Monday, July 2, 2018

Prediabetes - How to Start Your Program to Manage Your Blood Sugar

So you've been diagnosed with prediabetes. Now what?

You cannot ignore this condition. Unless you make lifestyle changes, you will eventually deal with type II diabetes.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are two key factors affecting blood sugar - diet and activity level. There are other factors but these two are critical.

The Impact of Smoking
What might be as important or even more important than diet and activity level is stopping smoking. You can control blood glucose by adjusting your diet and increasing activity level, BUT according to the web site healthline,
If you have diabetes, you have to work hard enough already to keep your blood sugar in check. Smoking can make that task even more difficult. Smoking may make your body more resistant to insulin, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious complications from diabetes, including problems with your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. 
If you smoke, a part of your program to fight diabetes will be a way to stop smoking. After my GP dropped the prediabetes diagnosis, she gave me a script for chantix, the Pfizer-based pharmaceutical. The drug works for a small percentage of people and it's pricey. Also, it makes me stomach sick. I'm putting up with a small dose to quit smoking.

I know how difficult it is to stop smoking. I've attempted it countless times. Now it seems I have no choice but to do it permanently.

Measuring Your Progress
(Note: Any product suggestions I make are thoroughly researched. And yes, if you click on one of my product links, I earn a small percentage of the purchase price).

How do you know if you are stabilizing your blood sugar? Somehow, you had to find out your current fasting blood glucose and/or A1c levels. These are your baseline.

You can test fasting glucose and A1c yourself. I started with a glucose monitor because it permits you to test at any time. After researching which ones were most accurate, I bought a starter kit - it includes a monitor, 10 test strips and a package of lancets to draw blood. It's cheap and easy to use:

Right now, I am using this monitor once a week for fasting glucose. That means after fasting 12 hours, I test my blood sugar (typically overnight). So far, it tracks to the medical blood test results. Note that even though this monitor is advertised as one of the most accurate monitors, it can range + or - 15 mg. For example, if I used the monitor and the result was 120, my true glucose level is somewhere between 105 and 135 mg.

So far your prediabetes program includes the following items:

  1. Eat the right foods to manage blood sugar.
  2. Increase activity levels to burn blood sugar.
  3. If you smoke, find a way to stop.
  4. Measure your progress.

Next post: How to find out what you can eat.


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