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Blood glucose monitoring - why is it important?

Author(s)
Melissa Tong

So you've been asked to commence self-blood glucose monitoring. Let's do a quick review of why this is an important tool in managing your health, and where to get more help if you need it.

Advantages:
  1. For patients who are using insulin, it allows for the rational adjustment of their doses according to the changing glucose levels throughout the day. This is important for patients who are on multiple insulin injections and doses per day, or when they are adjusting their doses according to their meals and other activities.
  1. Self-blood glucose monitoring gives immediate, as well as on-going, guidance about your glycaemic control (essential to the prevention of complications arising from diabetes). For example, patients may choose to adjust their lifestyle choices of diet and exercise based on their blood glucose levels.
  1. Prevent hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia. As an example, this is especially important for deciding if it is safe to drive depending on blood glucose levels. It needs to be above 5mmol/L and stable before you drive. We advise testing before getting in the car, and ensuring you have a blood glucose testing device with you. Hyperglycaemia is also important to be aware of as this can result in tiredness, blurred vision and altered decision making, which all impact on driving. If your blood glucose level is high and you feel unwell, it’s important not to drive.
  1. Self-blood glucose monitoring helps to empower you to take control and to self-manage your diabetes. It is also a tool to help your track their progress in reaching overall treatment goals.
  1. Avoid short and long-term diabetes related complications.  
  1. Develop an understanding of how other factors, such as illness or stress can affect blood glucose levels.

Disadvantages:
  1. It can be difficult to maintain regular self-blood glucose monitoring if you have a fear of needles and/or find finger pricking painful or uncomfortable.
  1. You might prefer not to know your blood glucose level, or find self-monitoring causes more stress and anxiety for you - especially when your BGL is not within the target range.
    - Please remember, no-one has perfect blood glucose levels all of the time! Additionally, our Diabetes Education team is here to support you reach your treatment goals in a caring and non-judgemental manner.
  1. Some people may find that self-monitoring blood glucose levels is tedious, and comes with a high cost. For example the cost of test strips, lancets and sharps containers.
  1. Self-blood glucose monitoring is not particularly helpful if you are unsure what to do when your BGL is not within target.

If you would like to learn more about self-blood glucose monitoring and how your health or treatment plan can benefit, please get in touch.

We are also here to help if you:

  • Need a new glucometer or more consumables such as test strips, lancets or a sharps container
  • Are interested in learn more about the different glucometer options available, and/or how they can incorporate with technology
  • Have an interest in learning about or trying a continuous glucose monitor device (CGM) or flash glucose monitor (FGM) device
  • Would like to review your current treatment plan
  • Have any questions at all! 

You can book an in-person or virtual (telehealth) appointment with our team online or by calling 08 6110 0570.

Disclaimer: please note the content on this site is for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

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