Sugar Matters
July 19, 2011

Life and Diabetes: a constant re-evaluation

The past few weeks have been spent with us discussing some of the ways in which everyday life, and sometimes not-so-everyday life, can affect how well your diabetes control is doing. Some of it may have surprised you and some may have been just reassurance that your hunch was right in the first place!{{more}}

To round out this topic, we should talk a little about what to expect as “normal” variation, and when something is “off” enough to call your medical provider. The catch to this is that you need to BE CHECKING YOUR BLOOD SUGARS IN THE FIRST PLACE to notice anything. So, get to checking at least several times a week if you can, please. We gave out a bunch of free glucose meters during this past mission trip, so I hope all of you have put them to good use!

Now the first thing to say is this: if YOU are concerned or not feeling well, call your provider, no matter even if your blood sugars are just a little above normal. At times small variations in blood sugars can be a sign of something much larger on its way: a pregnancy, a heart attack, an infection etc. All of these can be preceded by small changes in blood sugar control. So if YOU FEEL different, notify your doc.

Aside from that, you should not jump the gun for every small change you notice. Blood sugars do vary from time to time. Even in the best-controlled diabetic, there are some blips in the radar, where blood sugars are a touch higher than they should be, or a touch lower than normal. Patterns are very important; so, if you have a low blood sugar one morning, check again for the next two days and see if it continues. If yes, then your medication needs to change. If no, then maybe it was just an off day. Same thing with high numbers. Unless you have a severe high, don’t panic: check again a few times during the next few days. If it stays high, get in contact with your doc.

You should notify your medical team immediately for the following:

—Any low blood sugar that makes you pass out or become confused.

—Any high blood sugar that makes you confused.

—High blood sugars along with vomiting, belly pain, or fever.

—Patterns where you notice low blood sugars over and over again, or high ones repeatedly.

—What is too low? Anything under 80 repeatedly is too low, unless you are pregnant (targets are lower for pregnant women). What is too high? Anything above 250 over and over is too high.

In general though, accept that there will be some bumps along the road, but as long as the general trend and average blood sugar road is smooth and on track, then you are doing well. Don’t let life throw you off course!

Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227