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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/2/14 9:01 A

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1 ) every 3-6 months at my check-ups
2 ) whenever I eat off plan. 2a ) I don't have a meter, or strips.
3 ) Usually either my doctor or I remember I am diabetic during the check-up, and one of us suggests we check the blood sugar. Often it is me, instead of the doctor, because I tend to cheat the night before a check-up, due to nerves. So I always wonder what it is.

When I was heavier, and my Hemoglobin A1C was higher, a binge the night before might cause me to have a 180 blood sugar, even after fasting since midnight, so no food for 8 hours. Now I will go to McDonald's and have 2 burgers, and a pop at 10, and at 8:30 ( when I do my visits.. 1st in ), it will still be 80-90.

I don't really think that one blood sugar helps me at all, so tend to think the A1C is a better guide to how one is doing, but I got to a 5.0 A1C, without meds, by using those numbers.

I used to fill out charts of 4 blood sugar checks daily, before, and 2 hours after 2 of my meals. Back then, I was "following " the diabetic diet ". I was always hungry, had blood sugars between 200-300, because I cheated so much. I binged, because eating certain foods made me crave more food. So when my blood sugars were over 400, I would LIE on my charts..lol. I would just subtract 100 id that was enough, or divide the number in half, if it was over 500.

That was how I found out about Hemoglobin A1C. I guess one can't average 180-250 blood sugars, and have an A1C as high as I did. At that time, they did blood tests as often as weekly, or bi-weekly for both my diabetes, and CHF, so I ignored which tests they were doing. Let the doctors handle it! So they would draw 6 vials of blood, and I had no idea what they were doing with it.

So they found out I was a liar..lol. Guess I wasn't the first one to fudge my numbers. It did start me asking questions about what each test, and what every result meant. I started asking for goals, ranges, what each test meant, and how much I had improved. All of a sudden I connected that the number on my meter was directly attributable to the foods I ate. So I started isolating single foods at my snacks, and seeing how a serving of bread, or a Tablespoon of mayonnaise would affect blood sugar ( neither tasty by themselves ). After going through all my foods that I ate, and noting which ones raised blood sugars, I started combining them. So bread with mayonnasie ( tastier than separate ). Even with the mayo, which didn't raise my blood sugars at all, the combo was almost identical ( slightly lower ) than bread alone, which made my blood sugar soar to over 300 ( 1 piece of bread ). Granted this is cheap white bread, but still, it made me realize that the bread was a problem, not mayo. Pasta, corn, cereal, milk, and yogurt all made my blood sugars soar. So I started limiting them, and started seeing results.

Then I read Atkin's book and it made sense to me, even though high fat, eggs, and meat sounded insane to me at the time. I also have congestive heart failure, so him being a cardiologist is why I chose that low carb plan. Many of the allowed foods on Atkins were the ones that I knew did not raise my blood sugars. Fat and protein have almost no effect on raising blood sugars, so by eating 95% fat and protein, I started having LOW blood sugars. I had seen that term on my charts, but thought maybe we shared our charts with hypoglycemics..lol. LOW sounded great! It wasn't. I spent a few months eating a lot of meat and eggs, but not really happy with my diet. I was full, losing weight, and my blood sugars were low, but I didn't like my menu.

So I again used my meter to test more fruit, and veggies. Up till that point I mainly had eaten bananas, and corn, and that's it. Everything else was " yucky ". By using my meter, I found out that the recommended carbs on Atkins, once I read about continuing the diet past the initial phase, and upping carbs, tended to not raise my blood sugars as much as corn, and bananas. So by using the meter, I found that I could have berries, and 1/2 an apple for fruit. Macadamia nuts, but not cashews. Cheese, but only 4 ozs a week. All veggies except beets, carrots, and corn. Over time I have been able to add back in kidney beans, and peas, which initially caused higher blood sugars.

Last year I found my meter in a box, and threw it away. It was dusty, and I didn't have any strips, and I now wish I had been able to give it away to someone who could have used it, but at the time, I thought of it as junk in a box, and hadn't used it in over a year. I used to clean my house by throwing everything in a box, and putting it in the closet, so at this point when I had gotten down to 220 lbs., and was walking, and had energy, I decided to clean house, and I was in throw-away mode. Everything went. So I don't have a meter, but now as I approach maintenance on low carb, and am starting to consider how to up my carbs, I may have to buy a new meter. I would recommend that everyone use it to test every food they eat separately, and any new food gets this test. You may not use this information to do low carb, as I have done, but knowing a food caused high blood sugars, could make you decide to limit it, or pair it with a lot of foods that don't raise blood sugars, like 1/2 cup pasta, with 5 servings of low glycemic veggies, and 3-4 ozs chicken breast, instead of pasta with spaghetti sauce, and a slice of bread on the side.

Those numbers are important. Use them.


