Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Checking Blood Sugars: My Diabetes Science Experiment

By Ginger Vieira, Health Guide Friday, February 29, 2008
It would be nice if, for the sake of my blood sugar, every day were exactly the same. I’d wake up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner, spend the same amount of time sitting in class and exercising, go to bed at exactly the same time every day, and of course take the same amount of insulin at the same time every single day.


Presumably, this would be equal perfect blood sugar with no surprises, no variables, no funny meals that have hidden carbs or workouts in the gym that were less than average, leaving me with an extra high blood sugar afterward.

Okay…wait…back to reality: life is unpredictable! And geez, I’m glad, because the same thing day in and day out would be horribly boring. The downside to this, though, is that we’re constantly trying to balance our blood sugars between it all.

And it gets frustrating, because one day I’ll have a yogurt before yoga class and my blood sugar is at 140 an hour later (I like that), and then the next day I’ll have a yogurt before yoga and half way through class I’m ready to faint from low blood sugar.

Instead of getting frustrated, though, I’ve decided these quirky ups and downs are all just part of my science experiment. That’s right, I am my own diabetes science experiment—every day.

GUIDELINES TO CONDUCTING YOUR DIABETES SCIENCE EXPERIMENT:


1. Getting the data…check your blood sugar, baby! And check it often! Healthy blood sugars are of course the main objective of the science experiment, so there’s no way you can do your research properly if you don’t get all the data! Your meter is no longer that obnoxious thing that tells you how “good” or “bad” you’ve been that day (because, hello, there’s no such thing as bad!), now your meter is simply the most useful tool in your science lab!

2. Keep track of your data! Now, I’m not a fan of those pesky blood sugar diaries, but I am a fan of taking a few research notes so I’ll remember that when I wake up with a blood sugar of 200 before heading to the gym, my body only needs one unit of insulin to bring it down while also working out. This is my research data. It’s not for my doctor or my mom, it’s for my science experiment…and let me tell you, I want this experiment to be thorough so that I don’t accidentally blow something up or fill the science lab with pink smoke.

3. Some experiments don’t go as planned! The whole reason we’ve got to experiment in the first place is because there are so many unanswered questions! Therefore, it’s really, really okay if your experiments don’t turn out the way you want them to. You’re not being graded on the result of your lab time, you’re just trying to give it your best effort and get as much “data” as you can. And fortunately, because of “Guideline #1,” as soon as your experiment does start to get a little funky, you’ll know as soon as you check your blood sugar again---for the sake of more data, of course. Cool

Ask Ginger - Do carbs for exercise make you gain weight?
By Ginger Vieira, Health Guide— Last Modified: 01/26/14, First Published: 02/29/08