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Why tracking is important

Tracking in diabetes management

We assume that as someone with diabetes, you know how important it is to monitor your insulin needs. Many considerations impact when you need to take your insulin, including carbohydrate intake, your level of activity and other factors such as stress or illness.

Tracking glucose levels has always been important in effectively managing diabetes. Over the past 20 years, this has been made easier with the advent of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and Flash monitors, which uses sensors to continuously measure your glucose levels.

Tracking your glucose levels – either with a blood glucose monitor (BGM) or a CGM – allows you to make decisions about any adjustment to your insulin dosing straightaway. The data gathered over a period of time also allows you and your diabetes team to assess trends, triggers and the amount of time you spend in or outside of your glycaemic targets.

Beyond Glucose: Tracking insulin dosage

By tracking your insulin at the same time as your glucose levels, you will be able to compare the amount and timing of your insulin dosing with your glucose data. All of this data can be recorded at any time of the day or night, and during your various activities. Having this information at your disposal, holds many benefits, as you and your diabetes team can:

  • see what impact the insulin dose you have taken has on your glucose level
  • see the changes you may need to make to your insulin dosing
  • adjust your future dosing requirements to avoid over- or under correction 
  • ultimately optimise your insulin doses to fit in with your lifestyle

Tracking is important for your diabetes team

You are the most important individual in your diabetes care team, but you are not alone. When the doctor and / or nurse who make up your diabetes care team has access to your glucose measurements and insulin dosing, they can support you in making more informed decisions on how to best manage your glucose levels.

Regular tracking can provide insights into the relationship between your insulin dosing habits and your glucose levels over time.

Regular tracking of glucose levels and insulin dosing can provide insights into the relationship between your insulin dosing habits and your glucose levels over time. This in turn helps you and your diabetes care team to understand the impact insulin doses (both in timing and amount) have on your glucose levels and glycaemic control. It will also allow your diabetes team to develop a tailored treatment plan that ensures you spend as much time as possible within your optimal glycaemic range, which is usually 20-53 mmol/mol [4-7mmol/L] – your doctor would help determine your optimal range.

References
  1. Maas AH, et al. A physiology-based model describing heterogeneity in glucose metabolism: the core of the Eindhoven Diabetes Education Simulator (E-DES). J Diabetes Sci Technol 2015;9:282–292.
  2. Janapala RN. Continuous glucose monitoring versus self-monitoring of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Cureus 2019;11:e5634.
  3. Klonoff DC. Improved outcomes from diabetes monitoring: the benefits of better adherence,     therapy adjustments, patient education, and telemedicine support. J Diabetes Sci Technol     2012;6:486–490.
  4. Zimmerman C, et al. Advances in type 1 diabetes technology over the last decade. Eur     Endocrinol 2019;15:70–76.
  5. Danne T, Nimri R, Battelino T, et al. International Consensus on Use of Continuous Glucose     Monitoring. Diabet Care 2017;40:1631-1640.
  6. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of     diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent     diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1993:3;329:977–986.

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