FROM OUR EXPERTS
Did you miss the first posts in this series? Catch up before reading on!
Little Changes, Big Difference: Introduction
Little Changes, Big Difference - Part 1: Blood Sugar Trends
Little Changes, Big Difference - Part2: Food Composition and Insulin Timing
For me, the single factor that leads to most of my unexpected low blood sugars and those occasional high numbers is forgetting to account for my activity level. Insulin works so much more efficiently in an active body than when we're sedentary. In order to bolus accurately, you have to consider how active you'll be while that insulin is working.
Nearly every weekend our family takes one or two long walks around our neighborhood or Balboa Park. When I carefully plan my insulin bolus and food intake with a walk in mind, I can usually manage my blood sugar quite well. I'll usually plan to give myself less insulin for my breakfast, lunch, or snack (whichever occurs before our walk), and drop my basal rate for an hour prio...
For the past several weeks, I've implemented a system of working smarter, rather than harder, to maintain my blood sugars. After numerous instances of highs or lows brought on by improper insulin boluses, I figured the area that needed the most focus was boluses and interpreting my blood sugar results. I concluded that many of my erratic blood sugars could have been avoided if I'd taken a few moments to consider some basic variables that effect blood sugar before delivering a bolus. I jotted down a few reminders on a small Post-it note and kept in it my meter case. Then, whenever I tested my blood and determined a meal or correction bolus amount, I'd quickly run through the list and think about the current circumstances before acting. I've seen a significant improvement in my control; specifically I'm experiencing far fewer avoidable highs and lows. These small reminders make a big difference because they encourage me to weigh various factors that impact my blood sugar, so that...
Everybody does it...or at least that's what I told myself. I'd gotten away with doing it for several months: purposefully letting my blood sugars run high because I hate having lows . I'd developed this bad habit one year ago, during a summer where I was filling all of my free time with mile-long runs to the gym where I'd spend at least an hour weight lifting, taking yoga classes three times a week and jiu-jitsu classes twice a week. That all sounds dandy for a healthy diabetic, but the problem was that I was trying so hard to never go low that I was far too often running a regular 200+ blood sugar. We all know a low blood sugar in the middle of a run or a jiu-jitsu class basically puts a big RED LIGHT on the activity. My other issue was that jiu-jitsu classes were so intense that I was worried I wouldn't be able to feel the low blood sugar symptoms until it was too late, so I compensated in the most unhealthily way: a decent-sized bowl ...
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