Diabetes is a common incurable disease. The course of treatment is primarily aimed at suppressing its symptoms and reducing the likelihood of complications. Nevertheless, the patient can lead a full happy life if he follows the recommendations of a doctor and adheres to a specialized diet. The main thing is to independently control the level of glucose in the blood. Why is this so important? Let’s figure it out together.
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Why monitor your blood glucose?
Frankly, everyone should know their blood glucose level and do annual diagnostics. The measure will help a person identify the prediabetes period of the disease and begin early treatment, stopping the development of the disorder.
Self-monitoring is especially important for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. They must monitor their glucose levels and keep a record in a special diary. These data allow you to identify deviations and avoid future complications. Maintaining blood glucose as close as possible to ideal values reduces the risk of such conditions. In addition, the attending physician can determine the quality of the prescribed treatment course and make adjustments if necessary.
People who are overweight or whose close relatives have diabetes must undergo an annual examination. People over 40 should take a blood glucose test once every 3 years. The normal blood glucose level for healthy people and non-pregnant women is:
- Less than 6.1 mmol / l before meals
- Less than 7.8 mmol / l 2 hours after a meal
Patients with diabetes do not have an average blood glucose level. The doctor prescribes the optimal range, within which the measurement results should be. These minimum and maximum values are determined individually and depend on many factors.
Diabetes is an insidious disease. Unfortunately, our body adapts and gets used to raising or lowering blood sugar. Therefore, a person may not feel deviations. He will notice changes only in a difficult situation when the blood glucose level goes out of the normal range. In this case, dangerous complications may appear that can lead to death. To avoid this, a person must conduct periodic measurements of blood sugar. Fortunately, today for this purpose there are specialized devices called glucose meter. They make it easy to take measurements anytime, anywhere.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a sharp decrease in blood glucose. It occurs when the rate drops below 3.9 mmol / L and can occur at any time of the day. The main symptoms of the disorder:
- Trembling limbs
- Frequent heartbeat
Pathology is associated with a lack of glucose, and, consequently, energy for body cells. The danger lies in the possibility of a loss of consciousness. If quick measures are not taken, then a person may lose consciousness and die without further medical attention.
If you feel signs of hypoglycemia, then urgently use 15 grams of fast carbohydrates. You can quickly replenish them by drinking a glass of water with 1 tablespoon of sugar dissolved or a glass of fruit juice. After 15 minutes, glucose measurements should be taken. If it does not exceed 3.9 mmol / l, then additional carbohydrates should be taken. The cyclic process must be repeated until the sugar level exceeds the minimum value. It is important to report your hypoglycemia attack to your doctor so that he makes appropriate adjustments to the course of treatment.
Signs of hyperglycemia
As you can guess, hyperglycemia is an excess of blood sugar. Since diabetes is characterized by a similar excess, the symptoms of the disorders are similar. The main signs of hyperglycemia:
- The smell of acetone from the mouth
- Frequent urination
- Permanent dry mouth
- Impenetrable thirst
- Poor wound healing
Most often, a jump in glucose is characterized by incorrect treatment: refusal of a diabetic diet, failure to perform prescribed exercises or low volume of drugs.
If these symptoms appear, you should contact your doctor and report any problems. Drink as much liquid as possible so that the body gets rid of excess sugar. Do not exercise if your blood glucose exceeds 14-15 mmol / l.
It is very important to note all surges in sugar in the appropriate diary. These data will help the doctor understand the problem and adjust the treatment.
How to take measurements?
Many years of experience using glucometers and special measurements have allowed specialists to draw up an optimal plan for monitoring sugar indicators, which depends on the type of diabetes.
If a person has type 1 diabetes, he should take 4 measurements per day. Measurements must be taken before each meal and at bedtime. If you have had a strong workout or ate a prohibited product, you should conduct additional research at night.
The sugar control regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes depends on the prescribed course of treatment. If a person uses insulin repeatedly (rare serious cases), then as with type 1 diabetes, he must take 4 measurements per day. Otherwise, the patient should take measurements of his blood glucose level 2 times a day, and record the results in the appropriate diary. If a person takes sugar-lowering drugs, then he must take 4 measurements of sugar level 1 time per week. This is a control measurement, which allows us to talk about the effectiveness of using such tools.
This is the standard plan for using glucometers. However, the attending physician can change and supplement it. It depends on the goals that he pursues and the quality of the treatment.
There are situations where you should check your blood sugar more often than usual. Among them:
- Change in treatment
- New diabetic diet
- Non-standard physical exercises
- Change of place of work or residence
- Travel or change of climate zone
You can independently increase the number of measurements if you want to get more detailed information about your body.
Tips for the natural control of blood sugar
Every person with diabetes knows that their blood sugar depends mainly on their lifestyle and diet. By controlling it, you can change glucose indicators. Consider a few tips that will help every person (not even a diabetes person) maintain glucose in the recommended range.
- Be less nervous and avoid stress. Under the influence of stress, the body produces glucagon and cortisol. These two hormones affect the level of sugar in the blood, increasing its amount.
- Quality sleep is important. Improper sleep patterns or insomnia can decrease insulin sensitivity. In addition, lack of sleep is a great boost to gaining extra pounds.
- Physical exercise. Be sure to do short and long term exercises. The more you do, the less likely you are to increase glucose.
- Drink more fluids. With a lack of water, the liver produces hormones that increase sugar levels. When you replenish your fluid balance, your blood glucose decreases naturally.
- Reduce the number of pure carbohydrates. A specialized diet low in pure carbohydrates reduces the burden on the body, thereby reducing the amount of insulin needed to use the energy from the food you eat.
- You need more fiber! Experts recommend eating at least 50 grams of fiber per day with food. You can get it from nuts, berries, and various vegetables. Due to this, the amount of glucose is significantly reduced.
By following these simple tips, everyone can easily lower their sugar levels without resorting to the use of medications.
The benefits of self-control
Self-monitoring and daily measurements of blood glucose indicators are very important in the life of every person with diabetes.
First, you can control your blood glucose level at a specific point in time and you can track its sharp changes. Such an observation will prevent the manifestation of hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia, and in some cases save a life. You will see what foods or life situations affect your sugar level. Secondly, diary entries allow you to develop a long-term treatment strategy. The attending physician will see the results after weeks, months and years of therapy. Thanks to this, he will be able to make appropriate adjustments in order to optimize the therapy specifically for you to achieve the maximum effect.