Glucose Monitoring as an Impediment to Improving Glycemic Control: A Case Report.

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Diabetes mellitus is increasing in frequency and is associated with disabling acute and chronic complications. There is evidence to indicate that excellent glucose control may retard the development and/or progression of these complications. In order to optimize diabetic control, patients are encouraged to monitor their glucose frequently. We describe a patient who provided inaccurate glucose monitoring results, delaying effective management of hisprogressively increasing glycosylated hemoglobin level. The diagnostic due to his erroneous glucose monitoring results was the lack of intra-day variation in this patient on insulin therapy. Moreover, glucose records within the patient's glucometer pointed to a much less frequent glucose monitoring than the written data provided by the patient. The glucometer was accurate when used by the patient under direct observation. It remains unclear whether this patient deliberately misled his providers or if the erroneous data reflected underlying cognitive dysfunction. Providers are encouraged to approximate average blood sugars based on glycosylated hemoglobin values and compare this to home monitoring results provided by the patient. Primary providers should also expect a certain degree of variability when reviewing home blood sugar values with their patients (on insulin therapy) and consider further investigation should the numbers lack such variation. Clinicians are urged to inspect the actual glucose readings on the patient's glucometer as well as inspecting written glucoserecords. Observing the patient's technique and accuracy when using their personal glucometer should also be considered.