Patients Make Errors When Estimating Glucose Levels

In a recent study conducted at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, 42 insulin-dependent patients were asked to estimate their glucose levels and to rate the intensity of their corresponding symptoms.

Doctors discovered that the patients, who were blinded to their actual glucose levels, made potentially serious errors. Not only were they unable to correctly estimate their glucose levels, but they often reported symptoms and moods that were unrelated to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

These findings, which were reported in the January 1995 American Journal of Medicine, indicate that patients must be trained to recognize and understand glucose-related symptoms. This type of individualized training would help reduce the frequency and severity of hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic events.

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