Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes or have had diabetes for years, more than likely you have been instructed by your doctor or diabetes educator to monitor your blood sugar. Based on my experience with patients, I’m willing to bet there’s been at least one time that you wondered why glucose monitoring was so important. Especially when you see that the numbers are meeting your goals. Why do you have to keep testing if everything looks good?
Here’s some food for thought: Your blood sugars might be in control in part because you check them.
That’s what a recent study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics shows. Researchers found that people with diabetes (not taking insulin) who monitor their blood sugar regularly have lower A1Cs. Those who monitor more frequently–at least once per day–have even lower A1Cs. How about that for motivation?
In the study of over 5,000 newly diagnosed patients, those who monitored their blood sugar reduced their A1C by 1.4%. Those who didn’t monitor at all had A1C reductions of 0.6% after diagnosis. That’s a difference in average blood glucose of about 30 mg/dL. Remember an A1C (hemoglobin A1C) is a measure of your average blood sugar over a 2-3 month time period.
So how does monitoring help you lower your blood sugar?
Checking blood sugars gives you immediate insight into how your body responds to various factors:
- The amount of carbohydrate you eat
- Different foods
- Physical activity
- Stress and illness
- Diabetes medication(s)
Looking at patterns in your blood sugar allows you to make changes like modifying your diet, changing your physical activity level and responding to stressors. It helps some people stay on track with their healthy eating and exercise plans. It also helps your doctor find out if your medications are working effectively or if you need a change in therapy. When you can make changes on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, your blood sugars will improve overall. Keeping blood sugar in control every day helps bring your A1C down.
All in all, nobody is perfect and diabetes cannot be perfectly controlled. But the more information you have, the more power you have to control your blood sugars the best you can. And that means a healthier you!
How do you think glucose monitoring helps you? Leave a comment!
Source: Drug Store News