Keep Tabs on Your Blood Sugar

Gabby
By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2013-04-04 09:20:42 -0500
Started 2012-08-13 08:36:43 -0500

One of those things you just hate to do. Prick your finger, get your results. It is often painful, a hassle and sometimes we get embarrassed to do it. But we really need to do it and this article helps explain why it is so important to test our levels on a regular basis.

By Everyday Health
http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/l...

Regular glucose monitoring is an important part of controlling diabetes. Learn how to make blood sugar testing a routine part of every day, no matter how hectic your schedule.
By Dennis Thompson Jr.
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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People with type 2 diabetes have ready access to the best equipment ever made for home blood sugar testing. In fact, performing your own blood sugar reading has become a cornerstone of diabetes management. Blood sugar testing helps you maintain safe blood glucose levels and avoid the systemic damage that comes from uncontrolled diabetes. The key is to make testing as easy as possible so that you’ll do it and feel like you’re in control, rather than feeling as though your diabetes is controlling you.

Track your blood sugar

Why Blood Sugar Testing Is Important

Although you might think of blood sugar testing as a nuisance, its importance cannot be overstated. Obtaining regular blood sugar readings gives you a basic understanding of how diabetes is affecting your body and how you can best control it.

Using a blood sugar, or blood glucose, monitor daily — or several times a day as needed — can help you:

Understand how different foods affect your blood glucose levels
Make better choices regarding the type of insulin you use and the dosage you require
Predict how exercise or stress will affect your blood sugar
Prevent low blood sugar at night
Precisely control your blood glucose to prevent diabetes complications

If you don't perform blood sugar testing on a regular basis, you're flying blind in your diabetes treatment. You will have to rely on physical symptoms to tell you when your blood sugar levels are too high or too low and, as a result, you will not be aware as soon as you could be that elevated blood sugars are causing damage to your body.

Blood Sugar Testing Burnout

Self-testing for blood glucose levels has been made easier as glucose monitoring device technology has improved. Of course, regular testing still requires a lot of effort on your part, and it may feel overwhelming at times. You have to:

Take time out of your busy day
Remember when you need to test
Stick yourself repeatedly with lancets
Respond to the test with medicine or food

This can lead to diabetes burnout, a situation in which those with type 2 diabetes decide that controlling the disease is just too much effort. Signs of burnout include feeling out of control and powerless, losing interest in activities you usually enjoy, or being just plain unhappy.

Strategies for Better Blood Sugar Testing

You can cope with the demands placed on you by your type 2 diabetes. To help fit regular blood sugar testing into your daily life, try these ideas:

Set realistic goals. It's good to be proactive about getting frequent blood sugar readings, but set a schedule that is realistic. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a reading. The key is to stay motivated, while also acknowledging that no one's perfect.

Find reminders for testing. Memory aids can help you remember your blood sugar testing. Link the test to things you do at the same time every day, such as eating meals or brushing your teeth. You also can create rituals around your blood sugar tests by doing certain things in a set order every time. Or use a timer to remind you when your next test is due. You can even create a daily chart and check off boxes as you do each one.

Identify barriers to regular testing. If you find that keeping a set schedule is the best way to perform regular blood sugar testing, avoid situations that disrupt your schedule. For example, if you need to test following meals, be sure that you eat at about the same time every day.

Ask for help. Those around you may not understand the importance of testing your blood glucose at specific times or after specific events like eating or exercise. Explain it to them and ask for their help remembering to perform the tests.

Always keep in mind why you test: Tightly controlling your blood sugar allows you to protect your long-term health and get the most out of life. When your resolve falters, remembering this one fact can help you get back on track.


36 replies

elaine52
elaine52 2013-04-04 09:14:26 -0500 Report

I have to check 4 times a day, plus whenever I feel it necessary. I get burnt out on it from times to time. Sometimes I just give myself a day off…and it usually helps. I've just recently been diagnoised with stage 3 kidney disease so it is very important to keep up with it, I know. But even knowing the importance it still gets hard. Thanks, this helps to know I'm not alone…

JoleneAL
JoleneAL 2013-04-04 09:20:42 -0500 Report

10 times a day for me so I feel your pain. I rotate my fingers and use the area close to the nail (hurts less).

Nana_anna
Nana_anna 2012-09-20 12:10:23 -0500 Report

Nice article, yes I just go my Nova meter yesterday and inside there was a log book. I starting logging yesterday. I am so bad though, with keeping it up. I am going to do it this time though! I have to take it to my Dr. at each visit. It helps to have it updated and ready everyday.

Lioness4love
Lioness4love 2012-08-28 00:29:05 -0500 Report

Hello I'm a newly dx. Only a week ago. I'm so scared and my doctor didn't tel me much but Gabe me a bunch of paPers. Ugh! I'm type 2. Already tired of testing 5,6xa day. Can some one recommend a good Hardy breakfast that won't spike me?

