Is Using a Meter a Waste of Time for Type 2s?

According to a University of Oxford study led by Dr. Andrew Farmer, home monitoring of glucose with a meter did not improve glucose control in non-insulin-requiring people with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Farmer divided 453 people with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes into three groups: one group had their blood sugar checked three times a month; the second was given a meter and told to have their doctor interpret their results; and the third was given a meter and told how to interpret the findings.

After one year, there was no difference among the groups in blood sugar levels. In fact, half the people who’d been given blood glucose meters stopped using them before the end of the study, and still there were no differences in their control. Dr. Farmer concluded that type 2s who aren’t taking insulin should not be persuaded to use home glucose meters.

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Source: Medline Plus

Editor’s Note: This finding strikes us as ridiculous. We know many non-insulin-requiring type 2s who use their meters to learn which foods to avoid and how exercise affects their blood sugars. If their morning oatmeal sends their blood sugar over 200 mg/dl, they know that it’s time to switch to eggs for breakfast. We suggest that everyone learn how to use their meter’s results to adjust their diet and exercise (an education which seems to be lacking in this study).

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