For the past 20 years, people with diabetes have had a powerful tool to help them maintain their health. Home glucose monitors allow frequent, accurate and convenient measurement of blood glucose. For patients, this means fewer visits to the doctor, less emergent problems related to diabetes, and a more steady blood sugar level. Studies show that when blood sugar is consistently maintained near normal levels, there is a lower chance of developing complications from diabetes.
In 1986, a joint effort by the Centers for Disease Control, Federal Drug Administration, National Institute of Health and American Diabetes Association created recommendations on the self-monitoring of glucose at home. The Consensus Conference on Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose proposed at-home blood sugar monitoring to keep a record of blood sugar over time and help with daily control, help recognize dangerously high or low blood sugar levels faster and educate patients on how to manage their blood sugar themselves
Believing that better glucose control would reduce the complications of diabetes encouraged healthcare professionals to develop a way for patients to keep a closer watch on daily glucose levels. The results of Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and reported in 1993 confirmed that closer glucose monitoring had a significant effect on improving health and reducing diabetes-related complications. In fact, the risk reduction with self-monitoring was 76% for eye disease, 50% for kidney disease, and 60% for nerve disease according to the FDA.
Today, home glucose monitors are readily available. Newer technology has made these devices easier to use, more reliable and less painful. The ability to frequently check blood sugar is especially helpful to patients who are considered “brittle” and have a hard time keeping their blood sugar constant.
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