From Long Island, New York, USA:
My nine-year-old daughter went to see the diabetes team yesterday. She had a question about testing blood sugars. I have her test between eight and 10 times a day. She is on an insulin pump and her A1c has been between 6.2 and 6.8 for the last three years. She is doing well, but she is starting to give me a hard time about testing her blood sugars. Her diabetes team said that she can test four to five times a day, always prior to eating and as long as she can feel her lows, she will be fine. I'm a little hesitant to have her test less, but I'm willing to try it. In general, how often do children test their blood sugars?
There is no correct answer to how often a person should test. Most people, kids, teens and adults included, always think that they can tell when their blood glucose levels are too low and too high but research studies suggest that they are accurate about 30 to 50% of the time. So, a decision has to be made balancing the amount of testing and the information that is provided. The new continuous glucose monitoring systems will solve this problem once they are perfected. The key information used for making insulin and food decisions involves knowing the blood sugar levels before food/snacks. Making decisions about bolus amounts and insulin to carbohydrate ratios means that one also needs information about one to two hours after such decisions and thus the post-prandial blood sugar testing recommendations. So, you and your child, as well as your diabetes team, should continue to discuss these issues and see what works based upon review of blood sugar results and A1c results.
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