Diabetes is on the increase around the world. Living in a non_english speaking country like France, access to self management diabetes education may not be readily available. Australian Diabetes Educator and Health Change Practitioner David Mapletoft has recently fallen in love with France. His medium term plan is to move to live in France and become a 'Digital Nomad'
David is going to provide a brief article about diabetes self management for our subscribers to read each month.
Your Glucose Meter
Glucose meters test and record how much glucose is in your blood. They help you track your blood glucose level at different times during the day and night.
Meters can help you know how well your diabetes treatment plan including your medications, are working. They can also help you to understand how the food you eat, your physical activity, other medications and illness can change your blood glucose level.
There are different kinds of meters. Meters come in different sizes. They also come with different features. Some meters let you track and print out your test results. Others have audio and larger screens to help people who have problems seeing. The meter you choose should fit your lifestyle and your needs.
Most meters come with three parts:
Lancet - A needle that is used to get a drop of blood from your finger or another part of your body.
Test Strip - The strip where you put the blood you are testing.
Control Solutions - Liquid used to make sure your meter is working properly (Although more and more control solutions are being phased out)
Did you know?
- The meter may give you the wrong results if you use the wrong test strip. Use the right test strip for your meter.
- Glass cleaners, ammonia and other cleaning products may damage your meter. Follow the directions on how to clean your meter.
- Your other medicines and dialysis solution may affect your blood glucose reading. Talk to your health care provider about how your medicines will affect your blood glucose
How to Throw Away Used Devices
- You should throw away your used needles in a hard container like an empty laundry detergent bottle or a metal coffee can.
- Make sure the needles cannot poke through the container.
- Put a label on the container to warn people that it is dangerous.
- Keep the container where children cannot get to it.
- Always put a lid or top on the container.
- Put the container into a sharps disposal bin at your local hospital, community health centre or the like. NOT in your rubbish bin.
Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
Checking your blood glucose levels helps you to know if your current treatment plan is working or needs some adjustment. Remember, these numbers are not your diabetes, they are simply a guide day to day, week to week, how your treatment plan is working.
Depending on you as an individual, the type of diabetes you have and the type of diabetes medication that you use, test when you wake up in the morning, before meals, 2 hours after meals, and at bedtime. You may need to test more often, for example, on days when you are sick, or participating in sporting events where your usual activity is higher than usual.
Also, determine what your BGL targets are. Do you want them in non-diabetic range most of the time, or are you satisfied for them to be slightly above the non-diabetic range (and understand ask your doctor what your blood glucose number should be. This number is your target blood glucose level.
My Blood Glucose Targets
Before Meals ______(acceptable targets are 4-6mmols)
2 Hours After Meals _______(acceptable targets are 4-8mmols)
- Read the directions for the meter and the test strips before you start using them.
- Wash your hands before you check your blood glucose. Food or juice on your fingers may affect your blood glucose result.
- Write down your results and the date and time you tested. Do this even if your meter tracks your numbers. Take the results with you when you go to your doctor.
- 3-4 days testing 4-6 times a day is often more useful than testing once or twice a day each week.
- Take your meter and record chart of your BGL’s with you when you go to your diabetes educator, dietitian or doctor.
- Show your diabetes educator, dietitian and doctor your diabetes self care plan, and discuss how it can be altered if you find a need.
Type 2 diabetes is progressive. Over time your pancreas will produce less insulin. This means that no matter how good your diabetes self care plan, you will need a regular assessment for your medication – which over time will need to be increased.
If you would like some affordable personal diabetes education submit an e-consultation request @ http://www.diabetescounselling.com.au Please be sure to ask for David.
(If you are an Australian citizen, this service is FREE - thanks to a grant to our charity from the Australian Government)