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You may wonder why it's so important to test your blood sugar every day. Many people don't know how to interpret high readings or what to do about it. Sometimes you may think that the doctor is more focused on the hemoglobin A1C and isn't as interested in the daily blood sugar results. You also might not be motivated to check your blood glucose if you don't understand how you can benefit from the information.
You may become frustrated or obsessed if you don't have the "right numbers" or feel like a failure if your blood glucose numbers are high. Blood glucose monitoring may seem hard to do at first, but as you learn to use the results to understand your body better and manage your treatment, it will become easier. Here are some general tips:
The blood glucose number is a reminder, if used correctly, and will help you take control of your diabetes and not allow your diabetes to take control of you. Monitoring and controlling your blood glucose delays the development of long-term complications.
How do you feel emotionally when your blood glucose results are in range? Out of range? Does this affect how you manage your diabetes? What are some of your ideas for ways to handle these times?
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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Monitoring is the key in beating diabetes
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about an year back. My doctor did not start any medications immediately and advised me life style change. When I was diagnosed, my HbA1C was 8+. But with lifestyle change within 3 months I was below 6.
It is very important in this disease to monitor yourself. I used a web based software to log and monitor my parameters [www.friendofdiabetic.com]. The more you log your parameters, more it acts as a feedback to improve. I don’t think I would have achieved A1C of 6 without monitoring what I was doing.
This is a very basic but crucial question about diabetes care. I am 66 years old. I have diabetes Type 2. I am on Lantus and Novolog. I know how to adjust insulin for the carbohydrates I eat. I follow a meal plan on exchanges. The problem arises with adding exercise. Though I hate exercise I have found that about 20 minutes on a treadmill daily has a positive, sustained effect on my blood sugar levels. Yet every bit of advice I have run across about how to interpret blood sugar trends falls short of advice on how to adjust insulin for exercise. In anything I have read so far there is usually some vague reference to turning down the basal level if you are on a pump. I am not on a pump, and I do not plan to take on a pump at this point. So, what to do? I know from experience that there is the prospect of sliding into an early morning low blood sugar. I hate having my sleep interrupted. How do I see this before it happens? Which number trend(s) should I pay attention to and how should I interpret them? The most important question is: what is the safest way to adjust my insulin over time as I pursue regular, moderate exercise? I test before meals, and at bedtime. I walk the treadmill about half an hour after breakfast and never more than 25 minutes.
I have a friend who believes that it is incorrect to test blood sugar levels before meals since you don't know for sure what you're going to eat. Rather, insulin need should be tested after a meal, based on what the test shows at that time. She is a type II.
Shirley: USA uses mg/dl and Canada uses mmol. Multiply your number times 18 to get mg/dl or divide the mg/dl number by 18 to get the blood sugar in mmol.
You did not say what insulin you are on. We instruct our clients to increase their insulin dose by 10% as needed every 3 days. There also may be another reason why your blood sugars may be running high. You may need to check with your provider.
Debbie: You should make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible so that he or she can evaluate. You probably need to go on medication to bring your blood glucose down to your goal range.
I have diabetes but Im not on any meds.Last night my sugar was 299,when should I go to the hospital for help,is there a number that can be dangerous
I maintained a reading of 6.3 and 5.5 throughout the day then spiked to 10.4 with the addition of Corn and Peas to my DinnerWhat impact is this having on my health. I get the occasional Spike but try to keep between 5.5 or less and 7.0.
Are the US and Canadian readings similar? Canadian machines read 5.6 or 8.4 or 10.5. My problem is higher readings in a.m. (8.4) when I have not changed my diet-but have reduced the portions. I eat well for my condition and have previously had a morning reading of 4.6 approx. for many years. I've increased my insulin from 16 units (2 x day) to 20 units and it is not helping. Any suggestions?
@Cheryl - Vegan diets may or may not be good for you, depending on what you are eating. For instance, if you are eating a lot of peas, white potatoes, corn or broccoli, you will probably see your glucose readings climb. It's because they are starchy vegetables that rapidly convert to sugars as your body metabolizes them. I made this mistake when I was first diagnosed but asked my physician to send me to a diabetes educator at our hospital. It made all the difference.
Weight is related to diabetes, but I believe it is the disease that causes the weight gain. I was 97 healthy pounds before my own diagnosis and maintained my glucose control using diet and exercise alone the first 10 years. I now have to use Metformin, but I am relatively controlled with exercise. I know a number of Type 2 diabetics (adult onset), who maintained very healthy weights prior to being diagnosed too. is. How does the practice of medicine explain that?
