Not Taking Insulin? You Can Keep it That Way, Study Says
If you don't require insulin to manage your diabetes, you can keep your condition in check just by following a structured self-monitoring plan, according to a new study.
Data presented at the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting & Exhibition suggests that working with a diabetes educator to create an individualized, self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) plan can help motivate people with type 2 diabetes to lower their blood sugar levels, eat healthier and stay active.
"Participants in this study said that sticking to a regular SMBG schedule really helped them to know where their blood levels were and take appropriate action, such as adding physical activity or choosing a healthy snack,” said diabetes educator Dr. Dana Brackney, assistant professor of nursing at Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.
The individual approach is the best approach
Patients in the study also reported that self-monitoring twice a day was most helpful when it came to learning how blood sugar is affected by food and activity. However, an individual plan that works for a person's lifestyle may be the best approach when it comes to creating a self-monitoring schedule, Brackney said.
“Diabetes educators can help patients work around barriers to find a personalized testing plan that makes sense for them,” she continued. “They help patients learn when and why blood glucose levels were most problematic and to confront those situations head on by developing a plan to be healthier.”
The study found that - contrary to what many medical providers think - patients can and do alter their behaviors in response to their test results. The testing plan, the authors hypothesize, helps patients to feel more in control of their lifestyles and their diabetes.
“Most of the participants in the study were self-described ‘country folk’ who found that they were able to control their diabetes,” Brackney said. “This study helps doctors and nurses to understand how people with type 2 diabetes can benefit from SMBG.”
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