Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) and its importance

India has earned itself the unfortunate title of ‘diabetic capital of the world’, which is why it’s important to spread the awareness about this disease so that people afflicted with diabetes can improve the quality of their life and control their diabetes symptoms. Know A to Z about diabetes in my ongoing round-the-clock webinar. Click the button below to book you spot now for FREE!!

An essential part of diabetes care is self-monitoring. Blood sugar testing is an important component of diabetes care that help you to take charge of the condition. Self-monitoring of blood sugar is an essential tool in managing the treatment plan and preventing the long-term complication of diabetes. It is crucial to regularly measure your blood sugar levels, to observe if you might have hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia or pre-diabetes symptoms.

Self-monitoring of blood sugar is done using portable blood glucose meters called glucometer that checks the blood sugar levels. Glucose meters come with testing strips, small needles, or lancets, to prick your finger, and a device to hold the needle. These tools work by analyzing a small amount of blood, usually from the fingertip. A lancet lightly pricks your skin to obtain the blood. Meters tell you your current blood sugar. But, since blood sugar levels change, you need to test levels often and record them.

Regular glucose monitoring is one way people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When it’s time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will help you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team.

By checking your blood glucose levels routinely, you’ll also know when your blood sugar is too high or too low, both of which can cause symptoms and serious health problems. Your doctor will calculate the target range for your blood glucose based on your age, your type of diabetes, your overall health, and other factors. It’s important to keep your glucose levels within your target range as best as you can.

SMBG helps you to avoid risks of sudden shooting of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) or dropping of the blood glucose level (hypoglycemia) both of which have equally fatal consequences and can be life threatening too. SMBG is very crucial for diabetics on insulin or on oral anti-diabetic drugs that might cause hypoglycemia. To achieve best glycemic control it is essential to know how your daily blood glucose levels are fluctuating in entire day. Based on effect monitoring of your blood glucose, your physician can adjust drug dosage if SMBG record is well maintained.

Are you aware of the 7-point SMBG chart? It is a normal practice for people to check the Fasting blood sugar and post prandial blood sugar only. To achieve best blood glycemic control it is important to control blood sugar levels within normal limits during entire day and not just fasting or post breakfast levels.

The above image of SMBG chart details on the 7-point charting system where you should fill your blood glucometer readings which you take on several spots in an entire day. It also called as 7-point self-monitored blood glucose. Since pricking 7 times a day can be painful and tedious at times, I have designed the chart so that it covers seven times in the seven days of a week. So, it will be a single prick on a single day.

Seven Points includes:

  1. Fasting or before breakfast reading
  2. 2 hrs after breakfast
  3. Before lunch
  4. 2 hrs after lunch
  5. Before dinner
  6. 2 hrs after dinner or bedtime
  7. At mid night 3.00 AM

This 7-point SMBG charting approximately covers entire day glucose fluctuations to some extent.

Efficient controlling of blood sugar helps to reduce probability of further complications in Diabetes. Join my ongoing online course Art of Living with Diabetes to know more on how to use the lancet correctly, how to take readings with minimal error and many such important facts that play a major role in the life of a diabetic.

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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