The True Cost of Bad Blood Sugar Management

Do you struggle with blood sugar management?

Let me start by saying it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok, but I’m not judging you. Why? Well, I’m still trying to get my blood sugar under control. I’m not afraid to say so. I didn’t start this site to gloat about how great I am about managing my diabetes. I did, however, want to shed some light on it so that others who are struggling know that it’s ok, and you should keep trying. Bad blood sugar management happens.

So what happens if your blood sugar gets out of control?

Well, there are a couple of things that can happen. If your blood sugar drops too low, you could develop Hypoglycemia aka “the shakes”. If you’ve never experienced the shakes, it’s like when you feel you’re going to faint. Or that feeling when you get so hot that you just want to go to sleep. Typical a sugary drink will help to bring your sugar levels back up. The only problem is that if you’re not careful, you may over do it. I know I’ve had a few moments where I started binge eating to get my levels up, and I ended up making myself sick.

What if it gets too high?

This is called hyperglycemia. I know right? Hypo, hyper? That’s not confusing at all. Without trying to get too scientific on you guys, it’s when you don’t have enough insulin to process the amount of sugar in your blood. If this goes unchecked, you could eventually end up in a diabetic coma. We definitely don’t want that!

As much as it doesn’t seem to affect you, it’s vital that you manage your blood sugar as best as you can. The type of complications that come with bad blood sugar management is a lot worse than simply checking yourself a few times a day and adjusting what you eat. If you’re not careful about staying on top of your blood sugar levels, it could lead to more medication, and the possibility of being on it for life.

What are some experiences you’ve had with managing your blood sugar? Have you had any complications? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

 

 

The Best and Worst Times to take Metformin

Please note that this particular post is about my personal experience with metformin. All information provided is not a medical diagnosis or treatment. Please seek a medical professional before attempting anything.

when is the best time to take metformin?

 

Why is Timing Important for Metformin?

 

One of the things about taking metformin for diabetes is the timing of it all. We typically monitor our blood sugar levels before we eat and after. The medication we take is supposed to help maintain those levels. So why is timing important?

 

The timing for when you take metformin helps to maintain regular blood sugar levels. You always want to take metformin with food. If you were to take it on an empty stomach, it would cause some digestive issues, and it may drop your blood sugar.

 

Not sure what metformin is? No worries, check out this post!

 

So when should you take it?

 

For myself, I take metformin after breakfast and after dinner. Doing so helps maintain my levels for the day and which also helps regulate it at night. These instructions are pretty standard practice. Now depending on your numbers, your Doctor may decide to increase your dose, lower your dose, or add a second medication. I have to have a second drug (Glipizide to be exact) which I take 30 minutes before I eat. Metformin and I don’t agree in high dosages.

 

So what’s the worse time to take metformin?

 

On an empty stomach. Seriously guys don’t do it. I learned that lesson the hard way once. It kept me up from sleep and in the bathroom for over an hour. I was miserable, and I would hate for anyone else to have to go through that.

 

Another time that I found doesn’t work out well for me is midday. What I find happens is that my numbers are either regular or too low in the evenings before I have had my dinner. Then in the mornings, my numbers are higher than normal because I don’t really take anything at night when I just took some a few hours earlier. I don’t feel well throughout the day either. In fact, I feel sluggish. I don’t want to eat in the mornings which leads to my first meal being midday. It just seems to throw my whole body clock off.

 

Do what works for you.

 

At the end of the day when you take your meds and how it’s beneficial to you is between you and your doctor. Collaborate together to set the best course of action to get your diabetes under control.

 

What’s your routine for taking your meds?

 

 

 

 

 

What Prescription am I taking?

 

What prescription?

 

One of the common prescriptions that is given for type 2 folks is Metformin (Glucophage). It helps the liver stop producing as much insulin. It tells your bodies cells that have become resistant to insulin, “Hey it’s ok! They’re good for it let’em in.” That way your bodies blood sugar levels can return to normal.

 

Me, Metformin, and its side effects

 

I remember when I was first given metformin. My doctor told me that this might be the only medication that I’ll need….for the rest of my life.  Granted I’m sure there are many out there that would be ok with having one thing to take. I wasn’t excited to hear that. Since I’m younger than most typical cases, catching it early could mean a better chance to reverse it. She warned me that it’s common to have some gastrointestinal reactions to it (think spicy Mexican food aftermath). So I take 500 mg twice a day with food.

 

But we all know there are longer term effects too..

 

The thing about metformin is that the longer you take it, the more you can “possibly” have complications, like liver failure…

 

I’m sorry what? Oh did I mention kidney failure too AND high blood pressure. We all know what high blood pressure comes with? You got it! More medication! Then that medication has it’s side effects and depending on how you react to it, you may need more medication to help the previous medication. It just turns into this crazy cycle of pill popping every hour of every day just to keep your body going.

