Should I let my doctor know I’m using glucose monitor kits?

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Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Most of the time your doctor will be one who has asked you to start monitoring, so chances are that he or she knows that are you are, or should be, testing. But there is a very important point here: the usefulness of testing depends entirely on you keeping the right kind of record of your sugars. I think it is absolutely critical to use the kind of spreadsheet that is in most log books that come with meter to keep glucose readings done under the same circumstances together. That is, you want to have all your fasting numbers in one column, all of your 2 hour after-breakfast numbers in another column, all of your pre-lunch, post-lunch, pre-dinner, post-dinner, bedtime and 3 a.m. sugars in individuals columns with the date at the left. You can use the log book, make a simple written grid, make a computer spreadsheet or use software that comes with your meter. But simply bringing a meter to the doctor with the idea that he or she will scroll through the numbers or writing down all the numbers in one column without regard to whether they were before or after eating, etc., doesn’t allow either you or your doctor to do any real analysis of what happens during the day. That analysis is what will really help you take steps to improve your blood sugar control.  
If you use a glucose monitor kit, it is important to discuss your results with your doctor. Results from in-home glucose monitor kits are not as accurate as laboratory results. In fact, your laboratory results can be 10 to 15 percent higher than the results attained using your home device. Therefore, if you are only monitoring your blood sugar level at home, you may not know if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Further, your doctor can help you set up a glucose testing schedule that will give you the most accurate results.

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Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.