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I.M.MAGIC's Photo I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,199
4/1/14 9:04 P

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MRSCLASSICS, those high morning numbers may possibly be because of something called the Symogi effect, or "dawn Phenomenon"...
Basically, when ever you skip a meal (Like when you sleep), your blood sugar drops and your brain thinks there is a little famine going on--so it sends a signal to your liver to release some of the sugar that's stored there. Only, being diabetic, your body overreacts and releases more than you need and voila`... a morning "spike".

Try eating a small protein-based snack around bedtime, to forestall that message, and see if that helps....

Kathy emoticon

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!
P.S. I looked up enthusiasm, and it says the root words mean God within... interesting...!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes one mome


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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,885
3/28/14 5:45 P

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Mrsclassics, do you have Walmart Relion meters there? I have read that they are really low priced in comparison. Of course, I couldn't afford them, either, but found a cute little meter and it turned out to be one that the hospital insurance fully pays for, so have a chance to do a little more. Of course, that is restricted to how much the doctor orders. I got 400/year. They are priced in-between Relion and other brands.

Re: high morning BS, I have been running into that, too. My friend suggested I drink more water (which I'm always bad at) and I did that last night and my BS was lower this morning. I have been trying many things to get it down. Of course, I can't sleep through the night, but I have other problems waking me up anyway, so guess it isn't any worse.



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MRSCLASSICS's Photo MRSCLASSICS SparkPoints: (741)
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3/28/14 12:10 P

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At present I'm testing more often,(6X/day) trying to figure out why my morning BS are high around 9.5 mmol/l (170-180 mg/dl) I have the same problem as most people I would like to test more often but OHIP(Ontario Health Insurance Plan) Government Funded will only pay for 300 strips/year unless your on Insulin.

Gail from Northwestern, Ontario, Canada

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,885
3/28/14 12:00 P

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I have only done mornings (1x). When I have a prescription for strips that is all she puts on it. I wanted to get strips so that I can see how eating less carbs would affect my BG and can see if any light headed feeling I get is from low or high BG. Otherwise, I haven't really had strips to test.



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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
3/28/14 11:19 A

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I spent the first couple of months testing multiple times a day trying to figure out how to identify highs/lows .... got me no where, there was never any rhyme or reason to it. At my doc's urging I now test once a day, in the am.

Besides, insurance won't pay for more than one test a day, and the strips are way out of my price range without insurance.

I have a1c done every 3 months, and my doctor feels like that's enough.

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METALJEN73's Photo METALJEN73 SparkPoints: (55,002)
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3/28/14 8:21 A

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I test normally 2 times per day. Once for a fasting number and second after a meal. Since this low carb way has been new I am testing 3-4 times per day and recording what I eat with a number. I am trying to learn how foods, exercise and food combining effects my BS numbers.

Jen

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
3/27/14 11:30 P

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I'm currently experimenting with how much different foods raise my blood sugar so I test a lot (up to 15-20 times/day). But long term, once I know my response to most foods and types of exercise I often do, I think I will test 2-3 times/day unless I try new foods or exercise an unusual amount.
I think that is the amount I should be testing while still in the pre-diabetic range.
I hope this will allow me to get my A1c very close to 5 in the long run.
Birgit

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I.M.MAGIC's Photo I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,199
3/27/14 10:35 P

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I test 6 times a day. I'm on a sliding scale for my insulin, and have a stomach condition that requires small frequent meals... and there you have it! LOL

It does help me maintain, though... the meals so often mean I don't have the peaks and valleys so much.
Kathy emoticon

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!
P.S. I looked up enthusiasm, and it says the root words mean God within... interesting...!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes one mome


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HYEGEEK SparkPoints: (179,526)
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3/27/14 9:24 P

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1. I test between 1 and many (10+) times a day.
2. As often as I do.
3. If I'm only testing once, it is in the morning to make sure I'm in my normal range. This makes me believe I will have a normal day. When I'm testing many times, it is because of something out of the ordinary. A new food will have me testing before it and every 1/2 hour after it until I go back to a normal range or am convinced that it will never go very high. When I'm doing a lot of exercise, I tend to test more often because I find that it helps me determine what my body is doing. Sometimes after heavy exercise, taking in something kind of carby will drop my blood sugar.

So, at this point, when things are pretty normal or well understood, I don't test very often and I can build up a reserve of extra strips for when I need them.

SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 Posts: 10,913
3/27/14 8:11 P

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1. twice a day
2. maybe 3 times a day. Just to see where I am at during the day. I take my bs when I get up in the morning and 2 hrs after I eat dinner.
3. I think it would tell me if I am more in control of what I am eating or not.


Kim

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
3/27/14 8:02 P

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Just 3 pieces of information:
1. How often do you test your blood sugar?
2. How often do you think you should test your blood sugar?
If there is a difference between the two, why?
3. How do you apply what you learn?
I'm hoping to find out how testing can be made easier/more helpful and how people can get better blood sugar results. The more we share with each other the better we can do.

Birgit


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