Blood glucose level information is a key element for successful diabetes management. It enables the doctors and diabetic patients to make medically relevant decisions on the treatment given and assess the responses to the treatment.
Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is important:
- To understand the blood sugar control
- To see the effects of lifestyle modification
- To understand the success of treatment is given, in certain cases insulin titration
- To document pre and postprandial sugar variations like the hyperglycemia and/or hypoglycemia.
Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) should be part of a regular management plan for patients with diabetes. Self-monitoring of blood glucose provides information regarding an individual’s changing blood glucose profile. This information can help with the appropriate scheduling of food, activity, and medication. It is also required for an understanding of the timing of blood glucose variations.
Testing your sugar levels often either by a glucometer or in the lab is an essential tool for people with diabetes who are taking insulin or for those who experience fluctuations in their blood glucose levels, especially hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) Records of SMBG can also be used during consultation with doctors to adjust the medicine dosage, whether tablets or insulin and to guide exercise and food intake.
Benefits of SMBG include:
- Patients can immediately assess the impact of an action on blood glucose levels. Eg. How a certain food item made your sugar levels fluctuate, the effect of exercise on sugar levels etc…
- This, in turn, will enable you to undertake prompt interventions designed to counter the high or low blood glucose concentration.
- In addition, when adjusting oral agent or insulin doses, it is important to know the pattern of blood glucose values, i.e.
- when during the day the levels are high,
- in the targeted range,
- or low,
since the design of the treatment regimen may differentially affect glucose
concentrations at various times after drug ingestion or injection.
Download the recommended weekly blood glucose monitoring schedule below:
The American Diabetes Association recommends SMBG for all type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients being treated with insulin, SMBG should be part of a total treatment regimen that includes diet, exercise, weight loss, and insulin or tablets when indicated. The optimal frequency and timing of SMBG depend on many factors, including diabetes type, level of sugar control, management strategy, and individual patient factors. Doctors will modify SMBG regimens to accommodate changes in treatment given and lifestyle.
Constantly high blood sugar levels are associated with complications of diabetes leading to problems with the kidney, heart, eye, foot etc Lack of regular SMBG can lead to hospitalization for diabetes-related complications.
Improving sugar control in diabetic patients has been shown to reduce these complications. Indeed, two large landmark randomized clinical trials, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) confirmed the benefits of tight glycemic control in all patients with diabetes in terms of reducing the risk of macrovascular complications.
The optimal impact of SMBG is achieved only when the data obtained through monitoring are consistently applied in an individualized program of monitoring, assessment, reassessment, problem-solving, and decision making.
PS: You can use SuperSehat- Diabetes management app to keep track of your sugar levels, check historical data in terms of daily, weekly and monthly reports that you can easily share with your health care provider.