Strategies for improving glycemic control: effective use of glucose monitoring

Am J Med. 2005 Sep;118(Suppl 9A):27S-32S. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.07.054.


Despite the increasing prevalence of diabetes, improved understanding of the disease, and a variety of new medications, glycemic control does not appear to be improving. Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is one strategy for improving glycemic control; however, patient adherence is suboptimal and proper education and follow-up are crucial. Patients need to understand why they are being asked to self-test, what their glycemic targets are, and what they should do based on the results of self-monitoring. Patients also must be taught proper technique and must be given specific recommendations regarding frequency and timing for self-monitoring. Situations in which SMBG is essential or should be more frequent include self-adjustment of insulin doses, changes in medications, lack of awareness of hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes, illness, or when hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values are above target. SMBG should include postprandial monitoring to identify glycemic excursions after meals, to indicate the need for lifestyle adjustments, and to provide patient feedback on dietary choices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Participation
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents