The secret to getting a quality product at the end of any process is not such a big secret. It is called statistical process control. It is the key to how Japanese car makers turned from making junk into making the best and most reliable cars. Managing your own diabetes is a process that has this in common with manufacturing cars, or any other process you care to name. If you want a quality outcome you have to monitor the key performance indicators regularly and frequently. You also have to know the upper and lower control limits for each indicator and take action to adjust the process before the trends go out of control.
It sounds complicated but it really isn’t, when you think about it in terms of say your blood glucose levels. This is one of the key indicators of the quality of your life as a diabetic. The patients who have the best quality of life while coping with diabetes are those that do their own monitoring, recording and therapy.
Other key indicators of quality of life for diabetics include; blood pressure, fat levels, the observable state of your feet, your vision and professionally measured performance of your kidneys. Any single measure, at a single point in time, tells you nothing. It’s like trying to tell the outcome of a horse race from a snapshot taken at the first furlong. It’s important to record measurements in a series, so that you can monitor the trend. Seven consecutive readings either rising or falling is a significant change in your body. Talk to your doctor. Three readings outside of either upper or lower control limit is another significant change.
Monitoring these indicators of your body is vital to predicting the adverse symptoms of your diabetes. Monitoring without recording or recording incorrectly, is as dangerous as not monitoring at all. Your healthcare team will always monitor and record in your care plan. It is also important for you to monitor yourself at home.
DIY recording of your blood glucose measurements is a key part of managing your condition. Make it part of your daily routine so that you can make the right decisions in those thousand and one little lifestyle instances as well as guarding against hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. With your measurement record as a guide you and your doctors can tweak your therapy and drugs maintain your quality of life.
Monitoring blood glucose levels at home is not for every diabetic. It means pricking a finger every time, to draw a drop of blood and applying it to a chemical monitoring strip. Many diabetics go along under the false belief that their own internal feelings are the only guide they need to their condition. This is folly! Complications from diabetes can creep up on the sufferer. But there is no substitute for accurate measurement, recording and trend watching. It is the only way to make a quality car and it is the only way to maintain a quality life under the shadow of diabetes.
The aim of blood glucose process control is to keep the levels as near ‘normal’ as possible. Normal in medical terms means within the range of non-diabetics. But every diabetic is unique, and one size, definitely does not fit all. This is the main reason for home monitoring. So that you can work with your doctors to learn what the ‘normal’ ranges are for you, under different conditions, such as before meals or first thing in the morning. The body processes differently at each hour of the day and in accordance with the stages of our lives.