When you can control your Type 2 Diabetes symptoms using diet and exercise then you don’t get any help from the NHS (or insurance) for the cost of measuring – the meter and cost of the sticks – and they’re not cheap.
For me measuring helps in controlling your symptoms to ensure they are in the normal range for non-diabetics and not in the range the medical profession calls normal for diabetics.
The NHS is prepared to pay for metformin, other diabetes drugs, insulin and statins as well as the cost of measuring your blood sugar to ensure you don’t go too high or too low when you take diabetes drugs.
They say there is no need to test if you are controlling your blood sugar without the use of drugs or insulin. And even more so if you have blood sugar in the normal range. They will probably tell you that you are wasting your money, as they did me.
Why Measure Regularly If You Are Controlling With Diet And Exercise?
I feel measuring your blood sugar when you are controlling it with diet and exercise is important to help you get on track and stay on track with normal blood sugars.
For me this is like the management saying “What gets measured gets managed.”
And you can manage it with diet and food but it is easy to drift off course with what you eat I’ve found, and by measuring it helps me to stay on course or back on course.
I’ve been doing it for over 4 years now.
When I first started I measured after every meal at the 1 hour and
2 hour points to ensure I could see how the food affected blood sugar. As everyone is different people are affected in different ways.
It was this way that I used to come up with foods and meals to eat so I kept within the normal range of blood sugars.
I also tested my fasting blood sugar in the morning when I first got up too, to see how that was tracking. I still do this to keep me on track.
When this goes up I know I need to take another look at what I’m eating – it probably means I’m eating too many nuts – which to me taste too good to ignore – they do have a lot of good fats (but with carbs too) but they are easy to overeat.
It’s not cheap but it is worth it to stop the complications that come from high blood sugar levels as they quietly and relentlessly take toll of your body unless you take action to keep it under control.
I do use the cheaper blood sugar monitor called CodeFree which seems to be reasonably reliable (from my experience and others) and in America you can get a monitor from Walmart that does get recommended for its reliability and accuracy.
There are those that say you should continue to test after each meal but it does cost more and becomes a hassle sticking your finger and as I started to get a better idea of what eating various foods did I decided I could cut back on this area of testing.
Are You Obsessed?
You’d think the NHS might be positive about this and help you, if not pay for it but help you with understanding the results of your tests and how to manage it.
Instead their idea is that you are wasting your money and warn you that you are being obsessive and may have psychological issues because of it.
They say it doesn’t help and you can’t do anything about it anyway – restricting carbs doesn’t seem to be something any of them can understand apart from giving up processed foods, sugars and sugary drinks (including fruit juice).
They believe you’ll become so obsessed ,that you’ll take it to an extreme so that it is all you think about and fall into a funk or worse if you have a bad reading. Maybe some people do – I’ve not met any yet or heard of anyone that has done that, that does test regularly. But It could happen, like anything, but after the warning could come the help of how to get the best from it.
They are better at getting you to take metformin, insulin, other diabetes drugs and statins too it seems then helping you manage it successfully.
So it is better not to know and carry on and just have the HgbA1c test once a year. In the meantime your position may deteriorate and you could have taken action to get back on track with lower carbs and more exercise.
Are The Medical Professionals Right?
I didn’t change my approach to this, when I was told how wrong I was to measure and I don’t intend on doing it now. The testing is there to help you not to make you feel bad.
It’s not great when you are over but once isn’t the end of the world and a string of them in a row is a message that maybe you need to look at what you are eating or your exercise or sleep or all of them.
And if it is going up despite the changes then maybe it’s time to take a look at the drugs as the goal is normal blood sugars with as few drugs as possible not to be off drugs just for the sake of it.
The Strangeness Of The NHS
The NHS have a strange approach to this (as it is America too) and probably due to them being run by people who have rule books to follow based on research funded or carried out by drug companies and food companies who have profits to make from selling stuff to the NHS or to people with diabetes.
Unfortunately I’m not sure how many of the NHS staff really understand that everyone is different. In fact many of them seem to just follow what has been taught to them without thinking it through logically.
So, I’m going to continue testing myself and get told by my doctor that I don’t need to while being praised for good blood sugar control.
I’ll continue to look after myself and spend the money and save the NHS from spending money to provide me with drugs when there is a better way to treat Type 2 diabetes and reverse the symptoms without using drugs that don’t long term.
Over to you, do you test or will you or do you think it’s a waste of money, your fingers and time?