Checking Your Blood Glucose: Make it a Habit

Checking Your Blood Glucose, Make it a Habit, is the latest Johns Hopkins HEALTH ALERT and they reinforce the belief that this is the best way to reduce your blood sugar and maintain it in near-normal or normal ranges.
The newsletter reports that “More than 63 percent of adults with diabetes check their blood glucose at least once a day, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Self-monitoring is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your blood glucose and keep it in your desired range. Studies have consistently shown that doing so reduces your risk of developing many serious complications of diabetes.

In the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), people with type 1 diabetes who underwent intensive insulin therapy and checked their blood glucose three or four times a day dramatically reduced their overall risk of complications, including retinopathy, kidney disease and nerve damage.

Other research shows that self-monitoring of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes improves hemoglobin A1c levels. A study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion revealed that participants who self-monitored their blood glucose levels reduced their A1c levels by 0.40 percent.

Keeping your glucose meter handy allows you to take a reading any time you suspect hypo- or hyperglycemia (low or high blood glucose). If you have any concerns about hypoglycemia before driving an automobile, a glucose check is crucial. Likewise, frequent self-monitoring when you start taking a new medication or changing your dose gives you prompt information about how it’s affecting your glucose control.

When should you check your blood glucose? Self-monitoring can provide important information on a daily basis at pivotal times.
Blood glucose check: Before and after meals. Checking your blood glucose just before you eat and again two hours later can help you learn how certain foods affect your glycemic control.
Blood glucose check: Before and after exercising. If your blood glucose is lower than 100 mg/dL prior to hitting the treadmill, eat a small snack containing carbohydrate (such as a piece of fruit or three graham crackers). If your blood glucose is 300 mg/dL or higher, postpone your workout.
Blood glucose check: At bedtime. Checking your blood glucose before getting under the covers can help prevent nocturnal hypoglycemia. Ask your physician or diabetes educator what your minimum pre-bedtime blood glucose level should be and what you should eat for a snack if it’s too low
Type 2 diabetics should be checking your blood glucose: make it a habit on a daily basis until your numbers stay in the desired (70′s – 90′s) range for at least a week or more. This helps you learn what to eat to maintain those low blood glucose readings. When your blood glucose readings are consistent for more than a week, you may decide to measure less often. As soon as they start to fluctuate, start the continual monitoring again.

Click here to read my blog on how to measure your blood glucose.

Let me know how many times you measure your blood glucose each day. I measure 4 or 5 times each day, first thing in the AM, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and last thing before bed. Does it help, yes, it helps keep me in line and eating “clean”. So remember to check your blood glucose often: make it a habit.

As always, To Your Great Health!

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