I'm newly diagnosed & was told to watch my sugar intake and to increase my exercise. I had joined a gym a few months prior to my diagnosis and was doing what I could while trying not to aggravate my injuries a few times a week. I was told that my A1c was 6.5 so it was right at the cutoff for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. I was told that I do not need to monitor my glucose levels. That seems strange to me. Is that a normal practice or is it because my A1C is relatively low? I recheck in Oct.

Amy Campbell


According to criteria, diabetes is diagnosed if the A1C is 6.5% or higher. It is recommended that the test be repeated to confirm the diagnosis. However, it does seem likely that you may have type 2 diabetes ,given your A1C. Because your A1C is right on the cusp, your provider may have felt that you did not need to check your blood glucose, perhaps in the belief that, with regular physical activity, healthy eating and/or weight loss, that you could manage your diabetes without having to start on medication. There isn’t a general consensus on when and how often people with type 2 diabetes should check their blood glucose. Certainly, people who take diabetes pills, non-insulin injectables or insulin should be checking their blood glucose, but the frequency is dependent on a number of factors, including how often their glucose levels are within their target range. Blood glucose monitoring provides valuable information as to how your diabetes treatment plan is working. My suggestion is to talk with your provider (again) about blood glucose monitoring. He or she may still feel that you don’t need to monitor, but you may want to obtain a meter and start checking your glucose even a few times per week. Vary the times when you check (e.g., before and after meals, at bedtime, before and after exercising) and keep a log of your readings. Also, check with your health plan – most plans, including Medicare, will cover blood glucose monitoring equipment (meters, test strips, lancets) for people who have diabetes.

August 7, 2013 at 12:14 am