New to this, when to test?

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Montana1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/29/2007 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I just recently joined and I am already getting tons of good information. Thank you all for that. I am newly diagnosed with insulin resistance. I am having tons of questions and if I may rely on all of your experience for answers. Being early in the morning the first thing that comes to mind is when to check my blood sugar? should I do it first thing when I wake up? or should I wait to do it right before breakfast? To me it could be a good 45 minutes to an hour before I touch any food. I usually check two hours after the start of my meal, but my contour meter has a preset alart that will ring two and a half hours after the start of a meal. Some place I read to check 2-4 hours after, but to wait 4 hours seems too long. My last question for now is how much to test? My doctor suggested once a day. I had to call her to write my prescription for more test strips. Ok. Thank you for any responses.

Montana1

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   

When I first started using the glucose monitor, I tested a lot!  I was a serial tester!  I tested when I got up, before I had my coffee, after I ate, midmorning, all throughout the day and before bed.  I tested an hour after eating, 2 hours, 3 and 4.  At random.  I wanted to know my blood sugar all day long - I'm not kidding.  eyes I kept a log (which I made up myself and printed - I have 18 pages, two-sided, with 4 days' worth of information on each side) so I would know what and how food, activity, drink, snack, exercise, no food, you-name-it affected my blood sugar.  I highlighted really good readings and noted what I'd eaten and done beforehand, as well as high ones.  That's how I figured out what to eat.  I don't do that now but I defend my obsessiveness at that time.  The idea of blood sugar rising and falling was new to me, I was ignorant, I needed to know what affected it.  It was how I learned what I could and couldn't do to control it.  I also needed more strips in the beginning, so the doctor re-wrote the prescription for more during the month.  There were days I tested 10x.  I did that for months, kept detailed logs as I said, until I was comfortable knowing what food to eat.  The testing was only for me.  My doctor has never looked at my meter but does blood work every 6 months now (fasting and A1c and cholesterol).  In the meantime, because of the no-carb diet and strength training, I've lost weight and built muscle - all of which brings down blood sugar.  But my head is not totally in the sand, I'm still diabetic and if I were to take the glucose tolerance test tomorrow, it would show that I can't process carbs normally.  Others have different experience, I'm sure, but this is mine.  Also, as we've mentioned here, one of the best books to read on this is Diabetes Solution by Richard Bernstein, MD.  Thanks to Ferusc for telling us about him. 

yeah


Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Montana,
I remember Lanie's 'obsessive testing' days because I was a mod here then. She had a good healthy fear of a disease that can maim before it kills and she refused to be lost in ignorance when the answers to her own health questions were right in front of her on her meter. She did an intensive self training to learn those answers and I admire her intensity. I, on the other hand, learned that stressing about the sugars drove them even higher and have been a bit more gentle with myself. I just follow her advice in most cases and then apply it to my food plan.

Simply put, removing most grain-based foods from your food plan and replacing them with hearty vegetables helps your sugars. Increasing the amount of monosaturated fats (olive oil, peanuts, avocados, etc.) along with a healthy amount meat proteins that contain fat (no more six pieces of fried chicken!) will help your sugars. Eating whole fresh fruit with all the fiber it contains (not juices!) will help your sugars.

Sometimes this leads to unorthodox eating habits. I can take the cheese and toppings off of a large piece of pizza and drop them on a nice bed of romaine lettuce and Voila! I have a pizza salad! A turkey sub becomes a rollup of deli sliced turkey in lettuce with cheese and mayo. Noodles are made from thin slices of zucchini or cabbage, boiled or stir fried and steamed. Spaghetti squash fills in for the real thing. If you read back in the posts you will find we have a ton of ways to eat well, delicious and healthy. And then we share!

By the way, glad to make a new friend, but not for the reason of diabetes.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


tutorgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Montana, I still test obsessively...have been since this summer trying to figure out what foods do what to me. And that's what you need to do. Jeannie can eat fruit. I can't. It always sends my blood sugar for a ride. Breaks my heart because I love fruit. Even when I try apples with peanut butter it sends it up...but occasionally I do indulge in that. So you need to find out what your own body can tolerate. Everyone is a little different, although all diabetics have to eliminate "most" carbs. And like Lanie says, you really can eat deliciously. There are a huge number of cookbooks and sites devoted to the low carb way of eating. Last night we had blts...my husband's was on break...mine on cheese puffs. As Rachel Ray would say "Yummo!" And I am 1 lb. away from loosing 50 lbs. since starting this. So, it really isn't deprivation. Go back through the threads and look for the eating discussions. Hugely informative. Keep up the great work!
===================
>Karen<
~Forum Moderator/Diabetes~


Montana1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/29/2007 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Lanie and Jeannie,
Thank you so much for your responses. You have no idea how much I need guidance and I thank you for that. If not for the price of the supplies I suspect I would be just like Lanie at the beginning. I would live with a needle in my finger :-) I suspect the foods that bring my bs up and I do my best to stay away from them. Jeannie, my salads are much like yours, my husband is always looking at what new things I am spiking up my salads with, though they might look strange, they are never boring to me and I am not growing tired of them. That is the key. Variety right?
Thank you guys, thank you for making me feel welcomed in the forum.

Montana

gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 12/30/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Montana

After 18 months, I still test 5 times a day. In the morning before I eat or drink (except water), before I go to bed at night, and 1 meal per day (pre, 2 hrs after, 3 hours after). For new meals, I always test at pre, 2, 3, and 4 hours after and then before my next meal. I do this because I find that if the meal is heavy in fats and or proteins, my post meal peak is delayed by at least 1 hour and sometimes even more. So at 2 hours, I may look just fine but at 3 or 4 hours- I'm higher. I also find that the peak is delayed if I linger over a meal (such as when I'm out at parties or at a restaurant). I keep all my data in a small Access database that I created. Over time, I have determined where and what I can eat while doing the least damage to myself. I was surprised to find that I can actually have a slice of pizza from my favorite local place, but Pizza Hut or Donato's kills me- because of my testing regime.

