Blood sugar monitor : Can any of you recommend a... - PMRGCAuk

PMRGCAuk

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Blood sugar monitor

Lacelady
Lacelady

Can any of you recommend a good blood sugar monitor ? I have prediabeties and my reading was 6. I have been cutting out carbs and sugar as recommended by this forum ( thank you) but I have no idea if it is working until I have my next blood test next month. After reading various posts it seems as if I should be checking myself, is this right.

My symptoms have not changed , dry mouth, frequent bathroom visits and dry feet. I have lost 2lbs in weight but I had not gained weight since starting pred in March.

Thank you for your input

45 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi there. I think there have been a number of posts covering this fairly recently a quick search should/might find them. A number of the supplier companies will provide you with a free one if you meet their criteria, which probably won't be a problem. I'm sure others will be along to give you more technical information. Peter

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Bcol

When you get a free offer - always ask the cost of the testing strips which can be expensive. They don't come on script on the NHS except for Type 1 diabetics on insulin for whom they are essential. The manufacturers make their money on the strips so offering the "free" device is to make you have to buy their strips as they aren't transferable to other devices.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to PMRpro

Thank you that seems like very good advice

Gunflash
Gunflash in reply to PMRpro

I get my testing strips on the NHS PMRpro. Since being diagnosed in April I am now on my third tub.

Gunflash
Gunflash in reply to Gunflash

Sorry should point out that I was diagnosed with prediabetes at the same time as PMR. I have since reduced my weight from 198lbs to 169lbs and I am out of the prediabetes range but still check my blood sugar, however only weekly now. I did this on a low carb diet averaging weight loss at 5 lbs. a month.

Gunflash
Gunflash in reply to Gunflash

I started on 15mg Pred and am now down to 5mg Pred. Averaging roughly a reduction of 1.5 of Pred a month. During this period I still consistently lost weight.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to Gunflash

It seems as though it depends on your postcode as to whether you get the strips on prescription or not there is a big difference from Doctor to Doctors.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Gunflash

That's quite unusual - were you referred to a diabetes clinic?

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to PMRpro

No the doctor didn’t seem to think it was urgent just said to have another blood test in three months which I am going to do in November.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Lacelady

My query was to Gunflash - I wondered if that was a reason for getting them on script.

Gunflash
Gunflash in reply to PMRpro

No, just told to go on a low carb diet and loose some weight. I then went to see a specialist privately who said I should monitor my blood sugar morning and night for a month and gave me a fasting rate (when you wake up and before you have eaten or drunk anything) of 4.0 to 5.5 and two hours after dinner up to 7.8. He told me to buy a kit and test myself as directed. So I went back to my surgery and he wrote to them confirming his instructions to me and they gave me a prescription for the strips. I bought the tester, since then they have renewed the strip prescription twice more.

My HbA1c level was 6.4 when I had my bloods taken in April. In June I was tested again it was 5.8.

I have retained that level.

Telian
Telian in reply to PMRpro

OH has always got his testing strips on repeat ‘script, both in Essex and West Yorkshire where we now live.

He’s type 2.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to Telian

You are lucky not all Doctors give them it seems.

Telian
Telian in reply to Lacelady

It’s OH with the diabetes - wouldn’t call it lucky if you see my reply to PMRpro.

You are right though different doctors won’t pay. We did a deal with GP when OH was first diagnosed (many years ago) because they also wanted him to check his BP at home. He’s not a well man. So we bought the BP machine and they supplied BS monitor and testing strips. They were very willing to supply strips if we bought the machine. Strange as the strips are the ongoing costs. We moved last year and new GP automatically replaced BS monitor when it grew tired.

Your bloods are the most reliable and what doctors prefer. I see you’re losing weight too - with all your effort I wouldn’t be surprised you’ll be out of the prediabetic zone next time you’re tested!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Telian

It depends - and I should have said they are issued on a case by case basis. Some will get them, some won't.

Telian
Telian in reply to PMRpro

Should have explained OH’s diabetes isn’t straightforward. His first tested levels were 23. They manage him well but every year or so it goes off piste for no apparent reason. His diet is well managed. They’re always considering insulin (he’s type 2) but he has enough weight to contend with already and not mobile.

He’s currently on metformin and glyclazide but levels are still precarious so they’re always adjusting his meds.

It also rises rapidly when he gets sepsis (4 times last year). They talk about a weekly injection, not insulin, (can’t recall the name) but hasn’t been necessary yet. Hence he’s been told to check twice daily.

So for anyone threatened with diabetes it’s not straightforward once you are diagnosed and is why I said to Lacelady ‘if they want you to test’. Pred induced diabetes can be controlled well with diet alone- as Mrs Nails has proved. My friend had never been asked to check her levels. She is strict with her diet.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Telian

This?

ozempic.com/#:~:text=It's%2....

It is a pain sometimes. Poopadoops is/was on insulin for Type 2 - sometimes it has to be.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to Bcol

Thank you Peter. You were right I did get good advice

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

There isn't really any need to check BS in the same way as a diabetic does. Nor is a simple BS test diagnostic of any status as it only shows a momentary image, not ongoing. Pred makes your liver release random spikes of glucose from the body stores of glycogen in the muscles. If the one-off test is done close to one of those spikes it can be quite alarming. The device is cheap or even free - but the strips are relatively expensive and can't be prescribed in the UK unless you are a diabetic on insulin. Even patients with Type 2 diabetes don't always get them. It is the Hba1c test that shows how well controlled your BS is.

