Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone.

Does anyone average out their bp readings to spot trends?

My wife is Type 2 diabetic and has to take her BG readings several times a day to spot how well (or not!) her body is dealing with sugar/carbs. I used to keep her company by taking several bp readings daily as well! Our house was like a surgery sometimes!!

At the beginning of this year I decided to reduce readings to about 1 every other day, although I must confess if I got a reading I didn't like or was suspicious of, I would take another one!

I now have almost 4 months readings in my Little Black Book! I have averaged them out as follows:

JAN 128/84

FEB. 126/84

MAR. 119/80

APR. 128/84

What is interesting is that on some days my readings were quite high but I had compensating low reading days.

The thing is this.......is it dangerous to become complacent because averages appear acceptable and does this mask the dangers of the high readings?

Has anyone else done the same thing? I would be interested to know.

0 likes, 13 replies

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Fisherman,

    Yes, I have a running average taken over the last twenty readings. All the data is in a spreadsheet and is easy to manipulate and print for reference. I get occasional high readings and I can normally tell if they are correct, or not, because if they're wrong it also records my HR much higher than it actually is and that is quick and easy to check. If there is a blatent error in the reading I ignore it but if it gets my HR correct I will take a second reading a few minutes later and make a note of it.


    • Posted

      Hi Alexander.

      A spreadsheet? Wow.....you are trying to embarrass me! Seriously though, I don't know why I didn't think about it years ago. I think I used to just lurch from one reading to another, hoping that if I got a high one the next would be better.

      Interestingly my GP has never suggested it either.

    • Posted

      My latest monitor came with software that can download readings  to a spread sheet or PDF file. For years (since 2002) I used to write results on the back of envelopes and manually enter them at the end of a month.

       February 2004 my averages were 147/75 53. February 2015 156/77 51.


  • Posted

    What you are describing is not too dissimilar to what happens in an HBA1c haemoglobin test that doctors perform on diabetic patients at regular intervals, but the results from testing at home can be misleading.

    I would say this, unless your wife's diabetes is particularly bad where there is a high risk of a 'hypo' then maybe she is becoming too preoccupied with her problem and testing too much.

    In my case I have just been prescribed a new medication whereby I am forced to check my BG levels every time before I drive the car.

    This is because this new medication, whilst it is extremely effective in controlling my diabetes, can increase the risk of 'hypos', which of course can be very dangerous.

    So to sum up then, occasional BG testing can be a very good thing because it can show up trends, but it should not get to the point where it becomes an all-enveloping preoccupation.

    If your wife, from taking the occasional reading finds a trend that she feels is well out of the norm, my advice would be to refer that query to the diabetes nurse at her surgery.

    So the only danger I can see is letting the matter take over her life completely.

    • Posted

      Hi archemedes. You raise a good point. My wife is aware of her "obsession" of taking BG readings and we often joke about it. She is Type 2 so hopefully those awful "hypos" should not be an issue. She is also on a forum such as this one and has received a lot of support since her diagnosis.
    • Posted

      My GP said to ask the practice nurse for a free blood glucose monitor.

      Much later when I mentioned readings to him he said that they were a waste of time and all that matters are the HBA1c readings as being type 2 I do not need readings on a daily basis.

      Plenty of clever free monitors around on various diabetic forums and web sites particulary for insulin users. 

    • Posted

      Just a quick word on recording statistics.

      I use a Lifescan machine which allows you to interface it with any windows PC, and the recording software is available to download from Lifescan's website.

      If you contact Lifescan in Ireland and tell them that your wife is a diabetic T2 they will send you one of their machines free of charge.

      Having said this, you will have to request the USB interface cable (also free of charge) separately from them as I think they get them from another source.

      Once she is registered with them she will receive free equipment upgrades whenever they come out.

    • Posted

      I have to say I disagree with your GP nd have good reason. I was in hospital last September for an unrelated problem and MY BG was 16 and the hospital gave me a monitor and said Ishould take readings at least once per day when I woke up but when I saw my GP he said not to check regularly. In October my steroids were increased by the hospital and again I was told to check BG daily for 2 weeks and it went up to 20 but when I was taken off the high dose of steoids and back to my normal dose, the GP said to stop testing.  So I did not until New Years Eve when I felt so ill, I decided I should and it was 30!!! Finally 3 months later with many changes and increases of diabetes  medication it is now usually between  4 and 7 and my GP has told me to stop taking BG regularly but I think my case shows it is important to check regulary even if the regularly is only once per week first thing in the morning to try and avoid such a high. I buy my own lancets and testing strips and feel much less anxious checking once per week rather than not checking at all. And of course, any GP needs to remember that some people on Gliclozide can get hypos and how can you be sure you are having a hypo and do something about it if you do not test and find it is lowerthan it should be.
    • Posted

      BG machines are not a waste of time. If they were then why do practices stock them and give them to patients who they believe need them?

      At the moment the NHS is attempting to cut-back on the money they spend on supplying free strips to patients, and I believe there is a new edict in the pipeline (directed at doctors) only to supply strips costing them (the NHS) £10 or less per packet which rules out many of the machines available on the market.

      To this end there is a new suggestion (also in the pipeline) to supply certain much cheaper (and probably nasty) BG machines to patients.

      The question I ask is, where are all these cut-backs leading, and when is it all going to end?


    • Posted

      I think that they stock them because the makers give them out to get sales od strips and lancets. I buy mine on cheaply on EBay. I also got a free Contour Next USB model from a web site the other week.
    • Posted

      I am more glucose intolerant than T2. I had been taking Manuka honey for a couple of months to help my reflux. I then had some blood tests and had a 14.2 reading. It dropped down to borderline after stopping it and Butterscotch.
    • Posted

      I think you are quite correct when you say that the manufacturers give these machines away in order to sell their strips.

      Unfortunately all this will be to no avail if the NHS carries out their intended restriction on the pricing of the test strips, other than for those people currently buying their own.

      If you ever become a full-blown diabetic you will understand just how important these test strips really are, especially if you are or near becoming a pensioner like me when actually buying them for yourself is an additional financial burden that few of us can afford.

      I hope it never happens to you, but you will be told if you have full T2 diabetes following an HBA1c test.

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