The Wisdom of Regular Self-Monitoring: Type 2 Diabetes

Here is some encouragement for those with type 2 diabetes - and not on insulin - to monitor their blood sugar regularly.

New research suggests that sticking to a structured monitoring schedule helps people with type 2 lower blood glucose levels and improves their A1Cs.

The study participants reported that following a regular monitoring schedule positively influenced their behaviors, helped them accept having diabetes, and increased their self-confidence in managing it.

The Power of Positive Habits

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits - practical, emotional, and intellectual - systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be,” wrote William James.

The researchers found that study participants influenced their destiny simply by reacting to their regular self-monitoring readings. They sometimes ate less, made different food choices, or went for a walk—adjustments they would not have made if assuming their blood sugar was “okay.”

The self-monitoring plans that participants followed were personalized to meet individual needs. Most found that monitoring twice each day was optimal, giving them enough information to make meaningful alterations in diet and activity levels. However, some people might find testing twice on every second or third day more suitable.

The Power of Test Results

So, whether a fan of schedules or not, the study implies that humans react to blood sugar awareness by making positive changes. Not knowing glucose levels may create the bliss of ignorance, but knowing seems to prompt actions beneficial for longterm health.

Healthcare providers may want to make note of this study as well, since some of them will only reimburse non-insulin type 2 diabetics for one testing strip per day. Providers might, in the long run, save themselves money by covering the cost of twice daily monitoring; just saying.

Source: Science Daily

Photo credit: USAG-Humphreys

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