How to Overcome Obstacles to Checking Your Blood Sugar
How to overcome obstacles to blood sugar testing
By Paige Reddan, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.
Most likely your doctor has asked you to test your blood sugar daily or perhaps just a few times a week. You’ve given it thought, even bought the meter and strips—but there it sits on the bathroom shelf.
Whether you are new to diabetes or have juggled the demands of the disease for years, you may find that blood glucose monitoring is a task that occasionally falls by the wayside.
Let's look at the most common obstacles to making blood sugar monitoring a habit—and how to address them.
It hurts! Learn the proper use of the lancing device. Some meters come with an adjustable device that allows you to dial a comfortable finger stick depth. The shallower the stick, the less pain.
It’s expensive! If you have medical insurance your meter and strips should be covered when you have diabetes. If you don’t have insurance then use your strips intelligently. Talk to your doctor about the number of strips you can afford in a month and test at times of the day that will give you the best information to help you better manage your diabetes.
It takes too much time! Many meters take five seconds to give you a blood glucose result. The time-consuming part is thinking about testing! Try to match your testing regimen with another healthy habit that already works for you, such as brushing your teeth in the morning. If you want to remember to test after a meal set the kitchen timer for two hours. When it goes off then get going!
It doesn’t make any difference! Talk to your family about helping you feel motivated to test regularly and stay on top of your diabetes control. Remind your doctor to take a look at your logbook or meter memory so you can discuss your testing efforts. Testing your blood glucose as recommended by your doctor is an important tool for you. It tells you how well you are doing with lifestyle changes, what foods work and their portion sizes, if your exercise efforts are paying off or if medications are working properly. In fact, testing your blood glucose can make a tremendous difference in the way you manage your diabetes!
People will know I have diabetes! Want to keep your diabetes private? Blood glucose monitors today are designed just for you! You can choose from very small models that fit in your palm and require tiny drops of blood, give a result in 5 seconds, make no noise and everything is carried in a discreet carrying case.
If you see yourself in any of these objections to testing regularly give it some more thought. Blood glucose monitoring is a cornerstone of your diabetes care. Talk to your doctor about any other concerns you might have to help you get on your way to better health.
Paige Reddan wrote this article when she was head of patient education at LifeScan, Inc.