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Spend More Time in Blood Sugar Range

There is a lot to managing diabetes, for many people it is a life-time journey. Diabetes isn’t easy but it can be better. Too often there is a strong focus on food and medications; unfortunately, many people living with diabetes tend to gravitate to medications for optimal glucose levels. After many years of clinical practice , a common theme I see is that ,glucose monitoring is passive. You test your blood as requested by your physician, you write your results down or have your results downloaded at the MD office. You wait for your A1C test and bam, you are not where your wanted to be.

So I ask you, would you cover up the speedometer in your car and wing it? After all, you have been driving for years and probably have a good idea if you are driving too fast or too slowly. Every client I ask looks at me with a puzzled look and says, “ Of course I wouldn’t cover up my speedometer.” So my question to anyone with diabetes, why do it with diabetes?

Frequent blood glucose testing lets you know how high or low you are on a daily basis and through-out the day and weeks. It tells you how you are responding to medications, stress, foods, and exercise and gives you the opportunity to make adjustment to spend more time in range. Spending more time in range means better glycemic (glucose) health. You need to know fasting blood sugar levels, 2-hour post meals results, or perhaps you want to know the effects of your various exercise activities. You want to know when you tend to run low or two high. Why? Lows and highs are basically not good for better health.

Checking blood glucose is inexpensive compared to cost of treating complications. Plus, you get to be in control. You don’t have to wait for your doctor telling you in 3 or 6 months how you are doing. Often, I see patients who are overwhelmed that they are not getting the results they expected when they did everything, they thought they were told to do. Many health care professionals don’t have enough time explain the importance of blood glucose testing, how to best test, and what to do with the results. So, patients are left with a wait and let’s see attitude. I am not blaming physicians; insurance coverage also impacts if testing is covered as well as the frequency.

We are fortunate that we have several avenues for the less bothersome and painful fingertips. We have CGMS and other devices that give us immediate feedback (although finger sticks are still performed at certain times.) New technology is a tool for independence only when we do something with the results.

It is important to look for trends of highs and lows. Treat lows first and then move on to discover when and what might be causing highs. You want to do this daily. It is not much different than getting in your car and paying attention to your speedometer. The quicker you are able to responsible, the less likely you will get pulled over or worse yet, get into an accident. Spend more time in range. It’s not much different than knowing how often to get your hair cut, your nails done, or when to change the oil in your car.

Be mindful, be awesome, be healthy.

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