How do you make sense of numbers?

By briarrose70 Latest Reply 2016-03-30 16:49:31 -0500
Started 2014-05-29 10:55:12 -0500

I've only been diagnosed since the end of March this year so maybe it's just I'm still so new.

My issue is that my numbers are all over the place. I've completely changed how I eat, watch everything and seriously count carbs, I've even lost some weight in the process and am getting back to hiking, exercising and feeling really good. So with that said, here's where my puzzlement comes into play…we went on vacation and I ate crap…well I tried to stay on it but I love fried oysters and I'm in Chincoteague Island so there's no way I'm not having oysters…lol…tropical salad, some bread, blooming onion, went for an Orange Julius and my numbers two hours later are under 130.

The next day we went and had soft shell crabs, Smith Island cake, funnel cake again my numbers are under 130 and not only that but they stay at good levels.

I come home and I'm eating yogurt and egg beaters and my numbers are up in the 180's. It's not high carbs yogurt either, its the Light and Fit that has 9 grams.

The only reasonable explanation I can figure out is that on both those days, there was a lot of walking around sight seeing and my other thought that was maybe high protein from the seafood was helping? I don't know, it's so frustrating and makes me want to just eat whatever since it seems if I eat crap I have better numbers than when I'm trying…lol…this makes no sense to me.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm scheduled to see my endocrinologist at the end of June and soon I will be having my AC1 and all bloodwork done again. I know I'm doing better than before and that the AC1 should be lower than before. Well it better be at 11.3. I want off insulin so bad that it's the only goal I see and when my numbers go up, it's frustrating since I figure they won't take me off.

46 replies

GabbyPA 2014-06-07 09:50:09 -0500 Report

Fat...Protein....Fun. A lot of times those fatty foods take longer to raise our levels and if you are out and doing things while enjoying those foods, sometimes our numbers rise slower or there is enough activity to counter what you eat.

You may want to add some bacon to your breakfast or choose a greek yogurt that has the fat and protein in it to help counter the carbs you may eat.

Let me ask, are you type 1 or type 2? Usually going straight to insulin is reserved for type 1.

briarrose70 2014-06-09 13:21:01 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info and I'm type 2…my numbers were in the 300-400 range so I'm guessing that's why they put me on insulin.

That whole camping trip and the following weekend trip, I had the best numbers…I'm telling hubs we need to live out in the wilderness since my numbers are better when I'm away from

BB42 2014-06-02 09:02:22 -0500 Report

This very issue drives me crazy. I was diagnosed with Type 2. Overall, I am doing well watching my carb intake and exercising regularly. I've asked so many people why do my numbers vary when I am essentially eating the same and working out the same. here are some of the replys I got: First, see a good nutritionist because not all carbs are equal. Next , the numbers vary depending upon how much and the quality of your sleep you get, how much stress there is in your life. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me and I am still unsure why the wild swings occur. If you have an answer, please let me knpow

evaziem 2014-05-31 16:57:18 -0500 Report

Test him/her if is a good one. Ask for a thyroid test. If gives you only TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), ditch him/her.
A good doc would prescribe in addition to TSH, Free T3, Free T4, and Reverse T3.

If your TSH is more than 1.5, you are hypothryoid. Then refer to

There is a connection between our hormones, including the sex hormones and diabetes 2.

SamanthaB1 2014-05-30 14:26:52 -0500 Report

I joined a running group and exercise at least three or four days a week. I eat way better than I use to and My first A1c was 10.4 and after my first three months my A1c was 6.2. I lost over 40lbs and I still have rough days trying to figure out my diabetes but I keep my levels between 70-90. I hope it gets better for you

evaziem 2014-06-04 12:09:44 -0500 Report

70-90? How did you do that besides your running?
What do you mean: I eat better?
Could you share?

SamanthaB1 2014-06-07 05:28:14 -0500 Report

I just ate out more before I was diabetic and I drank pop and never really looked at the label. Now I look at the carbs and calories and sugar. I eat the vegetables which I never ate much of before. SO really all I did was change my eating but I also am way more active than I use to be. Really do not follow a diet just am way more cautious

DavidofGMS 2014-05-30 10:43:29 -0500 Report

The new diet that I am have just started and is doing wonders for me. I have had diabetes for a little over two years now. But it recommends walking at least 20 minutes before each meal and then if you want to get off your medications it has a set diet that that will lower your blood sugar two between 70 and 90 within the first 2 to 4 weeks. After that you start slowly adding back in carbs and certain foods to see what affects your blood sugar so that you know what you can and cannot eat. The goal is to maintain your blood sugar between 70 and 90 so that eventually you will be able to get completely off your medication and control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only. I have been doing this diet for the past 2 1/2 weeks and my average is gone from 189 with levels Way over 225 down to an average of 145 in the past two weeks and it keeps lower. I am scheduled to have my blood tested again in the first week of July so I'm hoping that my reading will be a lot lower than >9.

