Diabetes: Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels | Diabète: la surveillance des niveaux de glycémie

[Light guitar music plays] [TITLE: Monitoring blood glucose levels with test strips] Dr. Gillian Booth: Hi, I’m Dr.Gillian Booth. I’m an endocrinologist and in my
practice, I care for thousands of patients with diabetes. I know how important it is for people
living with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in the
right range, so that they can stay healthy over the long term. The best way to know how well you’re
staying in range is an A1C test. This test shows how
your levels have been tracking over the last three months, and depending on how well your blood
sugar levels are controlled, it could be done up to a few times in
a year. However, sometimes you need information about your blood glucose levels right away. This is called self-monitoring of blood
glucose, or SMBG. And for that, you use a blood glucose meter and test strips. How often you need to test varies from
person to person. Recent research has shown that some
people living with diabetes may not need to check their blood sugar as often as they have in the past. This information is important for those
who’ve been living with diabetes for a while, or been recently diagnosed. How often you test your blood sugar is based on a number of factors, which I’ll explain shortly. But before I do, I want to remind you that you and your
health care providers are the people who know the best blood glucose monitoring plan for you. If
you manage diabetes with insulin you may need to test frequently to adjust your insulin dose, and to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t become dangerously low, a condition we call hypoglycemia. Many
people on insulin, who receive more than one dose per day, will test about three times a day. You may test more frequently if doses are being adjusted, up to 8 times a day. Some diabetes medicines, such as Glyburide, can cause your blood sugar level to drop
very low – hypoglycemia. And because of that, people taking them may need daily testing. If you’re taking medication other than
insulin, that carries a low risk of hypoglycemia, such as Metformin, you may not need to test on daily basis, if you’re meeting your
blood glucose level targets. And if you manage diabetes with only diet
and lifestyle therapy, you may benefit from very infrequent testing. However, you may have to test more often
if you have the flu, if you have changes in your diet or medications, or changes in your exercise or activity
patterns. You also may assess more often if your blood sugar levels are not stable. But, as I mentioned earlier, you need to
discuss your testing patterns with your health care team, along with any changes in your life that
may affect how often you should test and how you should act on the results of testing. If you’re an Ontario Drug Benefit
Program recipient, your yearly eligibility for coverage of blood glucose test strips is based on these recommended testing
patterns. If you manage diabetes with insulin, you’ll be reimbursed for up to 3,000 blood glucose test strips per year. If you’re taking medication other than insulin that carries a high risk of hypoglycemia, such as Glyburide, you’ll be reimbursed for up to 400 test strips per year, or if you’re taking a medication that
doesn’t cause hypoglycemia, or carries a low risk of causing hypoglycemia, such as Metformin, you’ll be reimbursed for up to 200 test strips per year. You’ll also be reimbursed for up to 200
test strips per year if you manage your diabetes through diet
and lifestyle therapy alone. Your doctor or pharmacist or diabetes educator can answer your questions about managing diabetes, as well as about monitoring and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. This includes whether you should be testing your blood sugar levels, and if so, how often this testing should
be done. If your doctor recommends a more
frequent testing pattern, due to a medical condition, you may be
eligible for increased coverage. Talk to them to develop a diabetes
management program that’s right for you. [TITLE: For more information on diabetes, please visit ontario.ca/diabetes. ServiceOntario 1 866 532 3161] If you have questions about reimbursement limits for test strips, Call Service Ontario at the number below
or click on the link. [Ontario logo is displayed] [TITLE: Ontario.ca/diabetes]

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