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Old 01-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
robin09
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Need advice.. diabetes

You are all such a wealth of information, that here I am.... Newly diagnosed with diabetes... and high cholesterol.

Not a happy camper here, I have enough going on in my life, that this is just the cherry on top!

My dr. gave me the freestyle promise meter. Have no insurance other than medicare (on disability) no prescription plan, I am floored by the price of the test strips... trying to digest this.

As I am trying to research, I saw the Reli-on monitor.. and it's test strips are much cheaper... Is there a big difference in these meters? on the test strips? I know how I am, and if this is going to be expensive, I can see me doing it less than I should... Any advice would be welcome, whether dietary or medicines....

Thanks so much, you're the first ones I turn to...
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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First of all, you have Type 2 diabetes, correct? Have you had sessions with a certified diabetes educator and a nutritionist? Some doctors do not know about the existence of such education so they don't know to prescribe it. I'm not positive but I think this is covered under Medicare. (It certainly should be.) There may also be a diabetes support group in your community.

My CDE explained to me how to use my meter to find out how various foods affect my blood glucose level and discussed with me how often to test. I tested a lot when I was first diagnosed and not as often now, three years later. My nutritionist set up a suggested meal plan for me based on my food preferences and my lifestyle, that would not only keep my blood glucose level as close to goal as possible but would help me lose weight, along with increased exercise. I was taught carb counting and what is a serving of various types of food.

I use a Freestyle meter. I like that I can test somewhere other than on my fingertips since I am a professional transcriptionist and sore fingers and typing would not be a good combination. My lancets and test strips are covered by my insurance. I have a friend who uses a Relion meter and strips and I remember her telling me the strips cost less than others. Often stores have offers so that you can get meters free or at a reduced price. They make their money on the strips. You can check online sources for better deals than in stores.

The magazines Diabetes Forecast and Diabetes Self-Management may have meter reviews. They probably have web sites that would have this information. The ADA has put out a lot of good books. Their Month of Meals cookbooks have been helpful to me.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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I have type 1 and have been using BG meters since they were larger than my current lap top. Alot has changed however the price of strips isn't one of them. While pregnant with my last son I used my alloted 900 strips in the first 2 months of my 3 month RX leaving me to buy enough for at least a month. At that point I bought the reli-on meter. The strips are soooo much cheaper. It doesn't have the bells an whistles of the other meters so you will need to document your results on paper, but as far as accuracy goes they are simular as a much more reasonable price.

Good luck
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadie22 View Post
First of all, you have Type 2 diabetes, correct? Have you had sessions with a certified diabetes educator and a nutritionist? Some doctors do not know about the existence of such education so they don't know to prescribe it. I'm not positive but I think this is covered under Medicare. (It certainly should be.) There may also be a diabetes support group in your community.

My CDE explained to me how to use my meter to find out how various foods affect my blood glucose level and discussed with me how often to test. I tested a lot when I was first diagnosed and not as often now, three years later. My nutritionist set up a suggested meal plan for me based on my food preferences and my lifestyle, that would not only keep my blood glucose level as close to goal as possible but would help me lose weight, along with increased exercise. I was taught carb counting and what is a serving of various types of food.

I use a Freestyle meter. I like that I can test somewhere other than on my fingertips since I am a professional transcriptionist and sore fingers and typing would not be a good combination. My lancets and test strips are covered by my insurance. I have a friend who uses a Relion meter and strips and I remember her telling me the strips cost less than others. Often stores have offers so that you can get meters free or at a reduced price. They make their money on the strips. You can check online sources for better deals than in stores.

The magazines Diabetes Forecast and Diabetes Self-Management may have meter reviews. They probably have web sites that would have this information. The ADA has put out a lot of good books. Their Month of Meals cookbooks have been helpful to me.
Thankyou for taking the time to respond... I am so confused right now.... I live in a small town, an hour or more away from any big city. There is no certified Diabetes specialist here. I didn't even know one existed. I did see a nutrionist, who discussed diabetes and carbohydrates. Considering I'm a carb addict, this is really difficult for me. I've been watching and measuring everything I'm eating and testing twice a day.

A friend showed me how to use the meter, the dr wasn't sure. I guess it's gonna be a long road ahead of me...
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robin09 View Post
A friend showed me how to use the meter, the dr wasn't sure. I guess it's gonna be a long road ahead of me...
Yike! That's a HUGE red flag.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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I am a type 2 diabetic and was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. I didn't test at all for years. When I became insulin dependent, testing became a necessity. I use a One Touch meter because my insurance covers the test strips. If I didn't have insurance, I would be using the meter with the cheapest strips!

