Introduction Newsletter

Purposeful blood glucose monitoring– what can we learn from our results?

As meters have developed over the years, so too have the tools that come with them. Most meters are able to connect to Apps via Bluetooth which automatically record the blood glucose data you collect. There is also the ability add notes, so that when you reflect on your results you can see what happened at that time, for example what you ate or what you did i.e. forgot your medication or went for a long walk.

The latest development is the ability for the App to provide analysis of the information you collect and provide you with blood glucose trends as well as the percentage of readings that are within your target range. This is useful information that can assist you and your healthcare professional to make changes to your lifestyle and medication.

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So, how can you use this information to make changes?

Setting your target range is the first step, you can have a chat with your CDE, Endocrinologist or GP to decide what range best suits your needs.

Diabetes Australia suggest target ranges as below:

Type 1Premeal: 4-8mmol/L 2 Hours after starting to eat: <10mmol/L
Type 2Premeal: 6-8mmol/L 2 Hours after starting to eat: 6-10mmol/L
  For some people these recommended levels may not be appropriate especially those who experience or are at risk of frequent or severe hypoglycaemia (Hypo).   A Hypo is a reading <4mmol/L  
https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/living-with-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/blood-glucose-monitoring/

The more frequently you check the better the data; it may be a good idea to have a monitoring blitz for a few days/couple of weeks to gather enough data to be able to get the most from the analysis.

When to check depends on what information you want to collect, blood glucose monitoring is often an individual thing, it is worth having a chat to your healthcare team about when you should check. Common times include:

Pre-breakfast (fasting)

Pre-lunch

Pre-dinner

Before bed

Premeal readings reflect on what has happened in the past, so when you have readings above target premeal think back to what happened in the hours prior.

Example: a pre-breakfast reading reflects on what happened overnight, if its higher than your target you should think back on what you ate or didn’t eat prior to bed, did you remember to take your medication, did you sleep well or did you sleep in longer than usual?

It is a good idea to vary the times you check so that you can collect information throughout the day.

If you want to see how you react to certain foods then it is best to do a reading before the meal and another two (2) hours after the meal. You can then reflect on the difference between the two readings.

Example: You like to have two (2) sandwiches for lunch but aren’t sure if this is too much food.

The pre-lunch reading is 6.8mmols which is in your pre meal target, but two hours after lunch your reading is 11.2mmols a rise of 4.4mmols. This rise is outside of the recommended after meal target and more than likely indicates your body is unable to manage the influx of energy that four slices of bread brings. So next time consider having one sandwich and see happens to your reading, hopefully its back in target.

What are you aiming for; ideally you are aiming to achieve as many readings as possible in the normal target range without increasing the amount of readings you are seeing below target.

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If you cannot work out how to get the readings where you want them, don’t stress go and have a chat to your CDE, they will work with you.

Remember with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, no two days are the same and over time our medication whether insulin or tablets may need to be added to or adjusted.