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When you live with diabetes, you want to put all the odds in your favour to stay healthy. To do this, it is essential to monitor your blood glucose.
When a diagnosis for diabetes is received; this news can sometimes be upsetting. The person can have mixed emotions: incomprehension, feeling of injustice, fear, sadness, anger, etc. It is completely normal to feel like you’ve lost your bearings. The person must gradually accept this new reality and adapt to the changes this new diagnosis requires.
It will be easier to learn to live with diabetes if you see this new situation as a challenge to be taken on. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can have serious consequences. However, it is a disease that you can learn to control. To do this, steps must be taken to control blood glucose, in other words, sugar levels in the blood.
Many measures are recommended to control blood glucose—changing your diet, losing weight, exercising, and taking medication orally or by injection, including insulin. In some cases, some lifestyle changes are sufficient for optimal control, in others, medical treatments must be implemented.
Optimal control of blood glucose involves avoiding hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose) and hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Here are some steps to follow for optimal diabetes management:
The more you know and understand about the challenges of diabetes, the better control you will have over it. There are a number of resources available which provide valuable information. Your pharmacist can help. Visit the Diabetes Québec website at: www.diabete.qc.ca/en/ to find a host of useful information, and the contact information for the diabetes education centre nearest you, where you can sign up for a comprehensive diabetes training session.
You must know the exact blood glucose levels you should be aiming for. For most people, we speak of a fasting blood glucose (before a meal) between 4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L. Postprandial blood glucose (2 hours after a meal), must be located between 5.0 and 10.0 mmol/L. Ask your healthcare professional what the exact recommended levels are for your situation and how you should monitor your diabetes.
The key to successfully managing diabetes is to closely monitor your blood glucose. Choose a meter that suits your needs and that will allow you to monitor your blood glucose daily. Blood glucose varies greatly over time due to many factors—diet, alcohol consumption. physical activity, medication, stress, illness, etc. It is crucial that you be aware of these blood glucose fluctuations, so that you can act quickly if an imbalance is observed.
Occasionally identifying blood glucose results that are either too low or too high is a good thing, but recognizing your glucose trends is even better! Observing blood glucose trends on several days offers a better overview of the situation and enables you to pinpoint certain problems, such as hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia associated to specific situations. Being able to analyze blood glucose trends allows you to react quickly and to make informed choices to obtain the best glycemic control.
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