Testing for Better Control

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Importance of testing
Importance of Self-monitoring
Lifestyle choices
Partnering with Your Doctor
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What is Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)?

The best way to control your blood glucose levels is by regularly checking samples of your blood at key times throughout the day. Usually, a tiny drop of blood and an accurate blood glucose meter are needed. This process is called self-monitoring of blood glucose, or SMBG.

  • Why self-monitor blood glucose?
    SMBG helps you manage the day-to-day highs and lows associated with diabetes. It will also help you spot the changes in how your body needs insulin over time. Bring your test results to your doctor. They provide critical feedback about how your treatment goals are being met.
  • When should I self-monitor blood sugar?
    Initially, your doctor will determine how often you should self-monitor. Expect to take several samples daily in the beginning. Once your treatment has been fine-tuned, you will settle into the routine of checking your blood glucose levels.

How to manage your test results?

  • How do I keep track of my results?
    The best way to record test results is to keep a diabetes diary with handy worksheets, or use a blood glucose meter that stores the results in its memory.
  • What is good control?
    Ask your doctor to write down your glycemic goals. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists sets these ideal glycemic goals for people with diabetes:
    Fasting (FPG): < 110 mg/dl (6.1mmol/l)
    2 hours after beginning a meal (PPG): < 140 mg/dl (7.8mmol/l)1
  • Importance of accurate results
    Before deciding if your meter is accurate, it's important to understand how accuracy is defined. An international standard ISO 15197 requires a blood glucose meter's test result to fall within +/- 15 mg/dl of the lab test for glucose values under 75 mg/dl and +/- 20% of the lab reference results for levels above 75mg/dl. One of the methods to test accuracy of the meter is to compare the meter test results with a lab test result.
    Having a dependable blood glucose meter system means you get accurate results which in turn mean that you and your doctor can plan your therapy appropriately. This will keep your blood glucose out of the Diabetes Danger Zone.*
  • Partner with your doctor using SMBG to adjust your lifestyle
    When you have several self-monitoring test results within a certain period of time, patterns emerge that allow you and your doctor to appropriately adjust your insulin dosage, other medications you might be taking, exercise routine, and meal plan. Self-monitoring test results can also tell you if you should make changes to your diet and the amount of exercise or activity you get. Ask your doctor about making changes to your lifestyle. Remember, involving your doctor along every step of the way towards successful diabetes management is essential.
  • Achieving long-term control
    During your regular visits with your doctor, he may have you get an HbA1C test. The HbA1C test measures the proportion of red blood cells that have sugar at tached to them. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends targeting an A1C goal of ≤6.5% for patients in general. When your blood glucose is too high, the sugar attaches itself irreversibly to your red blood cells. Because red blood cells live for 2 to 3 months, this test shows the average blood glucose levels over the lifetime of the red blood cells.1

1American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Diabetes Mellitus Guidelines, Endocr Pract. 2007;13 (Suppl1) 2007

*When blood glucose levels are too high or too low, you are in the Diabetes Danger Zone. Your doctor will identify the glucose levels that define your Diabetes Safe Zone to help you stay healthy.


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