The figure of 6 you give - is that a result of a finger prick test or the Hba1c which is done with a proper venous blood sample? Only the Hba1c result is a valid indicator of whether pred is sending you in the direction of prediabetes. A value of 6% for the Hba1c test (sometimes reported as 42 mmol/mol) is normal, not pre-diabetes although it is the borderline. It is a reflection of the average blood sugar level over the last 8-12 weeks.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to PMRpro

It was from a venous sample taken at the surgery. The Doctor rang and said it was 6 and that 6.5 was the borderline for type 2 diabetes she didn’t mention the Hba1c result.

I have read here that pred gives you spikes in your blood sugar so was just wondering if I need to keep a check but you seem to think it is unnecessary. I am quite happy with that suggestion.

Thank you for your advice

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Lacelady

I wouldn't, certainly not at present - I'd wait for my Hba1c result to be checked. Then see how you get on with diet - several on the forum got the level down just by diet, including MrsNails. And it will fall as you reduce the pred dose anyway.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to PMRpro

That is good to know I was hoping by reducing my pred it would stabilise.

Thank you

Do you know if their is a certain milligram that will make it easier to control my sugar? I am currently at 12 1/2.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Lafontainepam1

No - everyone is different.

Theziggy
Theziggy in reply to PMRpro

I'm Type 2 and don't get testing strips on the NHS, so have no idea how well (or not) controlled my diabetes is. I have been treating it with diet and exercise (no meds) for years, but the diet and exercise has been slipping away these days!!!

I do know that Prednisolone spikes my Blood Glucose though.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Theziggy

That's the role of the Hba1c - it looks at the previous 3 months in general and if you or your diabetes aren't behaving it will go up!

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to PMRpro

Ok thank you. Sorry about the misunderstanding

Theziggy
Theziggy in reply to PMRpro

But the results are heavily weighted to the last few weeks of the 3 months. diabetes.co.uk/forum/thread...

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Theziggy

Very likely - but the comparison needs always to be for the same person, not with others. Same applies to a lot of things - not least CRP and ESR! All indicators of a trend rather than absolute values.

This link might be helpful:

diabetes.co.uk/what-is-hba1...

Thank you it was

Speak to the diabetes nurse at your GP surgery. Only if they don’t feel you need to test yourself regularly would they not supply the full kit.

VAl4266
VAl4266 in reply to Telian

I was diagnosed with high type2 diabetics, and put on metaformin but the virus kicked in everywhere, so nobody in surgery who delt with diabetics, so left to deal with it myself with diet. With 3 monthly blood checks I hope I’m winning, I’m now on 11mg of Pred.

Telian
Telian in reply to VAl4266

It’s not good is it. If your diet is working and you feel okay, then well done you. Just get your bloods done timely. The surgery will soon be in touch if they have any queries re the results. They did that with me, I’m not diabetic, but one doctor thought it needed double checking. I did a fasting test and it came back normal.

Presume you’re tapering is going well. Just be mindful when you get lower and you reach the dose when your adrenals will be trying to kick in, (7.5 is what our body produces) as you might need to slow your reductions really down. I can only do a 0.5mg reduction. Am nearly on 8.5mg second time around.

I’m 6.7 years GCA/PMR.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to VAl4266

I do hope you are winning you can only try. I am still on 15mg but go down to 13. 3/4 on Monday . Every little step helps.

Thank you

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to Telian

We only moved here last November so I am not sure if they have a diabetic nurse and the surgery has been taken over by another larger one so everything is a bit confused. I never get the same doctor twice so using this forum I am managing my meds myself. Thank goodness for PMR/GCA uk and health unlocked .

I am going to see what my next results tell me before I do anything else. As the PRMpro says it might go down as I reduce my preds so it is a wait and see situation.

Thank you.

I have been going crazy with checking my sugar level! I have been on a strict no sugar, no carbs, (or very little), diet to try to lower my sugar. This in my opinion is the best way to try to control it, along with daily exercise! Prednisone does it’s own thing, which I hate! I am now only going to check it once a week. The real test is the A1c that the Dr. will give me.

I do think I have to relax a bit and not get obsessive about the results. The next test will show something that I can use to establish what I do.

Thank you for your advise.

You might find this "Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Support Group" facebook group useful. They publish lists of foods to eat and avoid and have a very direct attitude to answering queries. Also look at Jason Fung's writings and videos.....and Michael Moseley. I think others have answered your actual question but these contacts will help with your situation. My personal preference is the sense that Jason Fung speaks, but it is quite radical - too much so for some.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to sennetta

I have looked at Jason Fung and as you say he is very enlightening. I am concentrating on my diet and exercising regularly.

Thank you

Just curious if anyone here has been put on Metformin medication? Prednisone's side effect kicked my blood sugar up into the pre-diabetic range and my rheumy put me on Metformin. I was leery but was very surprised that it took me out of being "pre-diabetic" on the chart (had ranged from 5.7 to 6.4 since 2017), down to 5.4 now.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Raven1955

I think a few are - there has been a bit of discussion about GI effects recently!

Mahnahvu
Mahnahvu in reply to Raven1955

I am not diabetic, but believe strongly in self testing. When I developed GCA and had to go on 60mg prednisone, I requested a prescription for Metformin, as in the afternoons I would test my blood and regularly have glucose levels in the pre-diabetic level before taking my first bite of food. Many gastric issues, but the Metformin got me through until I was down to 15mg prednisone, when I dropped it and now just control blood sugar with diet.

Lacelady
Lacelady in reply to Mahnahvu

That is interesting. I will have a look at that.

Thank you for responding

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