I totally agree with seeing a diabetes educator. Even if you have to travel, it is worth the time and effort. My CDE was the person who finally got me to take the diabetes seriously. My doctor never seemed too concerned and never pushed the issue of testing my glucose levels, so I never bothered either. But now I am pretty vigilant. I have been able to get enough control to get off the insulin. And if I am exercising regularly, my A1C level is usually well under 7.

I am not a fanatic about diet. I'll save all my carbs for dessert sometimes! But I do try to adhere to a fairly healthy diet and limit my carbs to 30 to 45 per meal. And watch the fats. Exercising will help with cholesterol levels as well as your blood sugar control. And if you need to drop some weight it will help with that too. I miss having a plateful of pasta but have learned to settle for a small serving and a huge salad.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:41 PM   #7
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I think I saw the CDE on one visit and the nutritionist and CDE on a second, so it's not like you're making a whole lot of trips. If you have a local health department in your community, there may be resources there.

Type 2 Diabetes The First Year by Gretchen Becker may be a good book to read, and there are others. Older books may have outdated information. I actually subscribe to the magazines I mentioned. My CDE gave me coupons for free first issues so I could see if I liked them.

Plan your meals as best you can. Learn about how many grams of carbs are in the foods you like to eat. Plan so you can still enjoy your favorite foods in moderation in combination with healthy proteins and healthy fats. Nothing is truly forbidden but you need to plan portions and some things need to occasional treats, not an everyday thing. Calorie King software or the like can be helpful. Exercise is key.

Learning healthy eating habits benefit the whole family. It can seem like work at first but after a while it's just your lifestyle.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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The reli-on meters are just as accurate as any of the others, but as someone pointed out, there aren't any bells or whistles.

As far as Freestyle goes, look into the program that comes with the meter that gives you a discounted price on the strips. If that doesn't work, try some of the other meter companies. If you dont have insurance paying for it, then it really doesn't matter what brand of meter you use.

Also, keep an eye on the coupons in the paper. There have been a lot of coupons for meters and strips lately. I had a bunch for $20 off a bottle of Freestyle strips - you might be able to buy the coupons on ebay or something.

The other thing you can do, which is more of a pain in the bum, is to watch the store ads for times when the meters are free after rebate. I know Rite Aid, Walgreen, and CVS do this frequently. You may not need the meter, but they usually come with 10 test strips too.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:55 AM   #9
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You can get a one touch meter free:
https://www.onetouchdiabetes.com/offers
Its a pretty accratrate meter. My grandmother has one and says its easy to understand.


I havent tried this one but it looks legit (and gives you a choice) for free meters.
http://free-glucose-meter.com/
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkychunkymonkey View Post
You can get a one touch meter free:
https://www.onetouchdiabetes.com/offers
Its a pretty accratrate meter. My grandmother has one and says its easy to understand.


I havent tried this one but it looks legit (and gives you a choice) for free meters.
http://free-glucose-meter.com/

The problem is not with the meters--it is with the price of the strips. Thankfully Medicare covers this!
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:10 AM   #11
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For those who are using meters with no "bells and whistles" if you want to track your glucose levels and graph them, there are a couple of free apps for smart phones. I've been playing around with two of them - Glucol LIte and OnTrack. I think my meter will do a lot of the same stuff (except for the graphing) but it is more fun to put the information into the phone!
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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any meter is better than no meter. Relion is just about as good as any other, and none are all that great. The FDA allows any meter to be 20% plus or minus the actually blood sugar, which is a huge point of contention for those using insulin and needing those readings to be accurate. If you're not using insulin yet and you're simply testing blood sugar, any meter will do for what you need right now.

No meter cost money. Let me say that again, NEVER pay money for the actual meter. They are free. The companies want you to get their meter so you will be gouged in price for their strips Watch ads at the various pharmacies and you'll see that each week they will have at least one meter that is free. Most of those meters come with 10 or 20 strips. Depending on how often you check you could keep grabbing free meters. They may be different every week, but that doesn't matter.

Also, many of the strip companies (abbott does - freestyle) has programs where you can call up and they will give you strips at a discount. Call them all and find out.

But in a pinch, if there is nothing else, by all means there's no problem using that reli-on.

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Old 03-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #13
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I have used the Reli-on strips in the past. I too am on Medicare (disability). I would also call Medicare and see if you qualify for the drug program. They were helpful to me in getting it. I pay very little for my insluins pens. I think my strips (I now use the Bayer countour) are covered by part B of the Medicare. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The problem is not with the meters--it is with the price of the strips. Thankfully Medicare covers this!
Unfortunately if you aren't on Medicare yet and do not have insurance it is on you. 100 Reli-on strips are about $36 where most of the others are $100 or more. Significant difference. You can always make yourself a notebook for recording results.
BTW I suspect that Reli-on strips are made by one of the major manufacturers same as the Reli-on insulin which is made by Lily.
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