WildDiabetic42 2014-05-30 21:06:27 -0500 Report

Hi I'm new to the site. If you don't mind me asking what type diet? I thought I was doing counting my carbs but this week the food that i was hitting good numbers on are giving me crazy numbers this week. I'm doing about 55 carbs in at breakfast 45-50 at lunch and 24-30 at dinner can't seem to get below 200.

RainSoul 2014-05-30 01:58:39 -0500 Report

I don't know what type of insurance you have but I have kaiser and my primary referred me to a diabetic case manager (nurse educator) and I've been meeting with her every 2 weeks to review my #'s and talk about My eating habits, work and stress, so on.

She gives me ideas and makes changes in my meds if need be.

Its REALLY helped- I've gone from an 11.3 to a 7.6 a1c in just 5 1/2 months :)

She also had me take diabetes education classes which to my surprise I actually did learn some useful info.

Good luck

Glucerna 2014-05-30 15:16:56 -0500 Report

You have an awesome diabetes team put together, and it's great that you're making such excellent progress. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Type1Lou 2014-05-29 14:45:16 -0500 Report

As women…that "Monthly event" can also affect our BG levels…( I love whole-bellied fried clams but the last time I indulged, 2 years ago, my BG skyrocketed. Now I order steamers instead…virtually no carbs.)

briarrose70 2014-05-29 16:59:21 -0500 Report

I wish I had a regular "monthly", it seems to lower my numbers greatly however it seems to only happen once every 6 months or!

Besides oysters, I usually don't eat fried foods. I love my oysters though and with going to Chincoteague Island there's just no way I could say no.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-30 12:07:57 -0500 Report

My monthly was fairly regular, but it got up and ran away from home about 15 years ago. LOL. I'm very post meno. so It's not around to affect my BG.
I'm with you on the fried oysters, also fried green tomatoes in the spring. Those are my addictions, but I try to not over do it with them which isn't easy but I do try..

jigsaw 2014-05-29 14:34:59 -0500 Report

How long after a meal do you check your blood glucose! Depending on the amount of carbs ingested, will determine how much of an increase you will see within 1 to 3 hours. Actually, your blood glucose should return to normal within approximately 2 hours. If not, cut the carbs, or increase your exercise, or adjust your meds, or all three if need be. If none of that works, tell your doctor, and see a registered dietician!

You've only had diabetes for a short time. I've had it for over 20 years, and still learning and fine tuning my diabetes mgmt. You most likely can get your A1c down, with proper diet and exercise. Heed the warning signs like high A1c, learn all you can about successful mgmt., and boost your odds of living a long healthy life!

Merritt DeGraw Jr
Merritt DeGraw Jr 2016-03-30 16:49:31 -0500 Report

I have had type 2 diabetes for aporox. 15 years. I have got my A1C down to 6.5 from 11.8 in a period of 6 months by changing my diet. I have further gotten it down to 6.0 by doing away with sugar, beef( it makes me lethargic) and many of the other carbs I used to indulge in. Donuts, candy, and cokes were my nemesis. Now it's fruits and veggies. I still have my sweets , but now I use monk fruit sweetenet and other alternative flours to make them. I really appreciate the recipes from Diabetic Connect, they have broadened my scope of what I can enjoy!

briarrose70 2014-05-29 16:56:41 -0500 Report

I test 4 x a day (FBS, Before Lunch, Before Dinner and two hours after dinner as per the dr.)

Thanks so much for the suggestions, it was just so frustrating to see good numbers when I was eating crap compared to the higher numbers when I watch everything I eat. I think I'm expecting too much too soon.

My only thoughts are getting off insulin since it's super expensive for me (my huge motivator) and as for the diet, i've done a complete overhaul and I'm definitely feeling better and losing weight so hoping that'll help down the road.

jigsaw 2014-05-29 19:48:43 -0500 Report

It may be well within your reach, to get off insulin, especially if you caught your diabetes early. Losing weight definitely lowers insulin resistence also. With effort and determination, I'll put my money on your eventual success!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 13:14:42 -0500 Report

OMG you had Smith Island Cake and didn't share with me. I love that cake. Smith Island Cake is the Official Cake of Maryland. We love that cake.

