How little can I reasonably test?


Ever since my T2D diagnosis I have been testing between 3-5 times a day: in the morning when I get up, before lunch, and before dinner. If I’m eating something different from the norm I will also test 2 hours after the first bite to see what that food did.

Now that my fasting numbers have declined to below 100, my doctor is telling me I don’t need to test anywhere near as often as I have been doing. “You could even test twice a week, just to see what is going on,” she said. Now, I love my fingers as much as the next person but that seems awfully little. But on the other hand, if everything is just remaining the same, then testing so much seems like a waste of test strips.

I am not on any meds right now, just diet and exercise. I look forward to hearing your advice.

We are all different. But one guideline to follow is to " test with a purpose". Your purpose could be just to generally see that the techniques you are following are continuing to work (which is probably why your doctor said twice a week), or they could see how a particular food or amount of food affects your blood sugar by testing two hours after a meal. I’m not sure, in your situation, what the purpose would be in testing before lunch and before dinner. You might want to check your fastings every day (because those tend to rise for type 2’s) and alternate two hours after various meals, so twice a day. Other Type 2’s will chime in and I’m sure have other suggestions. You have to do what is comfortable to you, but to me that is a good guideline: what am I going to use this number for, or what useful information does it give me?

Agree with you that testing twice a week isn’t going to be particulary useful. Counter-productive for a doctor to encourage testing less.

The only way to know if things are staying the same is by testing & better to know sooner than later since you’re not on meds. Things do change.

Testing after meals is important, of course, to know how food effects you. If you’re having high spikes, this is important info. Testing before meals gives you a benchmark to gauge this.

If you can afford it, testing frequently is the best way to stay on top of diabetes. With a strip limitation, you could do random testing with different meals. Do what makes you feel comfortable. It’s your body, not your doctor’s.

All of what Gerri said.