Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels for Type 2 Diabetics

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Saturday 9th January 2010

According to the latest report produced by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) their recent investigations into studies that use two groups of patients, one of whom monitored their blood glucose levels, the others not, is suggestive that blood glucose monitoring offers little or no benefit to these patients.

Whilst the groups the test was conducted on remains too small to draw any definitive conclusion, it does open up a worrying can of worms for anyone who suffers from Non-Insulin-Dependent Type 2 Diabetes. Currently, diabetics can monitor their blood glucose levels with the use of urine or blood tests but it remains undecided as to which, if either are more beneficial. According to the report, the current data available that could help determine this have insufficient data for outcomes that are important to patients. This is due to the short-duration of most of these tests as the long-term effects of blood-glucose monitoring remain unseen.

As it stands, when someone self-monitors their blood glucose level they are provided with an instant indication of the level, so the patient can act accordingly. Analysis’s show that this monitoring can help keep the blood glucose level at a healthy level but it is minor in comparison with those who did not monitor their blood glucose. However, blood glucose monitoring does not help in the determination of metabolic control; this is where something called the HbA1c value comes in. This value is an indication of the long-term levels of how the blood glucose has been controlled. Although, this value itself cannot be used alone to signify the positives of self-monitoring ones blood glucose levels.

Overall, this report that has been produced by IQWiG just shows the sheer need for clarity when it comes to determining what can be used to help non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics. None of the studies produced to date provide a clear enough answer for healthcare professionals to build upon. 

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