Your Diabetes May Vary
The Diabetic's Corner Booth
You'll notice a common theme: everybody is, quite rightly, up in arms about the FDA's decision not to do anything about the fact that blood glucose testing meters can have up to 20% either way inaccuracy.
I rely totally on my blood glucose machine. When it gives me a number, I will 99% of the time respond to it (the other 1% I wash my hands and then retest). What that number is then changes everything: do I need a correction dose? Do I need something to eat? What am I doing the rest of the morning/afternoon, and does this result make a difference to that?
Why should I put up with it possibly being 20% either way? When I have days where I just can't keep my levels stable, is that because my meter is out by 20%?
So many people have written about this, I couldn't write it better, so I'll link you directly to some of the blogs I've been reading about it. Kerri over at Six Until Me points out the over 20 years ago, it was the same 20%! Surely we have come along in 20 years? Apparently not! Sam over at Talking Blood Glucose discusses whether this inaccuracy could contribute towards long term complications. Kelly at Diabetesalicious makes an excellent comparison to our blood glucose machines being a diabetic's GPS system (and also queries if we should start paying 20% 'either way' on our taxes!). Scott's blog, which I think is one of the first that I personally read, has a very good indepth article which is well worth a read.
My favourite quote, which I think is a favourite of several other people, is Scott's comment:
"Consider the following statement given at the meeting by industry-consultant Barry Ginsberg, MD, PhD, (from the firm Diabetes Consultants, based in Wyckoff, NJ):
"How much accuracy you need depends on who you are. Those with type 2 diabetes who treat their condition with diet changes and oral drugs don't need to monitor their blood levels as closely as those with type 1 diabetes who take insulin", he said.
What does Dr. Ginsberg's statement mean, exactly? Allow me to translate:
In effect, he's saying "Look, 90-95% of patients have type 2 diabetes and they don't require insulin, so the current standards are more than adequate for the vast majority of users".
Screw you, Ginsberg.