Has this ever happened to you? You have diabetes. You think you are doing everything right. Then, you go in for your regularly scheduled check up only to have your doctor tell you that your blood glucose is too high according to your hemoglobin A1C. What should you do? You know you must get into the recommended ranges to reduce your chances of having complications, such as vision or circulation problems.
Usually, your doctor will give you a log to write down your blood glucose check results at home and bring the completed log back for your next visit. While this log might help, it also may not - some key pieces of information may be missing because most logs only have space to write down blood glucose readings.
Figuring out where your problems are requires you to examine several additional things. First, look at the foods you are eating along with the amounts and times. You might be eating more carbohydrates than you think. Is your problem only after breakfast or another time? Are you looking at everything, including in between meal snacks?
Second, exercise and medicines lower blood glucose. Are you walking regularly? When are you walking? How much are you walking? When are you taking your diabetes medicines, and how much are you taking?
How does all of this information fit together and help you know what to change? The “whole picture” is best seen when you write down all of the information for at least one typical week day and for one weekend day from morning to bedtime. Check your blood glucose before each meal, two hours after each meal, and before bedtime. Then, write those figures down throughout the days you have chosen.
If you would like a form to help you get a complete picture of where your problem areas are, which might be causing your high blood glucose levels, go to http://fcs.tamu.edu (under Health and Type 2 Diabetes). Look for the form Keeping Track, and the instructions for using the form, Steps to Getting into and Staying in Recommended Blood Glucose Ranges.
If you want to attend free classes, call your Texas AgriLife Extension Service San Saba County agent, Carolyn McDowell at 325-372-5416 to register Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes classes beginning in March. Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes is a five class, nine topic series that has helped many people learn how to manage their diabetes well and keep their blood glucose in recommended ranges. These classes are taught by a team of volunteer nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and other health professionals to provide you with the latest information on how to better manage your type 2 diabetes. Self-management of type 2 diabetes has changed a lot. These classes will help you to learn how to make your life with diabetes easier and reduce your chances for complications.
Written by Carol A. Rice, PhD, RN, Extension Health Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System, January 2008.