I would say with all the walking you were doing you were burning up all the carbs you were eating. If you got up and tested before the egg beaters and yogurt, you might have noticed your blood sugar was already high. You could have had a liver dump during the night. Ask your endo to explain that to you. To prevent this I eat a protein before bed.

Also have your doctor refer you to a registered dietitian who can help you with meal planning. Even on vacation you have to be careful with what you eat. A diabetes education will be a great help to someone newly diagnosed. You should also have an exercise plan. Walking is a great help.

If you come to Baltimore, and want to try one of our infamous Berger Cookies or a slice of Berger Cake, test your blood sugar before eating it. If your numbers are high, DO NOT eat it. The frosting alone will shoot your blood sugar up as will the cake or cookie. They are very high in sugar. Eating either is chocolate heaven.

ALWAYS test your blood before eating sweets and do not eat them if you are at the high range. I usually range between 90 and 110-120. If I am under 100 I will enjoy a real sweet treat. I won't touch it if I am close to the 120 range. I had a Berger Cookie last month and after I ate it, I walked around the block several times. I tested and I was at 121 which was still good. Good luck and glad you had a fun vacation.

briarrose70 2014-05-29 16:50:50 -0500 Report

I had to try this cake since I'm on their mailing list too! I test 4 x a day. FBS, before lunch, before dinner and 2 hours after dinner.

I keep a journal of everything that goes in my mouth since I like to be held accountable, so I don't forget and I can see how this affects my BG. I tested 120 before lunch and 129 two hours after eating the crab, funnel cake and smith island cake. I did go almost 7 hours without eating after that and when I tested before dinner it was 206 then two hours after dinner are campers so we stayed at the Pokomoke River Campground since it was more than I wanted to pay to stay at Chincoteague for the weekend to camp.

Now I need to get to Baltimore and try this infamous Berger! You temptress!

They have me on Metformin 500mg twice a day and 16 units of Lantus at night for now. I was really hoping the Metformin would help to lower my numbers more however I think I'm expecting too much too soon.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 20:26:24 -0500 Report

I actually went to Smith Island. Small and boring. I had the cake there. I asked the Smith Island people if they could do the cake with Splenda. I wasn't diabetic when I first had the cake. You can order Berger Cookies on line. You also have to try our crab cakes. I won't eat a crab cake outside of Maryland. My idea of camping is a nice hotel or Cruise Ship. I am not ever going to camp out. I hate bugs and don't want wildlife running around when I am sleeping.

I think you are expecting too much too soon. Your body has to adjust to the medications and the change in diet. I wouldn't eat the foods that you ate on a regular basis. Especially the cake and Orange Julius.

You have to really learn how to manage diabetes and that can take some time because there is so much to learn. Keep a positive outlook because that will help with the numbers. Stress can wreck havoc with diabetes.

haoleboy 2014-05-29 21:21:04 -0500 Report

'Natty Boh' and crab cakes … made the trip across the Potomac many times in my younger (and wilder) days

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 21:28:28 -0500 Report

Natty Boh is back. I don't drink beer because of the hops. I keep saying i am going to make some crab cakes but right now I want some steamed crabs. I am hoping my cousin fries some hard crabs and smother them in gravy for us this summer. I don't even want to know about your wilder days…LOL many of us have had those.

haoleboy 2014-05-29 21:36:55 -0500 Report

if I recall correctly we drank National Bohemian because it was cheap and not because it was a great beer … but in those days it was all about quantity and not quality. I grew up just 1 mile from Mount Vernon Estate so Maryland was 'just over there" . We used to fish the Chesapeake Bay out of Solomons Island MD.
Ah, the good old days

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 21:54:51 -0500 Report

My uncle had a cabin cruise he docked in Annapolis so we would fish and crab in the Bay and we also could go fishing down off the Sea Wall at the Naval Academy. A lot of my relatives worked there so back then it was easy to get permission to get on the base. My parents were from Sandy Point. My mom grew up on one side of Route 50 and my dad on the other side. We spent a lot of time down there with aunts, uncles and cousins and grew up on Sandy Point Beach. The manager of the park lived on the road so he let all of us kids in for free because he knew we would never cause a problem. Yes the good old days. I think Natty Boh is still cheap beer. I haven't priced it.

briarrose70 2014-05-29 21:11:03 -0500 Report

I have been to Tangier Island but didn't want to spend the money to go to Smith plus then I'd have to buy a cake…lol. Instead we discovered that the ice cream shop at the cove had slices, so we opted for that. Yummy!

