"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Type 2 diabetes: value of home blood sugar monitoring unclear.

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This is a central principle of diabetes treatment: monitor blood sugar closely, then adjust your eating regimen, exercise, and medications to maintain it in a superb range. And it is sensible. Poor blood sugar control is a serious risk factor for complications of diabetes, including kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve damage.

Although efforts to fastidiously monitor and control blood sugar in diabetes are worthwhile, “tight control” isn't all the time helpful—and may even cause harm. For example, in studies of individuals with long-standing type 2 diabetes, the sort that sometimes begins in maturity and is extremely related to obesity, those with strict control had either no profit or heart disease. Morbidity and death rates were high. Meanwhile, studies of individuals with type 1 diabetes — the sort that begins in childhood due to an immune attack against insulin-producing cells within the pancreas — suggest that tighter control will help protect against heart disease. Therefore, it seems that the advantages and risks of strict controls rely on the situation.

Home blood sugar monitoring for type 2 diabetes

People with diabetes are sometimes advised to ascertain their blood sugar levels at home by pricking their finger and testing the blood with a glucose meter. They can review results with their doctors over the phone, online or at their next office appointment. Its value for individuals with type 2 diabetes is uncertain.

In a ___ the study Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers enrolled 450 individuals with type 2 diabetes, none of whom were taking insulin. They were randomly assigned to one in all three groups:

  • No self-monitoring of blood sugar
  • Self-monitor blood sugar once day by day
  • Self-monitoring of blood sugar once day by day with “improved feedback” from their blood glucose meter is meant to teach and motivate study volunteers.

After a yr, the researchers found that in comparison with those that no In self-monitoring of blood sugar, those that self-monitored had no improvement in blood sugar control and no improvement in quality-of-life measures.

so what?

The impact of this study might be huge. Of the enrolled study subjects, three-quarters performed routine blood sugar testing at home. If that is common for individuals with type 2 diabetes, the findings could allow 1000’s of individuals to stop sticking to themselves and get monetary savings on monitoring devices, with no ailing effects on their health.

But even when these findings are confirmed, there should be situations when home monitoring remains to be useful and essential. For example, home monitoring could also be a superb idea when people like those on this study:

  • Development of an infection
  • Change the dose of their diabetes medication.
  • Add or stop taking one in all their medications.
  • Gaining or losing a big amount of weight
  • Start taking insulin.

This study didn’t examine these conditions and due to this fact cannot draw any conclusions about them. It can also be value noting that this study only lasted for one yr. Home monitoring may take longer to see advantages. Finally, this study didn’t include individuals with type 1 diabetes, so the outcomes may not apply to them.

The bottom line

This recent study suggests that doctors treating individuals with type 2 diabetes may not must recommend routine self-monitoring of blood sugar. However, while this may increasingly be true for the common person with type 2 diabetes who isn’t taking insulin, we’ll need more studies and long-term studies to find out which individuals with type 2 diabetes can profit from home monitoring. Most will profit and when it's just not well worth the effort.