A valuable technology in appropriate settings
Diabetes is a complex disorder that requires vigilant monitoring on a long–term continuous basis by the person with diabetes and their family to achieve optimal control in an effort to avoid the serious complications of diabetes. Blood glucose self monitoring and urine glucose self monitoring are the two primary methods used by the person with diabetes to monitor their diabetes control, and where appropriate make treatment adjustments. The recommended frequency of testing varies, depending on the type of diabetes and the particular circumstances.
The IDF position on urine glucose monitoring is that
- Urine glucose monitoring is not a substitute for blood glucose monitoring, but rather an alternative or complement which can provide very valuable information where blood glucose monitoring is not accessible, affordable, or desired.
- Urine glucose monitoring should continue to be available throughout the world.
- Education about its role and appropriate use should be part of essential education about diabetes for health care professionals and governments.
- It can be used separately to, or in conjunction with, blood glucose monitoring in particular circumstances and settings.
- It should continue to be included on the World Health Organisation Essential Drugs List.
- The major promotion by industry of blood glucose monitoring should not result in the appropriate role of urine glucose monitoring being underestimated.
- As long as results are interpreted correctly, and limitations understood, it provides valuable information in persons with type 2 diabetes treated by diet or diet and tablets, in people with type 2 who use insulin, and in people with type 1 diabetes, who cannot afford blood glucose testing or who, for other reasons, may not use it.
- Because it is significantly cheaper than blood glucose monitoring, it has a very important role to play in settings where blood glucose monitoring is not accessible due to cost, or where blood glucose monitoring can only be done relatively infrequently. This occurs in some situations in both developing and developed countries.
- Its use should be determined by the individual health care professional in conjunction with the person with diabetes, taking into account all the circumstances.