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Archive for October, 2008

Back on track

Friday, October 24th, 2008

If you read my last column, you know that last week I had a low blood sugar episode.  For those of you who have had a problem like this you’ll know that it can be traumatic.  My sugar dropped to 60 and my need for sugar actually woke me at 3AM.

While this may seem unusual to you if you haven’t had this problem before, let me assure you that when my blood sugar drops to 100 and I’m awake I focus on food as my number 1 priority.  So, you can imagine that when I woke up I did not need to test my blood sugar to know I needed to get the number up.

Immediately I went to the kitchen searching for juice.  We were out…doesn’t it figure that the one time I’m in need it’s gone!  I did the next best thing, I drank milk.  Then I found the strawberry jam, peanut butter, granola bars and pasta.  I can’t tell you how much of anything I ate but I definately overdid it. 

My excuse is simple it was 3AM I was still asleep and acting on instinct (not that I needed an excuse).  My sugar rose to 219 in 1 hour and I was ok.  Actually I was stuffed.  I skipped breakfast that day and am back on track today.

How do you handle low blood sugar episodes?

Too Much of a Good Thing…

Friday, October 17th, 2008

The other night I was doing great.  For those of you who don’t know me, I am a type 2 diabetic and have been for 15 years.  Over the years I’ve managed my diabetes with various pills and injections.  About 3 years ago, I opted to discontinue the pills and give my organs a rest from the potential issues associated with using pills.

Today I use insulin.  I’ve gotten so comfortable that I sometimes take it for granted that I am using the right amount of insulin.  The other night I ate well, had a few carbs with dinner and a Granola Bar for dessert. 

At bedtime I took my usual amount of insulin and added a few units so that my number in the morning would come in a little below 130.  At 3AM I woke up and was famished.  My sugar was 60 and I was crashing.  Quickly I drank some milk and began pigging out.  Normally I think of nothing but food when my blood sugar hits 100, so you can understand that I ate anything that didn’t move at 3AM. 

My sugar started bouncing back and I was OK.  In fact at 4AM my sugar was 219.   This is the 3rd time in 15 years I’ve had a low sugar incident.  Too much insulin and then too much food, but all I can say is things like this happen, we manage our diabetes with all the information we have and still we can have problems, if you’ve ever had an issue like this let us know how you handled it.

Dieting Tips for Diabetics

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Here are some tips that may help you understand why weight loss in Diabetics is an issue.

Diabetes is a metabolic problem.  A low calorie restrictive diet is giving a lot less to a diabetic than a non-diabetic.  This will likely not provide adequate nutrition due to the limit on food intake and the stress of diabetes on getting adequate nutrition. 


Several problems make weight loss difficult for Diabetics.  Blood sugar spikes lead to excess insulin production, the liver converts it to triglycerides that become fat on the body.


Diabetics need to eat more smaller meals, due to inefficient metabolism.  Nutrients are often not processed properly and so diabetics do not gain optimal nutrition from their meals.


Diabetics cannot process high glycemic foods efficiently and diabetics usually eat too many carbohydrates.   This creates a vicious cycle of excess insulin production and excess Cortisol (a hormone that raises blood sugar levels).


Tips for managing your diet:

1.      Eat every 2 ½ – 4 hours, either a meal or snack.

2.      Do not skip meals or snacks.

3.      If you eat before the 2 ½ hour interval is reached, start a new 2 ½ hour interval from the time you cheated and ate too soon.

4.      Eat a little protein with every meal.

5.      Limit high glycemic foods.

6.      Consider fats are fattening. 


The key point is the “interval.”  Eat on schedule.  You are not being asked to “not eat”, instead you are only being asked to “wait”.