I always test foods as I consume them- for instance fruit and yogurt- not fruit or yogurt alone, because for me the results are always different and I prefer to eat my yogurt with berries.

I record what I eat at each meal also- in terms of total carbs, fiber, protein, total fat, and calories and keep tallies of the percentages of carbs/protein/fat- this has helped me determine my minimum carb and protein requirements, and keep my numbers where I want them.

It's so routine that this point that it only takes a couple of minutes. I eat a lot of the same meals- so I don't have to do many recalculations, and I make notes in my cookbooks as I adopt and adapt. It is so cool to see how you can make a difference in the outcome of your health (within genetic limits).

good luck learning more about yourself!

sandy


I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


Montana1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/12/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your response gelchick. I am starting to write down everything I eat. Thank you for that suggestion. I am learning as I go. I haven't tested 3 and 4 hours after a meal. I always check at the two hour. I will do a few at the 3 and 4 hour to see how I am doing there. Thank you for your suggestions.
Montana

sherilou
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/12/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Montana, all of these people are doing very well testing all the time. Some people have to do that and it is good to test 2 hrs. after your first bite to see how your food affects your bg's. Do you have a good insurance? If your doc told you to test once daily fasting is probably what he/she wants now. You could ask about testing randomly - one day fasting, the next day before lunch, and then before supper. That way you get a look at all pre-meal nos. But if she only said once daily you won't have enough strips. But you seem to be doing very well with your eating. Do you exercise? I have a very hard time getting mtivated for that. And I also like to snack at night. I know that many people test many times a day, I was just thinking of the ins. aspect of it.
Sherilou

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 1/12/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Montana, it might take awhile until you figure out your best schedule for testing but hang in there.  The best thing I did in the very beginning when I first started to test my blood sugar was to keep a daily log of what I ate.  (I know, I know.  I'm repeating myself, but....)  I made out a form on the computer and printed it out so it was uniform and easy to fill in.  Basically, there were blanks for morning fasting and the time, then I wrote precisely what I ate for breakfast and then tested 2 hours later and wrote the blood sugar number right there after the breakfast, same for lunch and dinner.  I left spaces that I could fill in between the meals too in case I ate a snack.  In this way I knew what food was ok for me to eat.  Then, I could look over those pages and know how to plan my meals.  Of course, I already knew that potatoes, rice, corn and pasta gave me high readings, so this is how I figured out my own eating plan and then I learned about low carb diets.  Sort of backwards, I suppose, but in a way it was a good exercise for me because I learned by trial and error.  I also learned that the amount of food eaten affected my blood sugar.  Everyone should keep in mind that there are many variables that will affect blood sugar:  being on diabetes meds or not, meds for other conditions (some blood pressure medicine, steroids, eg.)  how fast you metabolize food (this is why sometimes you need to test at 3 hours in addition to 2, etc.), amount of exercise, kinds of food eaten, if you are overweight or not, how soon you had eaten before the meal you just ate!  If you're overweight, your blood sugar may go down if you lose weight, if you exercise regularly, if you build up more muscle, if you don't eat sooner than 4 hours after your last meal. 
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

Post Edited (LanieG) : 1/12/2008 8:39:53 PM (GMT-7)


Montana1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/12/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Sherilou and LanieG,
Thank you for all your input. Sherilou, Yes, the doctor to begin with gave me a prescription for 50 strips. I called to request more and now I get 100 for the month, but they last about a month and a half. Insurance covers 80% of the price, so I only have to pay like $17.00 or so. I do work out. The worst part of it is just getting up to do it. Once you are there is not that bad. I usually do 20 minute pilates workout Or 30 minute elliptical machine. Sometimes I feel really energized and do them both the same day. As for the time of testing I usually do one before eating breakfast. During the day I would do one after lunch or/and after dinner. You mention testing before eating. Should I be doing a test before the meal? I usually do it after just to see how my body handle the food.
LanieG, I have started the same log as you. I like keeping track of everything. We usually have a glass of wine with dinner. After being diagnosed I was afraid of having one. Just recently I started to drink my daily glass or red wine with dinner and to my suprised noticed no change and maybe a little improvement. Little did I know that it can actually help. Tonight for dinner we had chicken cacciatore, 1 glass of wine. Half hour after dinner I got on my elliptical for 20 minutes. Checked my blood at the two hr point and it was 84. Any ways, I am planing on keeping up with my daily entry of food and results, thanks to you. Have a great night and thank you again.
Montana

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 1/12/2008 9:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Montana, sometimes I do check my blood sugar before I eat (not all the time) just to see what it is.  Then, when I test it 2 hours after I eat, I can see how much it rises.  For example, if you ate a snack about an hour before dinner (nibbled on a carrot or ate some nuts), your blood sugar might be a little higher than if your stomach was empty, so you would duly note that afterwards.  Imagine the difference 2 hours after a meal if your blood sugar had been 90 before eating or if it had been 120 before eating.  Then your post-prandial reading would be different even after eating the same food.  Also, if you don't take diabetes meds, a glass of wine with dinner should be fine.  (If there's any doubt, you should ask your doctor.  Alcohol can interfere with lots of medication.)  I do drink a glass of wine with dinner, too.  I know it's sometimes hard to get motivated to exercise but if you have a regular schedule, it's a lot easier to deal with.  Effects of exercise on blood sugar is supposed to be good if you keep at it, and you'll feel better about it.  I'd also suggest strength training with dumb bells to build muscle.



Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

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