Is the doctor nuts or am I?

How often do you all check your blood sugar & how often do you think it is appropriate to check an 18 month old on a normal basis (not sick, ect.)

Benjamin was very sick this past week & we ended up spending a few nights at the hospital.  He wouldn't eat or drink so he needed an iv.  He is going great now & that is not why I am posting just wanted you to know the background :).

While we were there I encountered a resident that seemed very uninformed about diabetes.  He asked me how often I check Benjamins bs & I said usually 8 times a day (am, mid morning, lunch, mid afternoon, supper, bedtime for him, bedtime for me, and once during the night).  This doctor acted like I was a really overprotective mother who was putting her son through unnecessary pokes.  (Yes he actually said that!)  He recommended that I only needed to check 3 maybe 4 times a day unless I was seeing symptoms of a low.

So be honest with I checking to often???

(I am still checking that often & I plan to discuss it with our endo the next time we talk)



I wasn't diagnosed until I was 5, and I've never had a child with diabetes. So my advice is completely not related to experience, only what I would do if I had a child (which means feel free to ignore everything I say) :o)


Because he is so young and can't really tell you if he feels high or low, at this point I don't think you are checking too much. If he begins to fight it or as he gets older and is more aware of his blood sugars, then you might be able to do fewer tests and feel comfortable about it. As many people have mentioned before, it's easier to to keep control of your BGs the more often you test. I am not someone who tests very often. I struggle to get 4-6x in a day (usually leaning around 3 a day). However, I always keep supplies with me, and I always check if I'm feeling high or low.

As he becomes more aware of his symptoms, he will tell you how he feels. Eventually he will be responsible for his own care. For now, you make the choices for him. In a few years, he will need to make his own. Your resident probably just isn't familiar with how to properly care for D. Don't blame him--he's never lived with it or tried to care for a child with it.

No - you're not nuts.  I'd rather you be 'nuts' than not checking enough!

If his numbers are all over the place and you never know what number you're going to get, then I say yes check.  But if he's pretty consistent most of the time you could probably drop one or two. Like maybe the 'bedtime for him' check since you're checking twice after that.  That way he can have a poke-free bedtime?    As he ages you could probably consider getting rid of the overnight check just because it's not really part of a 'normal' life to be woken up every night.  Just a thought, but always do what you're comfortable with.

First off they have no right to tell you that is too much! this is your child..besides being a diabtetic for so long I can tell you those lows can happen fast and they are dangerous same with highs. Those can kill and a figure prick WILL NOT. I check 4 times a day or more..just depends how smooth of a day it is. But for a child that young I can see needing to test more. I think that sounds about perfect.

finger prick*

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finger ****




juvenation thinks it's a bad word. don't worry about it :o)

wow that's sad hehe. My bad though...finally got it. I will use poke from now on :)

you are not nuts but when i asked for a bigger rx for more than 200 strips i was told it was enough. funny seeing i have to buy a extra 100 a month out of pocket. i will never tell my daughter she cant test.

You are absolutley not nuts.  You and he are the ones managing this every day, so you know what's best for your specific situation.  I think doctors can vary widely on what they think is right, and how much they want to "control" your care. 

For me, switching from an endocrinologist (there are only 2 in my town) to an internist (who also has other T1 patients) made a huge difference - they have completely different attitudes.  My internist has been so supportive of me wanting to get a CGM, testing more, etc...  pretty much I tell her what I need, and she agrees.  My old endo would only prescribe me the kind of pump he was already familiar with - my internist had the attitude of "well, once you get it, you can teach me how to use it!"  I realize my situation is a lot different, as I have a lot of D-care under my belt already, but I'm trying to make the point that the opinion of one medical professional isn't always what's right for you.  Trust your gut.

I hope you reported him to the hospital for giving incorrect medical advice. Take his name and post it so everyone will be able to tell him to take a hike if  they come in to contact with him in the future. Hopefully he will not harm anyone in the future.

You are dong great!! 

This comment probably has a basis in research that suggests no additional benefit comes from testing more than 4 times a day.  That of course opens up a whole can of worms about research design and the difference between research results for glucose control versus not worrying.  Keep up the good work.


Eight times a day is NOT TOO MUCH.  I'm not trying to freak you out either, but I just went through my checker and counted that I checked eleven times today.  Granted, I am a busy student and I am starting a new workout plan so I'm trying to be extra careful, but I believe firmly that tight control will result in the least amount of future complications as possible.  I'm not saying to poke his finger every half hour, but more checks = more peace of mind and better control.  Good luck:)


For managing Type 1 Diabetes there is no study that has found that 4 times a day testing is enough to successfully manage BGs. With Type 2 there is a recent study published in Canada that supports the ineffectiveness of +4 times a day testing. With the track record of Canadian Diabetes testing, I would not give it much credence.  Could be another Canadian medical myth is borne again.

