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Type 2 Diabetics not on Insulin Gain Little from Self-Monitoring

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

According to a Cochrane review finding, self-monitoring of blood sugar levels is no help for controlling type 2 diabetes for patients who are not taking insulin.

Monitoring blood sugar levels daily is recommended by physicians for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes so they can adjust eating and exercise habits to keep glucose levels in check.

According to the review of 12 studies that included more than 3,000 diabetics who were not on insulin, self-monitoring had no significant impact on HbA1c levels, well-being of patients with type 2 diabetes or on their quality of life related to health.

The study also found that testing blood sugar levels was 12 times more expensive than urine testing.

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Mayer Davidson, M.D., a professor of medicine at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles who authored one of the studies said patients with type 2 diabetes aren’t using self-monitoring to change their lifestyles.

Most physicians recommend daily blood sugar monitoring to patients can learn how to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.

“Patients aren’t using these numbers to do anything clinically significant,” Davidson said. Self-monitoring for patients with type 2 diabetes who are not taking insulin doesn’t appear to provide enough benefits to routinely recommend checking blood sugar levels regularly.

Malanda, U.L., et al. (2012). Self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin. The Cochrane Library, issue 1.
Published Online: January 18, 2012

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