Well my endocrinologist wasn't happy with me about a week ago. Depression set in over the holidays and I just didn't keep track or care. I'm back on track now and I wanted to know are there certain numbers we should track? Like what is the right amount of carbs, protein, etc.? Is it the same for everyone or different for each person?
Congratulations for getting back on track. It’s not uncommon to get off track during the holidays and it’s great that you have been able to get re-focused. The numbers we track in diabetes come in two categories. The first category are those numbers or tests that are not specifically related to blood glucose numbers, but screen for elevated risk factors and specific complications. These numbers and tests include: • A total lipid panel (Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), • Blood pressure (should be checked at every visit), • Microalbumin (a urine kidney test), • A dilated eye exam, • A dental exam (twice a year) and • A foot exam It’s important to get each of these tests done at least yearly, and more frequently in some cases. The second group of testing in diabetes relates to blood glucose control. The numbers we track for blood glucose control are the A1C (done by your healthcare provider) and home blood glucose readings. The A1C is a blood test done every 6 months, or more often if it is 7% or higher,-t. Checking your blood glucose at home is done according to the plan set up by you and your healthcare provider. People with diabetes check their blood glucose a few times per week to several times per day, depending on their particular situation. If your A1C is high, chances are that your healthcare provider has asked you to check it more than once a day. Specifically, to answer your question about carbohydrates, obviously knowing the number of carbs to aim for at meals is important. Your carb goals depend on your activity level, your weight goal and your gender. General carbohydrate goals are 30 to 45 grams of carb per meal for women and 45 to 60 grams of carb for men, with an additional 15 grams of carb allotted for 1 to 2 snacks a day. These goals will vary depending upon the individual. Meeting with a dietitian is the best way to know how to count carbs and determine your individual carb goals. The dietitian will also work with you to develop a detailed meal plan, including goals for protein and fat intake.