new to measuring blood sugar

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MargieJ
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/12/2006 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I'm in the dark about this even though I've read so much material about diabetes.  I'm testing my blood sugar several times a day and these are typical readings:  upon waking up: 130 to 140, 2 hours after breakfast: anywhere from 94 to 115, 2 hours after lunch from 99 to 130, before bed 140 - 155.  I don't know why it's so high before breakfast or before bed.  Which times are the most crucial?  Before breakfast, 2 hours after eating?  Or what?  I'm cluelss.  Any help is appreciated.

TALLDUDE
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/12/2006 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
high..lol...i got high...250-380

Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/13/2006 3:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Margie,

Are you type 1 or 2? What meds are you on? How long have you been diagnosed?

Claire x

MargieJ
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2006 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I am not on any meds.  The doctor told me to follow a careful diet.  I had a high reading a few months ago at a physical and she is having me test my blood sugar.  I'm 57 - so that would be type II.  I've been reading so many articles and trying to figure out what the numbers mean.  Also, I'd like to know how drinking water and exercising affects the blood sugar.  Thanks.

Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/13/2006 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Margie,
 
Well, these numbers don't seem overly high to me at all.  Have you heard of the Glycemic Index?  Foods have a rating on this index (GI) and are rated according to how they affect your blood sugar.  Low GI is something like below 50, medium is about 50-65 or 70, and above that is high.  High makes your blood sugars rise quickly, low has a good steady affect on your sugar levels and so you want to aim for low.  Have a good look around on the net and find out as much info as possible, it really is helpful.  I think this might help your sugars, if you are not already following it (you'll find that a lot of type 2s here advise to have small amounts of low GI carbs and lots of veg/salad)
 
As far as I know, if your blood sugar is high then you should try to drink plenty of water - high blood sugars make you dehydrated but also someone mentioned before that it kind of waters down your sugars, though I'm not sure whether that's true (I guess again, a little research on the net would be good). 
 
Exercise is good for your sugars.  Exercise obviously uses up energy (i.e. the sugars in your system) and so even gentle exercise will benefit you by lowering your sugars.  It's just those using insulin and some meds need to be careful they don't have a hypo (low blood sugar).
 
Claire x

MargieJ
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2006 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks, Claire, your answer is really helpful!  I've been skimming through this forum, trying to see how I could lower the morning reading (fasting ones).   I don't eat anything after dinner except tea with milk, so from around 9pm to 7am, I don't have anything, yet the reading is high according to the information I've gotten.  I am not eating potatoes, rice, breads or cake but I do eat the "diabetic friendly" cereal Eat Well, Be Well.  It's frustrating because I have really changed my diet to nearly no carbs.  I will eat a couple of those WASA crackers made with whole grains with turkey bacon and an egg about 3x a week for breakfast.  And I realize I need to start more exercise or walking routines.  I need to lose 20/25 lbs.  I'm trying to control this so I don't have to go on meds.  I see the doctor again in January - right after the holidays.  That's just great.  Scrooge has taken my Christmas.  :(

Thanks again,

Margie


Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/13/2006 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Margie,
 
Perhaps your reading is high in the morning because you don't eat anything - try reading this link or looking up Dawn Phenomenon.  It recommends you try eating a snack of protein and fat combined before bed, such as a spoon of peanut butter. 
 
 
Aw, try not to let it get you down at Christmas.  I know it can be hard, but you can still have turkey with lots of veg for a start, along with nuts (which I find really Christmas-y anyway). And there are loads of great diabetic recipes around - type it into google or another search engine.  All of us are allowed a treat at Christmas, we just have to make sure we don't overindulge.  Where would we be without the occassional pleasure?!  :-)
 
And one other thing - don't be worried about going on meds.  If they are the thing that makes your sugars come down then they are what will prevent you from getting ill later down the line.  They can't be a bad thing if they keep you healthy. 
 
Claire xx

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 11/13/2006 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Margie,
Sorry to have missed your first posts. My dad died and I've been away from the forum. From the numbers you are giving and the way it's going please don't be shocked if the doc starts you on some low doses of meds. Doesn't matter if you use exercise plus diet plus meds or even voodoo to keep those numbers down, but to save your sight, kidneys and limbs you want them level and medium low. Bless your doctor for being so vigilant and on top of things.

You most likely have the beginings of insulin resistant diabetes. This means that your body makes the insulin but your cells won't let the insulin along with it's buddy sugar molecule into the muscles. The cells tell you that they are hungry all the time while the excess blood sugar is floating around just waiting to get in. You can lower the amount of sugars in your blood somewhat by changing your diet but the key is to get those cells to let the sugars in. This is where exercise and medications are so wonderful. Exercise stimulates the cells to stop resisting the entrance of sugar/insulin molecules and there are great meds that also help with this process.

