An NIH study to measure the benefits of a blood glucose awareness training intervention has found it to have significant and wide-ranging benefits in people with type 1 diabetes. Researchers at the University of Virginia documented these results in patients who took part in the educational program:
- improved awareness of both high and low blood glucose levels
- a significant reduction in extreme fluctuations of blood glucose levels
- improved judgment regarding when to treat high and low blood glucose levels
- more decisions to avoid driving a motor vehicle when levels were low, which resulted in fewer accidents
- improved psychological functioning
- reduction in symptoms of mild depression
- overall improved quality of life
The implication is that better training and attention to blood glucose levels can have very real benefits to people with diabetes. The researchers suggest that such training may be particularly helpful to patients who are attempting intensive insulin therapy, have frequent episodes of ketoacidosis, suffer from impaired hypoglycemia awareness, or experience wide fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
If you are interested in locating a blood glucose awareness training program, ask your healthcare provider or diabetes educator about it.
Source: Cox DJ, Goner-Frederick L, Polonsky W, et al. Blood glucose awareness training (BGAT-2). Diabetes Care 2001;24(4):637-642.