Getting at least 15 minutes of vigorous exercise a day helps, and getting at least 30 minutes a day of cardio in helps me feel so much more energetic.
Sleeping well seems to have more to do with my readings than what I eat. I went to Hawaii and didn't take my vitamins, because I was out of my normal routine. I ate a lot of fish, veggies, and fruit. I drank coconut water or mango & papaya water and started every day with a big breakfast. I slept soundly. I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks! My doctor can't explain why.
Carrots are real high glycemic index as are bananas, watermelon and apples. Juice is also not as good as the whole fruit. They go through your system too fast and leave you hungry. You want to eat more low glycemic index foods to stabilize your blood sugar. I just found out the day before yesterday I have diabetes. I have been on a plant based (pretty much vegan) diet since July and thought my health was improving, lost 28 lbs. but my blood sugar was 384. Went for more bloodwork and testing and will go back to the Dr. Tues. Also supposed to see a nutritionist. I am frustrated in the lack of information on meal planning out there. I am thinking maybe I am eating too much fruit. I don't drink soda or use sugar in my iced tea or hot tea. Don't drink coffee, a little wine occasionally (dry white, maybe 1X week). I am a teacher and love to cook so can develop my own meals/plan (don't really trust Dr. or Nutritionist-they gave me a pamplet that was so out of whack with the way I eat, I just have to find another meal plan). She started me on Metformin (500 mg a.m. to start and changed my blood pressure meds. I have heard that these meds cause heart problems. Any truth to that? I have an impending hernia sugery in the next month and they need my blood sugar down for that. Help!
I reread Jay's comment and it really help me. I seem to be having this "dawning effect" If I don't eat my sugar still shoots up like crazy. I find it I eat something healthy it levels out better. Today was cantalope, last night was rotini with meat sauce. Again I love to eat. So trying to fool myself is anxiety, No pop or cookies until I master this. This website is great as I can do meal planning and find things that will satisfy me. I like baby carrots , remember like not love. But no chocolate right now. I found out I can have fruit juice as well. Minute made lemonade shot me up 100 points with only a half a glass. I both sugarfree hawaiin punch singles.
This comment is for jay and the person that took fasting glucose levels. I was just diagnosed this week. You can imagine the anxiety. The first day I took the Metformin I was sick alll night. The pharmacy says take with food. So now I am having various highs and lows. Eventually I will be taking 1700 mg. This first week she told me to take 850 mg a day. But again when I don't eat it still goes up. I am having headaces. But I plan to do all I can to not take shots. I found popcorn is a great snack. I can eat more of that than potatoe chips. I love to snack. I almost gave up soda. I plan to try a little when I get this under control. Hopefully with a reading of under 140 I can have a coke. I hate diet soda. I love chocolate. Good luck.
Dear nancy or peggy well i really have a had time to control my diabetes i use Amariyl 1mg In the morning my blood glucose is 150,140 120 etc but sometime when i don,t use my medication it goes down but when i use my medication it goes to low and i get dizzy and nervous right away i have to eat something.My question is? Is it alright to use my medication when i need it thats what my doctor says. my a1c is 734
I have recently been asked to test my blood glucose, so I'm just learning. I haven't had much guidance yet, but thought the desireable target number was under 100. I find that when my test result is about 90, I do not feel good - tired, a little weak, a little light headed and if walking on a treadmil, a little shaky. I've read that some say to aim for 70. I think I'd pass out if I went that low for very long. Is the target range very different for people? I also went from 117 lbs. to 108 lbs. in the one month that I have lowered my carbs, and did not want to lose that weight. Elsie
I don't understand what my blood glucose level numbers are when I get the results by mail from my
The numbers have been anywhere between 88 and 105.
Can anyone help me to understand?
Since I get my results by mail, I hope these are normal
but I have never had a fasting test.
Only random blood glucose tests.
Do my numbers sound OK?
Thanks for any help,
Vernita, you need to get your blood sugars under control. Ask to see a Certified Diabetes Educator to help you learn how to adjust your insulin doses.
I have had diabetes for several years and this year it has gotten worst and the Dr. have to put me on Regular and Levermir insilm and test four times a day. It is hard but I have to do it. I take from three to five shoot daily. My level in almost never down to the 90's it is always in the 2 and 3 hundreds. It is hard for me to get on a diet and stick to it. What can I do before I affect all my organs?
High AM BG's?
Well got to tell you..