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-08-28 10:59:21 -0500 Report

One of my favorite low carb hearty breakfasts is sauteed veggies with scrambled eggs. I put that on a bed of spinach and yum. Fills me up, keeps me going and keeps my numbers happy. (as long as I use low carb veggies like summer squash, sweet potatoes and celery)

Diabetic Coach
Diabetic Coach 2012-09-17 23:21:02 -0500 Report

If I manage to get up before brunch, I have a scrambled egg of some sort mixed with spices (usually oregano, basil, & sage) on a slice of whole grain bread with flax seed. I usually have mixed black, rasp, and blueberries with coffee. Occasionally, I swap out spinach and mushrooms or something else with the egg.

Sunflower71
Sunflower71 2012-10-03 11:27:36 -0500 Report

I love egga also but had to switch to Egg Beaters…there just as good…i really like the spanish flavor…

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-09-19 23:39:01 -0500 Report

I have noticed that too. I believe that is because the yolks have fat in them which can give one a satisfied fuller feeling. I prefer eggs with the yolks in them also!

eristar
eristar 2012-08-28 06:09:50 -0500 Report

Good morning, and welcome! I don't blame you for being scared - but hopefully you will soon find you controlling it, rather than the other way around. As far as breakfast goes, you will probably have to go with trial and error, and find out what works for you - everyone reacts differently to various foods. I enjoy a high fiber cereal, a little fruit (but not juice, as that makes me spike) and a protien like a bit of cheese or an egg. Hopefully you will find something that works well for you soon. Take care, and we're glad you're here!

DebMagoo
DebMagoo 2012-08-27 17:54:18 -0500 Report

My husband is getting depressed about the situation and this article helped me to help him. Thank you so much.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-27 06:01:00 -0500 Report

I test from the time I get up to right before I go to bed, sometimes even in the middle of the night if I've been running too low. my prescription calls for testing 7 times a day. I can't imagine not testing. Like others I usually eat to the number on my meter. A low number means I can have a small piece of fruit with my meal, always do include protein as a balancer!

JSJB
JSJB 2012-08-27 03:48:36 -0500 Report

Good info. I test every mornng at around 4am. I exercise on the bike 3 miles a session and only one session. and watch my diet. Some times I stray from all three but never skip my meds. My readings are around 100-110 but on some occasions 130. That is because I enjoyed an event and oink. oink, oink but get back on schedule asap. When I see a reading going up I pay strick attention on my diet and do a little more exercise to get back on track.

"Sue"
"Sue" 2012-08-26 20:54:39 -0500 Report

I know that is soooo very true . I'm learning this from - first - hand because I hate to admit it but , I don't like to take my blood-sugars at all . I thought that I was controlling my blood-sugars , than when I went back to my doctors office I found out that my A1C went from 2.6 clear 10.(?) -something . And now I'm back to square one . I know about my carbs, the sugars . I'm still learning from reading more information on type 2 diabetes . I have some of the complacations the diabetes now . I have the neveropathay , and now the diabetes specialist tells me that I also have foot-drop . I get very fusestrated with my -self , for not keeping a closer eye on my blood -sugars . It really is hard when you cann't remember to take your blood - sugars when you need to . Now I'm paying for it . Even though I had seen what it did to my grand-mother who had type -1- diabetes . She died due to alot of complations with it and she also died from a stroke . Now that my diabetes (blood - sugars )went from 100's - 399, or 400's . So I'm glad that I'm getting more ,and more info from this website. And I hope to here some of you people out there with knowlege about diabetes . Thanks for letting me say what I needed to say.

sleepygreek
sleepygreek 2012-08-23 20:37:50 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby. Testing your blood is sure a pain in the butt. And I get disgusted with the whole disease. But then I remember what the alternative could be and that is I could be dead and not able to check my bs. That pretty much snaps me out of it and I give thanks to God that I am still alive. Maybe this will help somebody. Sandi

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:45:54 -0500 Report

I think I by accident sent a partial message: all apologies to everyone if I did. After not taking my blood sugar for a whole month and a half—I had run out of money for the strips, I was very very very relieved to start testing again: Here is an example of how important it is to test every day: 2 mornings ago, I got up out of bed, and fixed my morning cup of coffee as usual, with creamer and some sugar. I drank almost 1 cup. It then dawned on me that I had fresh new diabetic strips, so I thought " Well, it's not a fasting, but I sure need to get back to simply taking it everyday, starting now." I felt really good, felt as if I was at a good solid number of 100-160. NO, I was wrong—I took it, and it was only 90—for me, 90 is TOO too low. I scratched my head, then told myself " Well, just make darned sure you eat good today." Later on , at night, I took my blood sugar and it was 244. That range is actually lower from what my normal range is , as in the gap was better than it has been. Normally, I will range everyday between 83 and 582. So, I told myself " Well, okay, just make darned sure you never skip any days taking it." Anne

