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My Blood Sugar Goes Up and Down

 

January 31, 2009

 

Checking your blood sugar levels is important, very important, especially when you begin to monitor your progress.  However, be wary that your blood sugar (glucose) levels will go up and down depending on the day and time.  This is even true if test your blood at the same time on two consecutive evenings at the same time.  Why, you may ask (if not, ask it anyway), it is because your body is a constantly changing entity which had different factors that are constantly affecting it.  For instance, the times you ate, and the time between your finished eating and taking the test might be different.  The things consumed during the last meal or the quantities of each food might be different.  There might be other environmental figures that will affect it as well.  I also believe that there are also mental factors that will affect your blood sugar levels.  Over the past few days (this is my 7th day on this diet - I made it one week!), I have seen my numbers go up and down.  One of the most disheartening things is seeing a higher number than the previous day and saying to yourself, I have been doing well, and I followed my diet/exercise routine, yet my numbers were higher than yesterday.  Hey, don't fret.  That is only natural.  What you need to do is to look at these numbers over a week or a month, then average them against a like period of time so that you can really be able to compare the two figures and see if you have really improved or not -- a few days is not going to let you know enough.

 

This leads me to another point.  Just taking your blood sugar levels is not enough. You are going to need to write down your findings.  Even if you have a great memory, are you going to be able to remember every reading for the past two months?  I know I can't, so I keep a daily journal with all of my readings.  For right now, I am taking readings when I first awaken (or actually after I have taken my shower) and in the evening, usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours after my dinner.  I do try to have dinner at approximately the same time every evening, but with work and kids and other factors, those times do fluctuate a little bit, especially during the weekends.  My rule of thumb is to eat at approximately 3 hour intervals - 6 AM (breakfast), 9 AM (snack), 12:30 PM (lunch), 3:30 PM (snack), 7-7:30 PM (dinner), 10 PM (snack).  All times are approximate.  I will include additional discussions about dieting, but the basics are, try to spread out smaller meals throughout the day and do not eat one meal within two hours of another meal.  Your body goes through a number of changes when it processes the food you eat.  For myself, there is about a two hour cycle between the time I eat my last piece of food and the time my body goes back to a pre-eating stage.  I want to make sure my body completely goes through one process before beginning the next.

 

One way to find out what your own personal digestive process is is by testing your blood at many intervals after a meal. Take your blood sugar readings every thirty minutes.  You will see how the levels change because of the amount of sugars that are in the blood to help with the digestive process.  It will be at its highest levels right after you eat, and will gradually decrease until it levels off.  Also note, your blood sugar levels will be at its lowest in the morning after you wake up (before eating anything).  This is called the "fast" reading, and doctors like to refer to this as a blood reading after at least 6 hours after you last ate (which is the reason why your doctor usually asks "when was the last time you ate?").   What is interesting is that my readings were sometimes lower in the mornings than in the evenings.  I am not concerned because as mentioned above, those readings can fluctuate for many reasons.  There is also a strange occurrence that sometimes happens when your glucose levels will go up in the morning for some people, which does at times happen to me.

 

Well, tomorrow, I will actually celebrate my latest first week of dieting, which also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday -- and I'll let you know how I handled eating at the party and give some tips.  In hindsight, it may have been more benefit for you to know these tips today, but it is getting late.  Just try to eat the good stuff and stay away from the bad stuff (the 4 Fs -- Fried foods (e.g., fried chicken, fried chicken wings, etc.), Fast foods, Fatty food (e.g., cheesy, thick sauces, etc.), foods with Flour (e.g., breads, pastas), and high in sugar.  It's easier to say than do, but I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Let's go Cardinals!

 

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