Is that any way to live?

 

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry is sitting back counting millions if not more.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I do have an appreciation for modern medicine, and I know that some things right now need the help of medication. I believe modern medicine should be a temporary measure. There are a lot of things out there that we can manage and prevent ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our well-being. I know metformin will people get a handle on their blood sugar.  Metformin is like training wheels. You take until you can manage on your own. That way YOU have a handle on your blood sugar. These medications are a way to help you gain the discipline for blood sugar management. It will help save money in the long run and those funds can be used to help health conscious options across the nation.

 

Metformin is only one of the medications prescribed to diabetics. We’ll talk about those later on, but I wanted you to have an idea of what you’ll be dealing with (if you aren’t already).

 

What are your experiences with Metformin? Do you take it? Just started? Talk to me below and let me know how you feel!

 

How to Avoid Overeating

A big struggle with diabetes and trying to eat healthier is the amount that you eat. Trying to avoid overeating is important not only for your blood sugar but weight management as well. Keeping a healthy weight is just as important as managing your blood sugar. It’s even worse when you’ve eaten, but you still feel hungry. By the time you satisfy that hunger, you’re doubled over on the couch, and not even a wheel barrel can move you. Can we say Thanksgiving dinner? Check out some tips on how to avoid overeating!

 

Avoid carb heavy appetizers

 

Chips n Salsa, bread, potato skins…sound familiar? Just a few of your standard appetizers that you find at restaurants and dinner parties. Carbs expand once you’ve eaten them. They make you feel full faster. To avoid overeating, go for something lighter like a salad, veggies with dip,  veggie chips and much more. Bottom line, keep the filling stuff for the main course.

 

Drink Water Between Bites

 

This tip has been around for years, but it’s still relevant! Water helps you get full faster. Try to avoid sodas because the empty calories will not satisfy you even though you get full. You end up overeating because your body will still crave nutrients that you need from food. By drinking water, you not only keep yourself hydrated, but it helps flush your system too.

 

Don’t Overload Your Plate, Use a Smaller One

 

Your eyes are your biggest deceivers. You’re going to look at that big plate and feel obligated to fill it up. Then there’s the part where you eat it…all. Why? Because mom always said to clean your plate. My mom is the face of finish your food. She does not like anything to go to waste. Easy fix! Use a smaller plate. Seriously. When you use a smaller plate, not only are you cutting down the portion size, but your eyes send a message that says “hey this is a lot of food!” By the time you finish, you may find that you’re full.

 

Small Bites. Chew Slow.

 

The French nailed this one! Both of these combined gives your body time to register to your brain how satisfied you are. This also allows you to ENJOY your food. When’s the last time you’ve enjoyed what you ate? Or when you ate too fast, and you were sad it was over? Take your time. If you cooked it yourself or someone cooked it for you, what better compliment than to relish in what was created? Treat yo’self!

 

No Distractions When You Are Eating

 

If you take anything away from this post, it’s this. The best way (in my opinion) to avoid overeating is to stop eating when you’re distracted. This one I’m still trying to get down. Turn off the TV, get away from your desk, and put away your phone. You are more likely to overeat when distracted than you would with your family. Eat with your significant other or your friends. Even if you eat alone, enjoy the peace. Play some calming music while you do. I like to think of myself as a sophisticated Italian woman who can go to a restaurant and eat alone with confidence. I mean sure the glass of wine will help but even so! Enjoy this time with yourself. You’re more likely to acknowledge when you’re full than if you’re in front of the TV or computer. When you’re distracted, you’re not aware of what you’re doing. That’s how you end up on the couch doubled over.

Listen to your body!!

This is a tough one even for me but please please PLEASE hear me when I say this: listen to your body. It’s challenging at first I know. You will get better though you just have to keep trying. When you start to feel that sensation of fullness, ask yourself: am I full or am I eating because I know I can finish? It’s ok to say that you’ve had enough. To go boxes and reusable food containers are real. Put it up and save it for next time.

I’m sure you guys get it now. By applying these tips, you’ll be able to listen to your body and know the signals for when you’re satisfied. You never want to eat yourself into a coma. It’s joked about a lot, but it’s not to be taken seriously.

 

What are some ways you keep from overeating? Feel free to share below!

 

 

Simple Things Every Diabetic Needs to Succeed

 

What Items Fit Diabetic Needs?

 

Today I wanted to go over some things that every diabetic needs or could use on a day to day basis. Although this is catered to type 2 folks, a lot of these apply to type 1 as well! These are items that all of us should keep on your person. Most of them are no-brainers, but it doesn’t hurt to highlight them.

