Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Can you really fool the doctor on blood sugar test reading?

If your are a diabetic, you know the importance of tracking your blood sugar. And every few months, your doctor will look over your diary of readings and make adjustments in your medication, or even more likely, ask you to make adjustments in your behavior. Here's why.

Over time, most of those who have diabetes mellitus 2 or even type 1, go though periods of strictly following our diets and restricting our intake of sugars and such, and other periods when you are far less observant.   Because frankly, it gets somewhat tiresome. And for good reason.

We like our freedom. You don't want to be told what to eat and how often to eat. For a time, it's not a problem, but after months and years most diabetics feel the need to break out of the restrictions and live by "good judgement" rather than the dictates of their blood sugar count. It's understandable!

So while there may not be widespread cheating, there is a slippage. A little more potatoes, rice and an ever-so-small slice of apple pie. After all, it's just for one day. But then there's another day...and often another. Then when it's time for the doctor, there's the effort to coverup the behavior and fool the test results. But is that possible?

Most "cheaters" who try and outwit the doctor by changing their eating habits a few days before going in for the fasting blood test. But does this dodge work? In a word, NO!

A doctor suspecting this behavior will ask for the A1C test as part of the blood panel. Unlike the simple test for the amount of sugar in the blood at the present time, the A1C test provides a retrospective picture of a person's glucose level during the past three months. You can't outwit it with a few days of regulated eating. If the test shows the hemoglobin reading greater than six, it's a sure indication that the patient has had a high blood sugar reading during the previous three months, regardless of the current reading.

So don't think you can cheat. It's best to follow your plan and keep your fasting blood sugar level as close to the 100 mark as you can. Take those finger prick readings as often as you and your doctor think is necessary.

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