Blood Sugar Level Control – 3 Strategies For Once A Day Checking Of Your Blood Sugars

I have shared some of the lows and highs of living with type 2 diabetes. Namely hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Ultimately as a person living with diabetes, the goal is to have blood sugar levels within the target range of 70-130 mg/dL.

A lot of times this may require frequent monitoring of blood sugars. This is where I usually encounter a lot of resistance from my patients. They complain that testing their sugars several times a day is painful. Also that the test strips cost a lot of money. Or that because of their work schedule they just don’t have the time.

I found that the more I argued with them about this, the more resistant some patients became. In fact some even stopped coming in as scheduled. They would stretch out their appointments. So instead of coming in every three months, they made it twice a year.

Now that can be harmful as it is a surefire way to develop complications related to diabetes!

So I had to get creative with that segment of my patients that just were not going to check their blood sugars consistently.

Well here are three strategies that I came up with. For the most part they ended up being about compromise. Which I think is something that is very important if you are committed to living powerfully.

STRATEGY NUMBER ONE – ALTERNATE FASTING BLOOD SUGARS LEVELS WITH POST-PRANDIAL LEVELS

This is by far my favorite strategy.

This is how it works:

On a calendar, divide the month into odd-numbered and even-numbered days.

On odd-numbered days of the month, check your fasting blood sugar level.

On even-numbered days, check your post-prandial sugar levels. Try to vary the times that you check your post-prandial levels. For instance on one day check the levels after breakfast. The next time after lunch. At another time after dinner.

This is a great way to get a general view of how your sugars run during different times of the day. And not test more than once a day.

Remember to label the times that you check your sugars so that your doctor can understand the trend. I find that certain machines, like the Accucheck One Touch Ultra has a feature that allows labeling the blood sugars also. Check your machine to see whether you can do this.

STRATEGY NUMBER TWO – CHECK POST-PRANDIAL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS OVER THE WEEKEND

Here is when I would recommend this strategy:

For the most part there are two types of blood sugar levels that determine how well controlled a type 2 diabetic is.

The fasting blood sugar level – the blood sugar level first thing in the morning. The target range for the fasting blood sugar is 70-130 mg/dL.

The second level is the post-prandial blood sugar level. This is the blood sugar level that is taken 2 hours after a meal. The level should be less than 140 mg/dL.

Diabetes type 2, is well controlled when both the fasting blood sugars levels and the post-prandial levels are within the target range.

Let’s say I have a person who cannot check their post-prandial levels during the week due to their work schedule. I then encourage them to check the fasting levels during the week. And then over the weekend, focus only on checking their post-prandial levels.

They can do this by alternating post-prandial levels between breakfast, lunch and dinner over the 3 days.

STRATEGY NUMBER THREE – CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED DOCTOR VISIT

I only bring out this strategy when I am pushed to the wall. Literally I am begging a patient to work with me.

There is nothing more frustrating than not having an idea about how the blood sugars are running in between visits. It is like shooting in the dark. You get a blood test result that is high, but you have no idea how to go about correcting it.

As I tell my type 2 diabetes patients, on average they get to see their primary care physician between three to four times per year for routine diabetes care. What happens the remaining 361 days is left in their hands.

If you take blood sugars consistently for even two weeks before an office visit. And when combined with the hemoglobin A1C. Most times it is much easier to spot the problem.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK BOTH THE FASTING AND POST-PRANDIAL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS:

In an earlier article I shared some important numbers that a person living with diabetes needs to know. One of those numbers is the A1C. This is also known as the glycosylated hemoglobin. The target range for the A1c is less than 6.5- 7%. In order to achieve that goal, the fasting blood sugars are within the target range of 70-130 mg/dL. The post-prandial levels also have to be consistently less than 140 mg/dL two hours after a meal.

If your A1C is high, then by keeping a log of the blood sugars, you will be able to pinpoint the problem.

For instance, if the fasting blood sugars levels are within normal range. But the post-prandial levels are high. Then perhaps you need to adjust portion sizes.

Are your fasting levels are running high? It may be that the evening medications need to be adjusted. Or that a late night needs to be cut out. Sometimes this may even mean that the nighttime medications may need to be cut down. But your physician needs to see your glucose log. So that they can target the problem. And create a customized plan for you.

START TODAY TO CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Perhaps you are a newly diagnosed diabetic. Or even if you have had diabetes for some time. But just never thought it important to check your blood sugars. Let’s start out fresh.

Review the instructions of your glucometer. If you do not understand how to use it then check to see whether your local pharmacist can help you. If not call your doctor’s office. And schedule a visit with the nurse. Most times they can help you. Most times the machines work the same way. A few have extra ‘bells and whistles’ attached to them.

Just as I share in my upcoming e- book, two of the hallmarks of living a powerful life with type 2 diabetes is being committed and persistent. If you do, you will go a long way to living free of diabetes complications.