Sugar High…Not So Great

My dad was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 15 years ago. For the last 10 years he has been able to manage his strand of diabetes through regular exercise and diet, but as he has gotten older his ability to exercise has decreased and his diet has changed drastically.

He no longer eats three healthy, balanced meals—rather, he’s a one Gandolfo’s sandwich a day kind of guy. In fact, I made him dinner last month and it was the first home cooked meal he has eaten in weeks! Because of his lifestyle change, I have seen him trade his running shoes in for a glucometer, which a few weeks ago was just collecting dust.

After long discussions with his five kids and a few scary doctor’s appointments, he has made the decision to control his diabetes so that in a few years it’s not controlling him.

Diabetes runs in my family, so I wanted to arm myself with as much information as I could to help him my dad. I spoke with Dr. Melissa Bentley at Ogden Internal Medicine, and she gave me a few great tips on how to monitor glucose levels.

1.    Know your target blood range – Because each person has a different height, weight and family history, it’s best to talk to your provider for the exact number. However, below is a guide for the average adult. Keep in mind, children’s levels are different.

  • Before meals: 70-130
  • Two hours after meals: Less than 180
  • Bedtime: 90-150

2.     Ensure you are checking your glucose properly – If possible, wash your hands in warm water. If you are unable to, wipe the area with an alcohol swab or antibacterial. Shake your hand below the waist to bring blood to the surface. Stick your finger and apply directly to the testing strip.

3.     Decide when you will check your levels – By checking your glucose levels at the same time every day, it’s much easier to find consistent patterns. It is also helpful to set alarms in your phone as a consistent reminder.

4.     Identify patterns – This is helpful for your doctor to create a treatment plan for specific times of day.

5.     Learn what causes “peaks and valleys” in your blood glucose – Food, in particular, plays a huge role in this step. As an example, if you were to eat a PB&J everyday for lunch and two hours later you have high levels, you could contribute it to your lunch. By knowing what triggers high blood sugar, it’s much easier to omit those foods or eat them in moderation.

If you are worried that you may have diabetes, or if you’re having trouble managing this disease, contact Dr. Bentley for an appointment.





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