SMBG or Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose in diabetes

SMBG: Effectiveness

Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) by glucometer is a very useful tool for diabetics. It helps not only in monitoring the response to drug therapy but also in knowing blood sugar response to eating out, exercise, illness etc.

Knowing how your blood sugar varies with different food and activities will help you and your doctor in setting your treatment right and help you  be less restricted by diabetes in everyday life

SMBG guidelines are getting established and debate on use and effectiveness of SMBG is far from settled. But emerging evidence suggests that when used with clearly defined steps to be taken when SMBG glucose readings are deranged, patients get better control of diabetes and a sense of better handling of this lifelong condition

For people on insulin, the schedule of SMBG is clearer and often you would get direction from your doctor. However, for diabetics who are not on insulin, not many doctors give clear directions and people often do not you SMBG effectively

Read below to understand who all benefit from using glucometer monitoring of blood sugar or SMBG and how frequently should it be done

SMBG: use and schedule

SMBG  is helpful for 

1. Diabetics being treated with insulin need to do SMBG glucose monitoring for administration of correct dose of insulin and for detecting low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)

The intensity of this monitoring will depend on the type of insulin regimen. People with basal insulin only           ( single dose at night) may need low intensity monitoring, those on premixed insulin dose (two or three times a day) will need, most commonly, fasting and one pre meal but those on  MDI (Multiple Dose Insulin) will need  a 5 or 7 point SMBG monitoring usually

Additionally , people with suspected hypoglycemic episodes (episodes of dangerously low blood sugar) will need SMBG schedule for detecting hypoglycemia

2. In type 2 diabetes SMBG can be beneficial in management of disease for individuals with newly diagnosed diabetes, who would be undergoing adjustments in medication, nutrition and physical activity

An intensive SMBG monitoring for a period of 3-4 weeks will help such people establish a pattern of blood glucose variation  and observe the impact of  dietary changes and exercise on their blood sugar levels. The SMBG schedules useful for this phase are intensive 5 or 7 point monitoring or the staggered monitoring schedule. Make a diary which records not only your blood sugar levels (SMBG results) but also the dietary intake, and exercise done on the day.

3. For people with well controlled type 2 diabetes,who are on lifestyle modification or on oral drugs, SMBG has little impact on management , but a low intensity SMBG monitoring would help these people in understanding their disease better

4. Women who are planning to become pregnant, but their diabetes is not adequately controlled or women who are pregnant

5. Those who are experiencing worsening of diabetes or a period of uncertainty will benefit from SMBG monitoring, examples are people who:

Hope we could help you find out which SMBG schedule you need to follow.

Share your SMBG diary with your doctor in all your visits and reap the benefits!

Check out: Our references for diabetes mellitus