With diabetes the problems arise from the excess sugars in the blood. They make it thicker, like maple syrup is thick, and the large glucose molecules clog up the arterioles and capilaries and all the other tiny blood vessels, kind of gumming up the works. This clogging can cause the small blood vessels of the eye to rupture and scar right over where we receive our sight on the retina. The clogs can prevent oxygen and nutrition from reaching small nerves in our fingers and toes leading to nerve damage and loss of feeling as well as other circulatory problems that can lead to amputation. When the clogs happen in the little filter places in the kidneys we end up on dialysis. Tiny blood vessels in the brain get clogged and we have loss of oxygen to the brain... mini strokes can happen... All of this is the result of high sugar levels. This is why lowering those numbers is so all fired important.

Losing weight, following your food plan, increasing your intake of monounsaturated fats (nuts, avacado, olive oil), lowering your intake of saturated fats, exercising regularly, getting good rest and lowering stress levels will go far to keep your numbers good, your circulation healthy and your heart happy. Visiting here will help you get quick answers to your questions. Soon you will be helping other newbies and giving them the lift they need to thread their way thru this obstacle course we call diabetes. I'm happy to make you as a new friend. We can take care of ourselves and learn together.
~ Jeannie

"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


MargieJ
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2006 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to both of you, Claire and Jeannie!  (And I'm sorry about your dad, Jeannie.) You're really helpful with all the information.  At what point with these numbers would the doctor put me on meds? I seem to have so many questions.  Is it possible to bring these numbers down by losing weight and following the low glycemic diet along with exercise?  During the day, when do you suggest are the best or most crucial times to test the blood sugar?  An, now, I've read that cinnamon can bring down blood sugar.  Is the true? 

Thanks again,

Margie


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 11/13/2006 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all let me say that there is no shame in going on meds if you need to, ok? Let your doctor be the one to decide how and when. The only thing that can be a problem is if you spend a lot of time trying to get numbers in line with 'natural' cures like cinnamon or bitter melon when you could do it overnight with oral meds. Whenever you are at 150 or above two hours after a meal you are doing permanent damage to your eyes, kidneys and blood vessels. So however you need to get the numbers down, do whatever it takes.

To answer your other questions, yes, you can level out and bring your numbers down with weight loss and exercise as well as diet but diabetes is sneaky. One of our members, Warren, was a regular guy without a speck of fat on him... exercised regularly and took good care of himself. He had no history of diabetes or any major health problems. He was blindsided by Type2 diabetes and very quickly progressed from oral meds to insulin. So before you get concerned about the taking of meds or not, you need to know you are a T2 diabetic for life. We can all be controlled diabetics with exercise, food plans, and oral meds or insulin. Or we can be an uncontrolled diabetics and eat whatever we want, drink alcohol, not exercise, smoke and generally ignore all common sense. The overall length of our lives will be about the same, give or take ten years or so... But the quality of life is where the difference is.

My father-in-law ignored his diagnosis for years and ignored his food plan. He was finally was put on insulin. He shortly thereafter went blind, got neuropathy in his feet and had two heart surgeries. He was miserable and suffered a heart attack and died. If nothing else he did me the service of showing me what not to do.

As far as testing goes the best times to test are very first thing in the morning before any food or coffee, before lunch or before dinner and before bed. Probably the wisest thing you can do for yourself at this time is to start a little notebook with a journal of foods eaten, amounts, sugar readings two hours afterward and how much exercise you got. By doing this early on I learned that white rice, corn meal, pasta and potatoes are pretty much the same for me as eating candy. My body reacts to them by spiking my sugars very quickly. Brown rice, bulgar wheat with oil (tabouli) instead of pasta and small servings of potatoes are my way of dealing with this. I can eat corn on the cob but cornbread and corn flakes are out for me.

Everybody's metabolism is different and we each have different speeds of digestion as well. The secret to keeping sugars level and healthy is to eat lots of veggies, less starches, and very little refined grain products. Processed cereals, white rice and pasta have already broken down or removed the cell walls and hulls of the grain so the starch is exposed and readily absorbed in our intestines very quickly. Simple grains like old fashioned oatmeal, barley, brown rice and bulgar wheat berries are in a basic state, very un-processed. It takes a long time for our bodies to mechanically break down these forms of grain so the release of the carbs they contain takes much longer leading to a time release of sugar/carb into the blood stream. This helps prevent spikes. The addition of fats as well as protein with these foods slows down absorption as well and is better for us.

I've probably overwhelmed you with all this so I'll stop now. Just know that you are on the right track and you can do this. You have a good attitude and an excellent doctor who pays attention to your labs. Hang in there girlfriend and we will be here for you.
~ Jeannie

"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

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