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:45:54 -0500 Report

I think I by accident sent a partial message: all apologies to everyone if I did. After not taking my blood sugar for a whole month and a half—I had run out of money for the strips, I was very very very relieved to start testing again: Here is an example of how important it is to test every day: 2 mornings ago, I got up out of bed, and fixed my morning cup of coffee as usual, with creamer and some sugar. I drank almost 1 cup. It then dawned on me that I had fresh new diabetic strips, so I thought " Well, it's not a fasting, but I sure need to get back to simply taking it everyday, starting now." I felt really good, felt as if I was at a good solid number of 100-160. NO, I was wrong—I took it, and it was only 90—for me, 90 is TOO too low. I scratched my head, then told myself " Well, just make darned sure you eat good today." Later on , at night, I took my blood sugar and it was 244. That range is actually lower from what my normal range is , as in the gap was better than it has been. Normally, I will range everyday between 83 and 582. So, I told myself " Well, okay, just make darned sure you never skip any days taking it." Anne

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-27 05:56:36 -0500 Report

Hi Anne , if I am not mistaken actually 90 is a great number for fasting! For me a BG reading of 244 is way too high, means I did something wrong or my hormones are in charge. You may want to go over with your Doc these numbers! Good luck!

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-28 00:11:25 -0500 Report

Yeah, 90 is too low for me…when I get a new doctor, I will definitely go over my numbers with him. If it were 90 every morning, that would be great, as, my body would be more stabilized then. Unfortunately, it is a different number every morning, as well as during the day—-ha. I am glad I am young. Sincerely, Anne

Patty0057
Patty0057 2012-08-18 00:08:47 -0500 Report

Testing frequently cannot be emphasized enough. It really helps you to know how your body reacts to what you put in it. Sometimes I've found that individual foods don't raise my BG but combos of foods do- even with making careful choices & using portion control. It's a bummer but the more you learn the better you will be able to manage your diabetes.

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:49:41 -0500 Report

Yeah, I have found that when I eat any whole meal at all, whether it is McDonalds, or a home cooked meal, my blood sugar is higher, but, it is also more stable. If I skip a meal, I am in deep trouble, which is why I never skip a meal anymore—I learned the hard way—if I eat just one loner food, say, a single sandwich, I either go too low, or the other extreme—much much much too high—interesting. I see what you are saying—I have been learning more and more. Sincerely, Anne

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:49:41 -0500 Report

Yeah, I have found that when I eat any whole meal at all, whether it is McDonalds, or a home cooked meal, my blood sugar is higher, but, it is also more stable. If I skip a meal, I am in deep trouble, which is why I never skip a meal anymore—I learned the hard way—if I eat just one loner food, say, a single sandwich, I either go too low, or the other extreme—much much much too high—interesting. I see what you are saying—I have been learning more and more. Sincerely, Anne

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:49:40 -0500 Report

Yeah, I have found that when I eat any whole meal at all, whether it is McDonalds, or a home cooked meal, my blood sugar is higher, but, it is also more stable. If I skip a meal, I am in deep trouble, which is why I never skip a meal anymore—I learned the hard way—if I eat just one loner food, say, a single sandwich, I either go too low, or the other extreme—much much much too high—interesting. I see what you are saying—I have been learning more and more. Sincerely, Anne

jason milburn
jason milburn 2012-08-17 16:42:21 -0500 Report

Thing is with all finger pricks I've had they always show up different ;(

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:52:37 -0500 Report

ALL APOLOGIES TO EVERYONE—something wrong with this computer—it triple sent everything I wrote—I am embarrassed—ha, ha. To Jason—I am a brittle diabetic, and my blood sugar for years has been a different number almost every time I took it—-but, I do also know that there is great frustration for most of us, in that there is a variance in the machine versus the labs in the hospitals, etc…sincerely, Anne

annesmith
annesmith 2012-08-19 00:52:36 -0500 Report

ALL APOLOGIES TO EVERYONE—something wrong with this computer—it triple sent everything I wrote—I am embarrassed—ha, ha. To Jason—I am a brittle diabetic, and my blood sugar for years has been a different number almost every time I took it—-but, I do also know that there is great frustration for most of us, in that there is a variance in the machine versus the labs in the hospitals, etc…sincerely, Anne

Irish1951
Irish1951 2012-08-13 10:10:21 -0500 Report

Totally agree Gabby. My Doctor gave me a stilt to test twice a day, my mail order company screwed up and gave me enough to test up to 4 times per day. I follow a regime of eating to my meter. If my number is higher than I like when I wake I know I will eat very low carb until it is back down to a level I am comfortable with. This also allows me to eat that special snack (ice cream is a weakness) and know that I'm nit going to send my numbers to the moon!

I have reduced my daily BS average by about 20 PTA. Per day. My A1c is down to 5.7 for the last two 6 month tests from my original A1c of 7.1. My advice to all newly Dx is to test, test, test. Talk with your Doctor to get however many strips it takes for you to get control especially at the beginning. It helps you to find the foods that are better for you to eat without raising your BS levels.

mystikfairy61
mystikfairy61 2012-08-15 20:40:02 -0500 Report

Irish I have a weakness for ice cream as well. Just thought I would throw this in. Breyers carb smart is really good and only has 13 carbs for 1/2 a cup, which really cuts my craving and helps curb my sweet tooth!!

Lizardfan
Lizardfan 2012-08-13 15:38:18 -0500 Report

Great post Irish1951! I too, eat to my readings, and always have. It is the only way to keep my numbers in line. I test 4-5 times a day and always have, more if I am having an off BS day.