1. If Taking more Meds/Pills At Bedtime doesn't get the job done?
2. Then it's onto Step #2 and that is taking some Insulin... Lantus or Levimire
3. And Don't cringe at doing that, since anytime your BG's go above 90's? You're doing damage to your body..
4. And do a test, getting up with 150 and then how long does it take for it to get back down to 90's?
I'll bet not for several hours..
90x 24 = 2,160 tot pts
Try testing 8x for a 24 hr day and see if you're exceeding that Tot. #...
When you get up
3 hrs after meals
We need to put more pressure on the medical and Ins. business to provide More Test strips and better Test meters and Better Insulins and CGM's..to Everyone..
We really need to have Non Diabetic #'s and not higher.. that's ave 80-90's or 4.5-5% A1c's..
We have the Technology , just not the will to spend the $..
A Simple National Sales Tax on all Fast Food of Just 1% would pay for it..
To Add more Aniexity?
Strive for A Low of 75 and not any higher than 140 at Any time..
That's 1 ,2,3 after meals too..
We really need a 5% A1c and not higher
Don't settle for any higher.. Do and take whatever it takes to get that kind of A1c
At 66 I have had type 2 for 10 years and the first year I was in denial because I wasn't obese and I was active. I couldn't understand how this could happen to me. My father found he was diabetic in his 60s but , I found diabetes runs in my father's family (mostly they are out of the country) .
I have gone from controlling by food and exercises to pills to Byetta to insulin. I dreaded injections. I have taken Novalog and Levamir for a year and a half. My last blood sugar was 7.6, down a little. But before that I was in the 6-7 range for most years. I crave sweets and get depressed when I have to deny myself. I deny myself most of the time. When I don't, I pay with high glucose before I go to bed. I test at wake up, before dinner and bedtime. On good days I only do 20 units Levemir before bed. Lousy days I also inject Novalog 2 units AM & dinner. Sometimes I have to take 10 or15 Levemir if my bedtime glucose shows 130 or less. I chew gum a lot to try and satisfy my sweet tooth. I follow a six small meals plan and most days I don't have the morning and afternoon snacks because I am not hungry. But between dinner and bedtime is the problem. Sometimes I feel like locking myself in the bedroom after dinner. I try not to go to the supermarket or not bake. Eating out is a pain because I have to test and maybe inject. I try to do the treadmill three times a week. Sometimes I just feel over whelmed trying to manage diabetes.
I take glyburide 5 mg. & metformin 1000mg. twice daily with meals. I recently fasted for blood work & checked my levels at home also. Fasting from 8:00PM, I had a reading of 78 at 12:30AM, another of 112 @ 5:30, and a third test at 9:20 of "152" and had nothing to eat or drink. It's common for me to have readings like this and one of my doctors said this was a "DAWNING EFFECT", which causes my body to pump sugar into my blood to get the body ready for the day's activities.
Is there a better way for me to take my meds to offset some of these drastic swings of readings ???? OR any other suggestions ????
If my A1c numbers are good (the last two were 5.7 and 5.5), is it really necessary to test the glucose levels? Could they vary greatly and still have good A1c results? (I doubt it, since when I was on other medications and the glucose results bounced up and down, I felt miserable, and was starving, and would get dizzy, but since I have been on the 10mcg. Byetta three times a day, my highest was 6.7, then several 6.1 and 6.4, now down to 5.5 and 5.7, and I feel much better.)
Hi bloggers, the up and down of the blood glucoses is part of having diabetes. If you are in your target range 75% it's going well. Remember a blood glucose is a number only and not a personal reflection of you as a person.
My son has really had some highs and lows with his sugars. He barely eats anything, exercises like crazy and worries about his insulin usage. Is there anything that I can tell him to reasure him that he won't go blind or die because of these ups and downs.
I read your tips. I have had diabetes 2 since 1994. Since 2001 my sugar was controlled by Avandia 8mg a day. Last year I had a severe case of gastritis and the doctor took me off Avandia and I started on Byetta 5.....no control. Im now on Byetta 10 and waiting to see how that works. I eat about the same time each day and sometimes my sugar is out of whack even though Ive had the same food the day before. Any comments or advice? Another thing is diabetes is rampant in my family on my Mothers side.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to always have an ideal blood sugar number. That only caused me to avoid testing it at all. But now I test frequently. I still get disappointed in myself sometimes when my blood sugar is too high, but at least I know and can take steps to bring it down. Frequent testing has taught me so much about how everything affects my blood sugar, from having an alcoholic drink to getting angry at someone. Sometimes it goes up or down based on what you've done; sometimes it fluctuates because of things that are beyond your control. It's a frustation. But frequent testing seems to be the best way to manage it.
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