Patient self-monitoring of blood glucose has emerged over the past 5 years as a practical clinical tool that permits patients and their physicians to define, measure, and achieve treatment targets that result in improved glycemic control. When used in the context of an overall program of diabetes management, SMBG is an integral component of treatment rather than an end point in assessing outcome. The nature of the traditional relationship between patients and health care providers has changed as a consequence of this, with patients becoming active partners in the management of their diabetes. The attainment of excellent glycemic control, facilitated by SMBG, has initiated a new era in diabetes management. The potential promise is for the lessening of the frequency and severity of the chronic complications of diabetes.
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