Pros and Cons of Self-Monitoring Your Own Glucose Levels

Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose, or SMBG, allows diabetics to read their own glucose levels without going to the hospital or the doctor’s clinic. SMBG devices give diabetics the opportunity to take control of diabetes and to play a hand in its management and treatment. However, the best method to use varies. It depends on the condition of the diabetic that will perform the test. In deciding which SMBG method to use, several factors about the diabetic are involved:

1. Willingness of the diabetic to do the test on his own.

2. Cognitive ability, or the ability to understand and perform tasks in the correct manner.

3. Good motor coordination.

4. Clarity or clearness of vision.

SMBG methods vary in price. The least expensive ones are the visual-based ones that come with just a few equipment. These methods require the ability to recognize and differentiate colors, good motor skills to perform the procedure precisely, and the ability to understand and interpret the results.

There are meters available that require far less technique and need only the diabetic’s willingness to improve. These meters, sometimes called personal meters, are expensive though, but they provide more accurate results. If budget is a problem, you can ask your doctor to suggest a meter that is right for you and your current financial situation.

Older meters, those that require the drawing of blood, are not used as much today. There are now meters that don’t require blood. These newer meters are also less complicated thus lessening the incidence of mistakes in doing the procedure, making them more accurate.

SMBG does not always return accurate results, depending on the user. If the user performs the procedure wrong, or uses equipment and other resources that are outdated or damaged, the results can be misleading. Misinformation about glucose levels can be dangerous to a diabetic. Diabetics who use SMBG devices should make sure they follow the instructions for usage to the letter and check any equipment for any sign of damage or breakage regularly. This way, they eliminate some of the disadvantages of performing SMBG and reap most of the advantages.

SMBG devices offer ways for diabetics to have a hand at their own management and treatment of diabetes, instead of just relying solely on doctors and health care providers. Now, they can check their glucose levels anytime and anywhere, giving them the information they need in minutes. Some devices are expensive though, and they are not free from errors and mistakes, and so it is still best to visit the doctor regularly to compare your results from SMBG to your doctor’s findings.