 

1. Medication

 

A lot of the meds that you take needs to be with food. If you’re like me, and breakfast ends up being at your desk, then you want to keep this on hand. Same for in the evenings. Sometimes I don’t always make it home for dinner but may end up grabbing something with friends or coworkers. You want to be sure that you can still take your meds on time.

 

    2. Glucose Meter

 

Whether you’re a vet or a newbie, I suggest this for you as well. Why? Well, it helps to know where you are. You’d be surprised how much your blood sugar levels affect you. Ever been super cranky and you didn’t know why? Check your numbers. It very well could be a result of it. It also helps to keep track of where you are throughout the day especially before and after meals. Doing this is especially important if you’re just starting out.

 

    3. Journal/App

 

A journal is a great way to keep track of your numbers. It helps you to see where you’re consistent. It’s also helpful for your doctor as well. I mainly use an app, but as a stationary nerd, it would be a lie to say I don’t write it down too. The current app I use is Sugar Sense by MedHelp. It’s available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can set reminders, document what meds you take, and it even exports your report so you can print them out and bring them to your doctor. It’s a great looking app too, and there’s a lot it can do.

 

    4. Hard Candy and Juice

 

I’m sure the eyebrows are up right now. Why would a diabetic need these things? Having these items is more for emergencies. It’s like insurance if you will. Let’s face it, life happens. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t stop for that. Food is our fuel, our gas for our cars. What happens when a car runs out of gas? It’s the same for your body. Sugar is needed. It’s what helps to provide us energy. The juice and hard candy are to help get some sugar in your system to tie you over until you can eat. You suck on the hard candy when you feel hungry, but can’t get to food right away. The juice is for when you’re past that point and the shakes set in. Liquids get into your blood a lot faster than food. Try not to gulp it all down at once. Just keep sipping until you start to feel better. I usually get the small juice packs. I still check the label to make sure it doesn’t have all of the added junk it. If that’s not available soda is also a quick way but I caution you to get the travel cans (the small ones). You only need a little bit. Grabbing a 20oz is over doing it.

 

These are just the basics. There’s a lot of different ways to get yourself setup for success.

 

What are some things that you keep on hand? Share below!

 

 

 

 

How to Control Your Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar

If there is one thing that I could say can be tricky about type 2 diabetes, it’s how to control your blood sugar. It’s as if there is an art to it in the beginning. It’s like fine tuning an instrument or radio station where there’s no static. When you need to control your blood sugar, it seems like it’s a daunting task. I mean come on there’s sugar in EVERYTHING. So how can you control your blood sugar and keep it at normal levels?

 

Understand carbohydrates

I don’t necessarily mean that you need to count every single one (keeping track does help I won’t lie), but if you understand how carbs affect your sugar levels, it can make food decisions a lot easier. The way I did this is I went to see a nutritionist. She provided me with a lot of great information about understanding carbs and the average amount that our bodies need to function. I will do a dedicated post on this later.

Know the many faces of sugar

A lot of people don’t realize that sugar has many different names. You’d be surprised what’s actually in a lot of those “sugar-free” items at the store. To control your blood sugar, it’s best to know how much sugar is actually in what you’re eating. It may say there are only 10 grams (carbs included) but be sure to check the ingredients list as well. You’ll find all the added sugars listed there. That’s why you see a lot of food items labeled with “No Added Sugar” because someone realized “Hey if there’s no sugar, how the heck is it still so sweet?!”

Limit the Sweet stuff after 2 pm.

It takes your body quite a while to process sugar. We already know what too much of it can do. To control your blood sugar, it helps to limit when you have sugar. Again we know sugar is in everything whether it’s in the form of actual sugar or carbs. Do your best to limit the amount that you intake after 2 pm. This way your body already has a jump start on processing the sugar already in your system. Team that up with your meds and 8 hours of sleep and your blood sugar in the morning should level.

Water, water, WATER

Listen I am the WORST about drinking water. My tongue has developed such a palette for delicious sweet drinks that the idea of liquid nothing makes me sad. But one must do what one must do. Keeping your system flushed helps control your blood sugar because it’s getting rid of any excess. You want your body to use what it needs and get rid of the rest. Of course, infused water is a huge help but do be mindful if you use fruit. Try to limit the fruits and veggies you use to those with low sugar.

 

Discipline and Consistency

As you can see, there are a lot of different things that you can do to control your blood sugar. None of that matters if you don’t hold yourself accountable and stay consistent. Don’t worry I’m still trying to get it down because let’s face it life happens. We can’t predict what’s going to happen every day. What we can do is formulate a plan to get through it no matter what is thrown at us and make wise choices on the things we eat and drink.

 

What are some ways you control your blood sugar? Share your tried and true methods below!