SMBG or Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose is the cornerstone of Diabetes Management. It is an empowering tool that allows you to be an active partner in the treatment and eventually in prevention of future diabetes related complications. It also helps you in modifying lifestyle habits, coping in times of illness or stress, and aiding you to make necessary changes in the dose of insulin or other medication.

Who needs to Self Monitor Blood Glucose?

  • Patients with any Type of Diabetes including Prediabetes and trying to keep glucose levels in the near normal range for the prevention of complications
  • Individuals with a tendency to develop severe Ketosis or Hypoglycemia
  • Individuals with Hypoglycemia Unawareness
  • Individuals undergoing intensive treatment programs, especially if using insulin pumps, or taking multiple daily insulin injections

What are the Benefits of Self Monitoring your Blood Glucose?

  • It provides an objective feedback on blood glucose values which is used to make adjustments in your food intake, activity patterns, and medication dosage
  • Supports and enhances a diabetes care program that can educate you about the condition
  • It also produces accurate records of daily glucose fluctuations and trends, as well as alerting you to acute episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • It provides you with a tool for achieving and maintaining specific glycemic goals

How Frequently should you check your Blood Glucose?

The frequency of monitoring depends on the below factors

  • The Level of Glycemic Control
  • The Type of Diabetes
  • The willingness and ability to perform tests independently

Barriers to self Monitoring of Blood Glucose

  • The monitoring method should match your level of skill and aptitude.
  • Factors that affect the SMBG performance include - Visual acuity, Fine motor coordination, Cognitive ability, Comfort with technology, willingness, and cost.
  • Psychological issues such as fear of increased values and increased guilt can impede blood sugar monitoring.

Bottom Line

Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose is extremely helpful in providing information on your dynamic blood glucose profile. This information can help with the appropriate scheduling of food, determine which foods or diet are best for one's control, activity, and how well the medication is working. It is also beneficial to understand the timing of blood glucose variations, reduce anxiety and increase your understanding of hypoglycemia.