Pharmacy Diabetes

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood Glucose Monitoring
There is much debate about self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in individuals not requiring insulin. The Royal Australian College General Practitioners suggests:
“For people with type 2 diabetes not receiving insulin therapy:
frequency of SMBG should be individualised, depending on type of glucose-lowering medications, level of glycaemic management and risk of hypoglycaemia.
When glycaemic management is not being achieved, SMBG should be instituted and should include periodic pre- and post-prandial measurements and training of healthcare providers and people with diabetes in methods to modify health behaviours and glucose-lowering medications in response to SMBG values”. However, person centred care would recommend many reasons for self-monitoring of blood glucose levels at any point in a person’s journey with their diabetes. These include, but not limited to,
  • Knowing immediately if an individual’s glucose levels are within target range.
  • Being able to better understand what impacts blood glucose levels including physical activity, food, medicines, stress, travel, and illness.
  • Being able to identify and act on patterns.
  • Being able to identify and treat hypoglycaemia if an individual is on medicine that can cause this as a side effect (sulfonylurea or insulin)
  • Help an individual actively seek support from their health care team.
The combination of blood glucose monitoring AND HbA1c will provide a person with diabetes a more significant understanding of their health condition. It is a tool for them to use throughout their journey with their diabetes.
Blood Glucose Level Targets
Target blood glucose levels are usually set for an individual by their health care team. They are often dependent on a number of issues including age, other health conditions, length of diabetes, and medication. ( )

In Australia when an individual is diagnosed with diabetes, they are registered on the NDSS (National Diabetes Services Scheme). The NDSS aims to enhance the capacity of people with diabetes to understand and self-manage their life with diabetes and to access services, support, and subsidised diabetes products. Products include (but limited to) blood glucose monitoring stirps and needles and syringes to deliver insulin to the body when it is not producing adequate amounts.

Selection of a blood glucose meter is also based on an individual’s preferences and needs. These include dexterity, eyesight, pain levels (some lancet devices are more user friendly than others), frequency of monitoring, and such features as Bluetooth capability and ketone monitoring. A referral to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator is invaluable at this point to help individuals understand all facets involved in glucose monitoring.