It’s been a while since the website update and relaunch of the site. I had expectations that were originally dreamt up. I would post once a week. Then life happened and the struggles have been very real.
My full time job ended sooner than expected. The hunt for a new one began and after 3 weeks, a new one was obtained. The sad thing is that it didn’t last long either. A week to be exact. I’m still on the search for a steady paycheck. I’ve had a few promising interviews but I’m not holding my breath until I get an offer and I’m there longer than a few weeks.
The struggles continue…
You would think this is the perfect time to knock out some writing right? However, on top of professional struggles there have been a few personal ones too. Putting out all these fires left me a little depleted and uninspired. I hadn’t reached very many people anyways. Who would miss it?
I made a commitment and I plan is to keep it. This blog is not only my way of helping others but it’s for myself as well. I need to keep myself accountable for maintaining my diabetes naturally. This is one of the most important things that I must do for myself.
So moving forward, I’m going to be sure to post something once a week. Whether it will be a personal post or anything else, I’m going to commit to writing something.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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!