Are You Over-monitoring Your Blood Sugar?

Are You Over-monitoring Your Blood Sugar?

High sugar levels and diabetes are both among the top health issues around the globe. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 30.3 million people in the United States alone have the latter.

While this seems like a small number at first, it is actually one in every ten people. Diabetes is considerably hard to manage. If you are having symptoms of pre-diabetes or have been recently diagnosed, it is important to follow instructions right away.

In addition, diabetes comes in many forms. The most prevalent types are diabetes type 1 and type 2. The former is autoimmune while the other can be a consequence of many factors.

People living with these are likely to monitor their blood sugar from time to time. If you have either of them, your doctor will probably ask you to do the same. This is to ensure that your blood sugar levels are stable.

Type 2 diabetes patients are more often asked to monitor their blood sugar. This can be easily done at home with the use of appropriate devices. Endocrinologists advise monitoring blood sugar on a daily basis, especially for people who have type 2 diabetes.

However, new research has highlighted that this has gone too far. In fact, many patients of type 2 diabetes are monitoring their blood sugar levels more than required.

Consequently, these people end up paying more for unnecessary blood tests. The research was done by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The results of the study were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Read more on the research here. 

How Was the Study Conducted?

The team of researchers started off by analyzing the insurance data of around 370,740 people with diabetes type 2. The team was led by Dr. Kevin Platt, who is in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.

One of the main things in the observation was how the people were filling their test strip prescriptions for blood glucose tests.

In this study, the focus was primarily on the people who did not have a requirement of medicines that may cause low blood sugar or injecting insulin.

In addition, the researchers also came across various other people such as those who did not take any medicine and those who had medicines but did not have any blood sugar level tests.

The researchers found that around 23.4 % of the people had three or more claims for testing devices in a single year. Around 14% of these people were also seen to not know how to use the devices properly.

What Did the Researchers Conclude?

In accordance with the researchers, the blood sugar level tests are no longer a requirement as soon as the person finds out what dosage of the medicine works the best. But during the study, people who did not need to even do the tests were also doing them twice a day.

Where this may help the patients be more ensured, it can take a toll on their pockets. Secondly, the cost of using strips and tests on daily is even higher for those without any insurance.

The senior author of the study Dr. A. Mark Fendrick says:

“The savings that result from reducing the use of unnecessary care — such as needless home blood sugar testing — can create ‘headroom’ to spend more on those clinical services that we need to buy more often.”

Even if you do have high blood sugar or diabetes, you may not need to do blood tests as often as someone else with the condition. Remember, every case is different and every person’s requirements as well. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not spend money where it is not needed.


Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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