With T1D the 4 times a day recommendation for testing shows that the MD to be, should not practice on humans!

Blood tests are only one picture at one time... they do not show trends... as we all know.  So even though your little guy might not like the pricks it is still better to know what is going on. 

That being said... Im an AVID BLOOD TESTER... lol... i Just switched to the pump (which by the way is AMAZING)... and while i'm getting used to the new system i have been testing like crazy.  The more I know the better control I can achieve and the better life I get to lead.  Right now I have been averaging at about 17 times a day... a lil excessive maybe BUT  AT LEAST I KNOW WHATs going on



You are definitely doing the right thing. My son was a baby at diagnosis and I still check him up to 8 times a day, sometimes more, even though he is almost 4! I have NEVER been told by ANYONE that I check him too much.

When he's in good control for a while I will skip a couple of between meal checks, maybe not check as often at night, but your guy is still too little to communicate with you, so keep up the good job. Not to mention, it's nearly impossible at that age to tell if it's just a baby/toddler fit or if his BG is causing it. He's still newly diagnosed too isn't he? The "doctor" was nuts.

In my experience, Dr. Mom knows better than a newly minted M.D. - especially when it comes to T1 diabetes. Don't feel bad about checking too often especially when your baby is sick. Since he can't effectively tell you yet how he feels, it's important to KNOW with a simple bg check.


This may put things in perspective- On a NORMAL day we check at LEAST 8 times. The result? great A1Cs and a little girl that feels good most of the time.

- Red

I think you'll find that unfortunately this is a very common comment coming from drs and nurses who aren't familiar with T1. I hear it every few years. I usually have a set response like, "I think you are thinking of recommendations for T2 diabetics. I make sure to test before and after every meal as well as whenever I feel funny to help me monitor my insulin, carb and exercises doses which change throughout the day for a T1 diabetic. This is my only way of knowing whether I am going too high or low which is a serious concern for anyone on insulin. Blood sugars typically fluctuate constantly throughout the day." Usually they act like they are happy to learn something new if you say it in a friendly yet confident manner.

When  I was pregnant, I tested once an hour. During my many trips to the ER (overly nervous high-risk OB, lol), I'd have to give the whole D pregnancy = multiple tests each day explanation. I was thinking of printing out an informative brochure by the last month, ha, ha.

[quote user="sjwprod"]

I hope you reported him to the hospital for giving incorrect medical advice. Take his name and post it so everyone will be able to tell him to take a hike if  they come in to contact with him in the future. Hopefully he will not harm anyone in the future.



I don't know if what he said was THAT serious. I used to work at a diabetes clinic. We had several patients who were simply burned out on the blood testing because they did so many in a day (10-12). Because they were at risk of not testing at all, we told them to allow themselves a little break - test less often (4-5x/d) to prevent themselves from stopping all together. For the most part, it worked. They felt less burdened and were still able to keep their blood sugars in good control. Of course, we always told them to check when they felt high or low. Sometimes, people just get tired of taking care of their diabetes and simply need a chance to take a break, and for someone to tell them "hey, it's okay to be burned out. you're allowed to feel tired."

my son is 5 and we check him 4 times a day when all is going well. if he was high or low at lunch we will usually have him checked before recess or afternoon snack. If he feels low somewhere in between that is an extra check (usually unless it is close to a meal). sometimes we check at night (but not usually).

I have a friend who has a 15 yr old with type 1 and downs and i believe she checks at least 7-8 times per day for him...

so you aren't nuts for sure. if ezekiel was that young or couldn't identify his lows we would check more for sure.

Thanks for all the encouragement!  In my mommy gut I know I need to check him several times a day.   As hard as I try, I just can't "read" his signs of lows & highs yet, and since he can't tell me it is the only way I can know he is ok.   He is still all over the place too.  I am hoping that will get better, but after 2 months he is still keeping me & his doctors guessing about what his little body is going to do.  

One thing I learned from this entire hospitalization is that there are a lot of medical professionals who have the best intentions, but they don't have the knowledge about diabetes that I do now?  Does that make sense?  I don't mean to insult the education & intelligence of the doctors & nurses, but no one knows Benjamin's needs more than me (& maybe his endo who is awesome!).  I have to speak up & advocate for him.  They didn't even have the right size needles in the pediatric unit for giving his insulin (he takes a really tiny amount), we had to use the ones I had in our bag.

Thanks for helping me not feel so bad about all the glucous tests!  I love the support here.