“Blood glucose. It’s front and center when it comes to diabetes. It is how we get diagnosed and it is what we are trying to manage. An important tool we use to manage our blood glucose is our meter and its strips. But what happens if our meters aren’t giving reliable information? Let’s explore that this month as we discuss a topic from the June 26th chat Fill in the Blank. Weigh in on the following statement:
Test strip accuracy is important to me because______.
it is the most important piece of information I have to determine actions to take to keep my daughter alive and healthy.
It’s horrifying when you start realizing how loose some of the regulations are on things that impact the life and death decisions that we make every day. Calorie information on food labels can be as much as 20% off and what that means for carb counting… who knows. Our blood glucose meters are only asked to be +/- 20% of the “true” value. When we are dosing our insulin based almost entirely on the grams of carbohydrates in what we are eating and our blood glucose value before eating, such degrees of inaccuracy can cause dangerous situations.
I have to admit, these are things I’ve grown used to — I know that any of the data I use to make dosing decisions could be off in one direction or another. I do the best I can, know which foods seem to be well-labeled, eat whole foods when possible, use a cgm in addition to my meter, and pay attention to how I am feeling.
Now that I am dosing my daughter, these “allowances” are frightening. She is only 5 and hasn’t yet developed the ability to sense and/or report when she feels low or high. If a 20% error happens with either her blood glucose value or the carbs she is eating (or both) and I use that information to determine how much insulin to give her, that mistaken amount of insulin could kill her.
I am grateful for all who fight against these kinds of things, who work hard to get these regulations changed. If the FDA, the makers of glucose meters, the food labelers had to use this information to keep their child alive — would they accept a chance that the information was 20% wrong?
“This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/july-dsma-blog-carnival-3/“