Blood glucose monitoring

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does anyone know why GPs are so anti patients monitoring their own blood glucose levels? I had been given a kit by the hospital but told by my GP not to se it except with their express permission. However, at Christmas I felt really ill and took it anyway and it was 30.4 since then I have been battling to get it down with changes in medication and this last week it has been down to 5.5 on average. During that time I have been asked to check the levels once each day in the morning but now they are back to where they should be I have been told I no longer need to monitor. I am unhappy about this because what if they go really high again? How would I know? Among my diabetic friends I find this is a common attitude among GPs but no-one knows the reason. Can anyone explain it for me? Or give me any advice or suggestions

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Good morning.

    I think the answe is twofold.

    Firstly the testing strips are expensive, too expensive for the NHS to pay for, that is if you get yours on prescription, and secondly because most surgeries have turned-into businesses where the more time a doctor spends with a patient the less they earn. So basically they don't want to be too bothered with individuals, they are more interested in the big bucks of having many people on their books who don't ever come in for attention.

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    • Posted

      I understand what you are saying but in my instance, if I had been encouraged to take my blood glucoselevels regularly they would not have got so out of control to the extent of having to have contact with the GP every 3 days for the first 9 days then every week until 6th March but now do not have to see him until June. Surely it would have been more cost effective to have taken the glucose once a week so it did not get out of control in the first place, and then I would not have had to see him at all.
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  • Posted

    Morning.

    I think it is probably due to cost.  Was diagnosed as prediabetic last October and then sent away with absolutely no help or information.  Thank goodness I found a fantastic UK website (that they won't let me mention here!) that advocates low carb/highish fat diet.  This information is light years away from advice given by the NHS.

    Would urge you to find the website (sorry can't be more specific) and test, test, test. How else are you going to know BS levels?  Since October, my HbA1c reading has already reduced to one point off non-diabetic so am convinced LCHF works.  Helps hugely with weightloss, too.

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  • Posted

    I suspect the main reason for GPs being reluctant for people to test is MONEY.  I have had Type 2 diabetes for 20 years, in spite of the fact that my weight has never been above nine and a half stone, even when pregnant.  Your sugar level of 30 was very high so I am wondering how you managed to get it down to normal levels as surely you must be or have been on insulin or tablets or both.   I am on four injections of insulin a day and if you are on insulin or medication that is likely to lower your blood sugar to hypo levels then you should be testing, especially if you start to lose the hypo symptoms which can happen to some people after a while.  

    My GP practice changed all diabetics over to a different monitor because the sticks were much cheaper and actually I'm quite happy with it after having a different one which was always showing error messages.  Apparently a tub of 50 sticks costs the GP just over £5 but when I asked a pharmacist how much it would cost if I bought my own it was aroulnd £15.  If you are on insulin or medication then it is totally unacceptable for your GP to not supply testing sticks although they reckon that when on diet alone you are not likely to go hypo but that doesn't mean that it won't go UP.  If your GP really won't supply testing sticks then a way round it is to buy your own meter where you can buy the sticks a a chemist or online.   I have a little meter called an Accu-chek Aviva Nano that I keep in my handbag and use occasionally and I buy a tub of 10 sticks which costs about £6.50 for the odd times when I want to test if I am hypo.   I feel a lot happier if I know it's in my handbag and get worried if I have accidentally left it at home because I rely on my GP supplied monitor that I keep at home, not that I use it religiously every day but I want to know what certain foods do to my blood sugar and the only way is to use a monitor.   I am very lucky that my GP practice doesn't seem to limit testing sticks but I know that many do, yours looks to be one of them.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks Spindles. I am on two medications - metformin which does not cause hypos and gliclozide which can but because of my previous experience I am more afraid of going very high so I have decided that I will use my NHS monitor but pay for my own testing strips and test probably once a week early morning for my own peace of mind.

      Thanks for your help

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  • Posted

    What I want to know is why my doctor will not prescribe me a monitor despite being on metformin when the DVLC insist that you test your blood sugar levels before driving.  Anyone else had any problems with this?  Imagine if you had an accident when your blood glucose levels are high and didn't know you could be prosecuted or lose your licence I presume.
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    • Posted

      Hello Chrissy ; If you are on insulin for diabetes then the DVLA need to know. My licence was re-issued for 3 yrs only and I have to re-apply giving more information how my diabetes is being controlled. 

      You are advised to keep glucose tablets or a Lucozade drink in your car so that if you feel a hypo coming on then you pull in, move over to the passenger seat, take your keys out and then take  some glucose. This ensures that the police won't prosecute you.You should check your BG levels after a while (1 hr) to make sure the hypo has passed. It hasn't happened to me yet but it's useful to know what to do. 

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  • Posted

    I'm a 72 yr-old male with insulin-dependent T2 diabetes. I suffered from the same advice, having been told that I don't need to test my blood glucose (BG) levels provided I kept a close eye on diet and took the gliclazide tabs I was prescribed. I did as I was told despite the on-line diabetes forums' advice to keep testing. However, about six months ago, I started feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms and I had a strange feeling it might be my diabetes. I took advantage of Lloyds Chemists' free blood glucose testing and it was >25 and they told me to see my GP immediately. I did so, and I ended up in the local hospital's diabetic clinic.and was put on insulin that afternoon. So you really should keep testing despite NHS advice and unfortunately it will cost you for lancets and test strips. You can usually get a meter for free from quite a few manufacturers. This limits you to their test strips so that's where they make their money. I find that using injecting insulin is really OK and once you get the dosage correct then you will enjoy seeing the positive effects of managing your illness.well. (This can take up to 6 mts).As a bonus, I get all insulin medication paraphernalia on the NHS and this includes BG test strips and lancets. However, don't let your GP intimidate you - it's your diabetes and you are going to deal with it in the way that suits you best, which is not necessarily what the NHS dictates.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi,  Thanks for the advice.  I have been feeling a little strange lately so I think I will pay a visit again to my GP. 
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    • Posted

      Got an appointment Wednesday. I'm not on insulin injections just tablets at the moment but I am going to ask the GP about the requirement to test your blood glucose for all diabetics and the need for testing kits to be prescribed. I can't afford to buy the lancets and strips for every car journey I make.
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    • Posted

      Have you checked the DVLA website? I just have and it indicates that you only need to check your blood sugars before driving if you are either on insulin or an oral medication which may cause hypos such as gliclozide. Metformin is not one of these.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gill. Thankyou for this. I was confused. . this clears that up. I did go on the website but must have read it wrong.
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  • Posted

    hi.I found out 6months ago I had type 2.They put me on metformin and when I asked about a monitor was told I dont need it.A month later I was ill and they told me my level was high and they increased my metformin.I asked again about a monitor and got the same reply.my levels have not been checked since then.Been feeling run down lately so got the doc tomorrow...If it is to do with my glucose levels am I not intitled to a monitor to stop from getting ill in the future.
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    • Posted

      Apparently according to my GP you are only entitled to a monitor with lancets and testing strips if you are on insulin. Apparently it is because you are likely to get hypos with insulin which can be life threatening. With most oral medication you do not get hypos but like you and me you can get hypers and actually feel really ill but it is not life threatening. In my instance last time I was in hospital with an unrelated condition, my blood sugars were again too high so they gave me a monitor and I pay for my own lancets and test strips. Expensive but worth it for the peace of mind.
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    • Posted

      thanx for the advice gill.Will ask doc tomorrow about the monitor.There's so much to find out.the Do's and Dont's...what to eat and what not...my head hurts lol.thanx again for the help
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