I love camping though I like luxury just as much. Since money can be an issue, this makes it easy to go to so many places for us. We leave tomorrow to head up to the Delaware Water Gap, bear country…lol.

I haven't had any sweets at all since I was diagnosed at the end of March. Lost about 15 lbs so far and feeling good. I watch everything that goes in my mouth but since we were on vacation and in Maryland, I definitely needed to try these few things. I love crab cakes from MD as well as your soft shell crabs. So good, I'm glad I don't live there, too much good food.

Thanks for confirming that I'm just expecting too much too soon. I thought I should be able to kick this in the butt a lot quicker however that seems to not be the case. Baby

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 21:25:53 -0500 Report

I am waiting for Md Blue Crabs. Can't wait to get a dozen hot and freshly steamed. i don't eat soft crabs. My father was the only one in the house who ate them as well as clams and oysters. I have not been anywhere but Virginia in a while. I need a vacation. I want to go to Tuscan for the big bead show in February but airfare is expensive for a round trip flight. Then I would have to ship all of the beads home that I buy. Semi-precious gemstones are heavy and I don't want to pay for the extra weight.

You are not going to kick it in the butt as fast as you think. You are doing great with baby steps. If you wear hiking boots get some diabetic socks. I buy the one for men to wear in my tennis shoes. They are thicker than the ones for women and they don't have the seams like regular socks. You always want to protect your feet. Have fun on your camping trip.

Avinoel 2014-11-17 17:04:36 -0600 Report

Grew up on the Magothy River .. everything you listed I ate and enjoy immensely!!! Soft crabs, crab imperial, steamed hard crabs and beer, clams, oysters every way possible … you bring back memories, kept my sailboat on the South River … loved Mike's and Paul's …

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-11-17 22:30:25 -0600 Report

I use to party in Galesville. Had a blast. My uncle had a boat he docked in Annapolis. We have fished and crabbed on the Magothy and off the sea wall at the Naval Academy.

Can't wait for Thanksgiving, my cousin is using the Turkey fryer to fry Crabs and smother them down in gravy. My dad loved soft crabs, I never liked them but then he grew up with soft crabs. I will not eat a crab cake outside of the State of Maryland. Have been to restaurants in many states that claim to be serving Maryland Crab Cakes. That is so not true. I asked a chef if this is a Maryland Crab cake, where is the Old Bay seasoning. He had never heard of it…lol

briarrose70 2014-05-29 21:44:54 -0500 Report

Thanks for the heads up on the socks too! I did buy some so I have them bc we do a lot of hiking.

Any crab can go into my belly…lol! Actually almost all seafood can go in there too!

Bead show sounds amazing. Love semi precious gemstones as well as crystals.

Definitely going to enjoy the camping, thank you so much!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-29 21:57:37 -0500 Report

I have not bought any crystals. My sister and I make jewelry out of the stones for our small business. I grew up fishing and crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay and I will not eat any fish I catch. I will eat the crabs. I don't eat shrimp and only eat certain fish. But I will eat crabs all day. Unfortunately they are not good for Cholesterol but I eat them anyway. .

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-29 11:52:31 -0500 Report

Hi there; I want you to know that I am soooo drooling over your vacation food. I also love fried oysters and everything you ate. I can't get good seafood where I live now, but when we lived in Seattle I hit Pikes Place 2 or 3 times a week.
As for the odd thing with the numbers, I think you are right about the walking helping. I also think that you were in such a great frame of mind. You were happy, and content along with the extra walking is what I believe made the difference. Good luck at your indo. my first appt is the end of June also, so good luck for both of us. I pray we get some answers to a lot of questions. I also hope you are able to reach your goal to be able to safely kick the insulin. I am glad you had a wonderful vacation. We are planning some sight seeing in the near future.

briarrose70 2014-05-29 11:56:33 -0500 Report

If the walking and I'm getting good numbers like that, then I'll be walking everyday!

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-29 12:34:57 -0500 Report

We, me & my husband, have started hiking/walking almost every day and my BS. is always lower afterward. I have started carrying glucose tabs, along with my water every where just in case it gets too low. I have read that with exercise your BS will get lower. Of course this may not work for everyone, but it does help me. Best Wishes, and congrats on the scribe badge.