Identifying Trends and Why You Should Track Your Blood Sugar

Many folks that are diagnosed diabetics self-measure blood sugar once a day, if at all, using a blood glucose meter at home. When you have labs drawn at the doctor  fasting blood sugar is a standard measure.  Commonly, your hemoglobin A1C (HBA1c), which reflects your average blood sugar level for the past several months, may also be measured. If these values are slightly out of range you may be labeled pre-diabetic.  These snapshot values are partial indicators of how your body is processing and tolerating carbohydrates.  If you are overweight (or not) it would be wise to gain some insight into how your body is actually functioning. More importantly, if you are concerned about reducing insulin resistance then you need to learn what insulin response is elicited by carbohydrates in your body.  That is, what foods raise your blood sugar and by how much. To improve your insulin sensitivity, it is important to keep glucose from spiking after meals.

The best approach is to make a small investment in a blood glucose meter. I use a Contour Next EZ by Bayer.  The meter and test strips are not expensive and several websites indicate that its accuracy is high. Important values to determine trends for are fasting/waking and 1 & 2 hours after eating (post-prandial).  These measures help you make better decisions to manage your food choices and ultimately improve insulin resistance. Knowledge is power!

Topics for future posts will be the impact of exercise of blood sugar, protein consumption and blood sugar, and the Dawn Phenomenon (high AM fasting blood sugar).

Additional reading:

Why hemoglobin A1c is not a reliable marker

Why your “normal” blood sugar isn’t normal (Part 2)

Why I Test My Blood Sugar

How to prevent diabetes and heart disease for $16

More to come…..