. I don't know enough about test results and how they relate to what a person eats, I am only learning and so I felt out of my depth in that. Feedback welcomed.
    Emerald Eyes
     
  13. foxglove

    foxglove Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So glad to hear you succeeded in getting your strips. There is nothing worse than constantly being on edge because you don't know how things are, apart from the fact that stress is not good for you anyway. All the very best to you.
     
  14. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    please can I have some help. After what I have read on this site I realize I could do with help learning to better understand my readings.If I could be pointed in the right direction. Also I received a letter from my MP today saying he would be happy to take up my case and requested information about my GP; The thing is even though I have got my test strips back, 1 pk a month, it's because I am Hypoglycemic and not because I have Type2, he doesn't want me monitoring my Diabetes with test strips because he believes it is of little value. I disagree, but I am only learning and cannot yet explain it all very well. All I know is that with monitoring, example: the other morning I was 8.0 so I eat accordingly and by supper time I was 6.8, now that was fantastic for me, so it does work but I know so little. I want my case taken up on the fact I am Type 2 Diabetic. Please get back to me.

    This forum has been a life saver
    With Thanks
    Emerald Eyes
     
  15. endure

    endure Type 2 · Member

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    For those of you who have Abbott meters that use Freestyle Lite strips you can purchase these direct from Abbott. They'll ask you to send them a letter telling them you've been diagnosed as diabetic. They'll then sell you strips at £15 a tub VAT free.
     
  16. smidge

    smidge LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Diabetics are entitled to our testing equipment VAT free from wherever we buy it. The information you need is at:

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/disabled.htm

    Although it talks about disability, it applies to long-term chronic conditions and diabetes is the example given. As far as I know, the only restriction is it must be for personal use. You have to fill in a form and the store should then not charge you the VAT. This works well at some places e.g. Westons on-line pharmacy have a little pop-up form at checkout. Boots are a nightmare though! The staff are not aware of the tax law, they have no forms and their Head Office insists you need a letter from your doctor proving you're diabetic. Anyway, most doctors will probably provide the letter even if they won't provide the test strips! I'm sure most of you know this information, but I didn't and was paying the VAT unnecessarily. I know it's not as good as getting the strips on prescription, but at least it helps your money go a bit further!

    Smidge
     
  17. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Emerald eyes, I am dyslexic so sometimes when I try to explain things in writing it doesnt come out right so I will try to take this to its most basic level.

    You test before lunch and you are 6.5mmol/L and you eat a huge plateful of mashed potato (dont!). two hours after lunch you test again and you are 12.7mmol/L The huge plateful of mashed potato was clearly to high in carbs for you to cope with.

    The next day at lunch you test and you are 6.5 and you have half a plateful of mashed potato. Two hours later you test again and you are 9.7 Still to high so again to many carbs for you to cope with.

    The next day before lunch you are 6.5 and you have two tablespoons of mashed potato. Two hours later you test again and you are 7.0. You have found the amount of mashed potato you can cope with to stay within NICE recommendations.

    For Doctors to say just eat sensebly is so ridiculous as only by testing can you find out what foods you can tolerate :D

    Hope this helps
     
  18. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    Thank you Sid. That was very clear. One question, do I always test 2 hours after eating. Since I came on this forum I am finding things so much better.
     
  19. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Different foods will peak your bg levels at different times but a rule of thumb test at 2 hours should catch your bg levels returning to normal or at the very least dropping. It can be useful to test at other times occasionally just to get a picture of what is happening but due to the cost/prescription availability of test strips this is not always an option. So yes 2 hours is probably the optimal testing point.

    Simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, cakes and other sugary stuff will be broken down very quickly by your stomach and the produced glucose will pass into the blood stream very quickly and almost in one hit, more complex carbohydrates like wholegrain breads, basmati rice etc take longer to break down and so the produced glucose is trickled into the blood stream, not causing such a large peak or spike in blood glucose levels. So the same amount of carbohydrate will not always cause the same rise in bg.


    The NICE recommendations for T2's are currently

    Fasting (waking).......between 4 - 7 mmol/l........(Type 1 & 2)
    2 hrs after meals......no more than 8.5 mmol/l.....( Type 2)

    These numbers are regularly achieved by members here following some form of reduced carb diet/meal plan/lifestyle :) . That said, not everyone will achieve these numbers and some wont want to but it is generally accepted that these numbers will help you avoid diabetic complications.
     
  20. Emerald eyes

    Emerald eyes · Member

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    :D Thanks Sid, I see it. I can really see what you are saying. I sound daft saying that, but there's knowing and seeing. It's like coming out of a dark tunnel. I eat the spuds last night, well with corned beef hash. Two hours later I was 10.00, so that plate was to much, this morning I am 7.2
    Ah Sid the analogy with Potatoes, I just loved it, think it's in my genes. They are my downfall. Will let you know how I get on. Go raibh maith.
     
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