Checking blood glucose values before eating and again two hours after eating (paired-meal testing) provides diabetes patients with real-time feedback on how the amount and contents of their meal has impacted on their blood glucose levels. This enables patients to adjust their lifestyle and diet in order to achieve proper glycaemic control of their condition and prevent complications.
High differences in before-and-after-food blood glucose levels (even in diabetes patients who seem to be effectively controlled with HbA1c levels below 7.0%) have an increased risk of death due to heart failure.
In a recent study of 3,284 patients with Type 2 diabetes, who were not treating with insulin, about 59% of the participants were at risk. Self-testing has long been recommended but remains under utilised by patients with Type 2 diabetes, including those treating with oral anti-diabetic drugs or insulin.
Many patients only glucose monitor while fasting or before meals, which does not inform them on how the intake of carbohydrates affected their glycaemic response.
A call has gone out to health care professionals to educate their patients on meal based self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). Diabetes patients should be encouraged to check glucose values regularly at various times during the day and be offered assistance with setting up a testing plan to optimize the benefits of SMBG. SMBG testing plans depend on a variety of issues including the type of diabetes and treatment.
Keeping a diabetes logbook or food diary will also help by creating your very own glucose profile. Glucose meters such as the CONTOURÂ® TS from Bayer can simplify the process. They assist patients in the management of their disease and this information will then assist your Health Care Professional to recognize your personal trends and make guided treatment recommendations.