Glucose Levels: Hitting the target
Monitoring blood glucose levels is an essential part of managing your child’s Type 1 diabetes.
If you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it’s essential that you know how to manage their condition on a day-to-day basis.
This means understanding how to monitor their blood glucose in order to reduce the risk of potentially serious health complications developing.
Even so, in December, the National Diabetes Audit revealed that 70% of people with Type 1 diabetes, including 85% of children, are not managing to keep their long-term blood glucose measurement within the target range.
For anyone with the condition, regular meals are vital in order to maintain energy and keep glucose levels constant. It will also be important to know more about the food your child is eating. Understanding how much carbohydrate a meal or snack contains makes it possible to work out what affect it will have on blood glucose levels.
The blood glucose target range can differ from person to person, so it’s important that this is discussed and agreed with your child’s diabetes team. For children with Type 1 diabetes, the charity Diabetes UK indicates these levels as a guide: before meals, 4-8 mmol/l; and two hours after meals, less than 10 mmol/l (NICE 2004).
Regular Glucose Monitoring
You will also need to get into the habit of routine blood glucose monitoring. Testing involves pricking the side of your child’s finger with a finger-pricking device. A drop of blood is then applied to a testing strip and a meter reads the result automatically.
Technology in this area is improving all the time. For example, Bayer’s Contour Next USB Meter allows you to test and log your child’s blood glucose, mark results and even enter carbohydrate and insulin information. You can review trends on the meter or download the results to a computer to share with your healthcare professional.
Dr Jen Nash, Clinical Psychologist with Type 1 diabetes and Bayer Diabetes Care blog panellist, says: “Blood glucose testing is the key to feeling more in control of your diabetes. It puts you in the driving seat because it provides you with instant feedback on what actions you need to take — whether that’s having more or less to eat, taking additional units of insulin or something else.”
Bayer is offering 20 free Contour Next USB meters to the first 20 readers who respond to this article.
Visit www.bayerdiabetes.co.uk/CH and fill in your details for a chance to win 1 of 20 free meters.
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