Diabetes Testing

What’s the Point of Testing?

A new survey of people with diabetes shows that we consider blood glucose testing to be one of the least challenging aspect of managing it. Maybe that’s because we don’t know when to test and what to do with the results.

LifeScan, the Johnson & Johnson company that makes the One Touch series of blood glucose meters, commissioned the research firm Newman-Stein-Friedman to ask 500 adults with diabetes about how they manage it. LifeScan just released the results of the survey, which the research firm conducted in January.

The survey supports LifeScan’s new meter, the OneTouch Ultra2 . The Ultra2 makes it easier than ever to flag levels before and after meals.

By far the most common time to test is before breakfast, 88 percent. Only 10 percent test after breakfast, 17 percent after lunch, and 28 percent after dinner. The low rate of testing after meals is probably because only 31 percent the survey respondents understood their doctor to say that this is an important time to test.

Most people with diabetes – 63 percent – don’t test after meals. Many of us wouldn’t know what a good blood glucose level is even if we did test then.

That’s sad, because testing two hours after the start of a meal is rapidly becoming the preferred time. And faithful readers of this blog will know the testing targets.

It’s sad too that 59 percent of the people surveyed don’t regularly use their current meter’s blood glucose results to help them adjust the size of their food portions. In addition, 48 percent report that they don’t use their blood glucose results to help guide the types of food they eat either.

The point of blood glucose testing isn’t just the tip of the lancet. It is to help us to fine tune our control.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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