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August 30, 1999

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from New York, USA:

I am 25 and was just diagnosed with Type 1 a month ago. I can handle the change in lifestyle, but I am really scared about the potential long-term effects of diabetes. For the past three weeks, my sugar level have been very regulated, but I have become obsessed with testing myself at least 12 times a day. Should I stop?

Answer:

Of course you are bound to be obsessed with checking your blood just now. However, within the next few weeks you should begin to feel more relaxed as you learn about the way diabetes affects you. You will then be able to get away with far fewer tests because you will be in a position to guess what’s going on in between. My advice just now would be that that you should try reducing testing to 4 or 5 tests per day unless you feel hypo.

A degree of obsession is actually a good thing to have in diabetes care but obviously you shouldn’t let such behaviour become overwhelming. Later, if you still feel compelled to test so often, then you should seek help from your diabetes team.

KJR