A report in the online version of the British Medical Journal has questioned the value of self-monitoring among patients with diabetes, after many revealed that they do not bother with the practice.
Writing in the journal, a team of researchers from Birmingham's Aston University, led by Dr Elizabeth Peel, revealed that interviews with 18 patients over a four-year period had confirmed widespread dissatisfaction with self-monitoring.
Many gave up self-monitoring during the period, and even those who continued to test their blood glucose levels admitted that they had started to test themselves on a less regular basis, often because they did not understand the test results and how to act upon them.
"Our findings suggest that the clinical uncertainty about the benefit of self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes is reflected in patients' own views about it," the researchers claimed.
They also noted that health professionals should provide better guidance on how to interpret and respond to readings, pointing out: "If patients cannot understand their blood glucose fluctuations they cannot modify their behaviour".
Meanwhile, a study published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases has suggested that obesity surgery may help to cure type two diabetes.
A team of Italian, Brazilian and French doctors performed duodenal exclusion, a form of gastric bypass surgery, on people with type two diabetes and found that the procedure enabled patients to stop taking anti-diabetic medication within nine months.
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