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?

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way of Getting Checked

 

Get checked. It’s important

 

Ok so we know what diabetes is. You have an idea of the starter medication that you’ll take and some of the side affects. Are you planning on getting checked? When should you get checked?

 

The Symptoms

Common diabetes symptoms include having to pee a LOT, being super thirsty (I call it Sahara desert mouth syndrome), hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, and fatigue.

The biggest thing that I noticed when I decided to get checked was I was ALWAYS in the bathroom. It didn’t matter if I had something to drink or not, every hour I was going. I also noticed that I had this weird dry mouth thing happening (Sahara desert mouth syndrome). It was like I was always thirsty and whatever I drank wasn’t enough. Thirst is the worst thing for me to have because my weak point with the cutting out a lot of sugar are drinks. I have a serious sweet tooth when it comes to drinks. It’s how I’ve been able to go without eating sugary things. Traded one demon for another. So every time I got thirsty I’m reaching for some juice or sweet tea and sometimes coffee. Every now and then I’d reach for a soda but could stop drinking them when I wanted. I’m sure doesn’t matter if I’m drowning in Hawaiian punch.

 

I fell into this cycle of drinking sugar, then running to the bathroom, then drinking more sugar. Sleeping through the night was impossible without going to the bathroom at least 3 times. I started to think about it being something more. Even the dry mouth started to keep me up at night because it was so uncomfortable. I had to sleep with a water bottle under my pillow just to get through the night.

 

I ignored the symptoms for a while

 

A conversation with my dad that had me thinking it was time to get checked. I asked him how he went from a pre-diabetic stage to full type 2 diabetes. After a while he gave me a run down of what the body does to let you know. He said that with all the excess sugar in your body what ever doesn’t get used ends up doing 1 of 2 things. It’s either stored as fat, which then adds more weight to your body. That ends up being more work for your organs to process things and it gets tired out. Or your body tries to get rid of all the excess sugar. You guessed it, by flushing it out of your system. When your always thirsty, your drink more. If you drink more, you pee more. Diabetes plays a role in your eye health as well so sometimes it’ll even come out through your tear ducts. Ever wonder why your eyes are watering up and leaking?  Not so random.

 

I finally went to the doctor

 

So anyways after that chat with dad, I made an appointment. I had spent the last 2 months running to the bathroom all the time, dying of thirst, and getting no sleep. If  working out was an interest I had zero energy to do it.  It was this vicious cycle that was wearing me out. Did I mention that during those sleepless nights sometimes I would eat? Yup! After being up so long I would get hungry. Throw in my Sahara desert syndrome and you’ve got the perfect recipe for unknown diabetes to drive you crazy.

 

I had been putting off going to the doctor because I was scared. I’d watched so many people around me fight illnesses. I’ve seen home pharmacies created. People hooked up to machines or in the doctors office every other week. I had always struggled with my weight (more in my head than in real life) but never thought that I would get sick. I thought I was immune to some degree. Getting checked meant that I could end up the same way. Having my own pharmacy and being attached to machines the rest of my life.

 

I struggled with the thought. Getting checked meant facing the fact that I may have a disease. It would also put all the attempts at losing weight and being healthy to shame. How could I post all these healthy meals I made if I ended up with diabetes anyways? I realized later that the fear I had was facing the fact that I wasn’t consistent with my health or dedicated. It brought to life all the reality that when I was out I would eat whatever. I didn’t have the discipline to try and eat better. To get checked means facing my failures.

 

But no failure is worth my life.

 

My doctor was pretty confident about my diagnosis just from my urine test because there was so much sugar in it. Of course they still did the blood test but the sugary pee was the least of my problems. My numbers were really high, too high in fact. The “good news” is that it’s caught early enough for me to make a change. Now I didn’t have this huge coming to Jesus moment. I won’t lie and say I pulled a complete 180. Everything I eat is not organic and whole. I haven’t quit sugar quite yet.

 

I still struggled. When people brought junk to work potlucks or donuts just because I still ate them. I still eat fast food, candy, and drink beverages loaded with sugar. I took my meds religiously then kind of fell into the “if I remember” routine. I’m not perfect.

 

You are not alone

 

If there’s anyone out there with a similar situation I’m telling you, begging you even, to get checked. Diabetes is a silent killer for a reason. Some people don’t even have symptoms. Don’t worry if you’re not sure or if it’s something that runs in your family, it doesn’t hurt to add it as part of your check up routine. When it comes to your health knowledge is power. If going to the doctor makes you nervous, have a friend or family member go with you. Make it a part of your annual physical. At least if you know, it’s something you can get a jump on or stay in front of. Know that you’re not alone. Know that it’s not easy for me either but we can’t keep doing what we used to do. What we used to do is what got us here. It’s going to be hard. You’re going to have to really gain control of yourself, but we can do it! This disease is something we can take charge of and beat. Don’t be afraid to find out.

 

How did you find out about your diagnosis? Did you have symptoms? Feel free to share below I’d love to hear your stories!

Let’s Stop Diabetes Together!

 

What is type 2 Diabetes?

 

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your body is becoming resistant to insulin (the stuff that helps move sugar into your blood cells). To help your cells accept the insulin, we take medication. I’m sure most of you know these things but it doesn’t hurt to cover the basics.

 

But there’s 2 of them..

 

Why are there 2 types of diabetes? Well type one is a genetic disorder. The pancreas produces very little insulin. Because of this those with type 1 have to manually take insulin. This disorder is a genetic mutation.  Type 2 can happen at a late age although it’s affecting people younger everyday with the rise of obesity. Being overweight can cause your pancreas to tire out and over produce insulin. On top of that a diet filled with carbs and sweets and you’ve got a body riddled with sugar and not enough insulin. When you’ve had too much to eat what do you do? Stop…except for holidays like thanksgiving where you just have to get in one more bite.

 

So your body makes too much insulin to help your cells use the sugar but your cells are not taking in any. If you’re not making enough, it could be you’ve already got so much in your system your body starts to reject it. Either way, too much sugar in your blood can cause a lot of damage to your body. Yes it’s needed, but if it’s not being used or there’s just way to much, there’s not a lot your body can do. That’s where myself and a lot of people in the US are at right now. Type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in America. We’ve become so saturated with sugar that our bodies are starting to quit on us. I’m only 26. I was diagnosed 6 months ago right before Christmas. Great present right?

 

The struggle has been real

 

I’ve struggled these last 6 months. I keep thinking that it’s all about what I’m eating but it’s more than that. If I want a bacon cheeseburger I can have it! Yet if said cheeseburger has a 1/2 pound patty, I’m pretty sure that’s overkill. So here I am, so sweet and full of sugar! My life depends on truly being able to take control of my health and I intend to do just that. That’s why I want to fight. Lets show people that this is something that can be done. I refuse to be condemned to a life of pill popping when I am in control of how I take care of myself. It will not be easy but lets beat this!

 

Anyone else with me?