Don't check your BG so often?

Went to the doctor today for the first time, Family Practice, but he has a lot of diabetic patients and a very good reputation with his patients. We talk a little, my back story is, went to the Emergency Center for unofficial diagnosis and was put on Metformin. I have brought my BG from 300 to 400 down to hover around 200 with diet and a weeks worth of Metformin.

Anyway, the doctor tells me I don’t have to test after every meal? Is this normal for Type 2’s? I was insulin dependent 3 years ago with gestational and checked BG almost every 2 hours because it was so uncontrollable (sp?) and assumed normal practice was fasting and 2 hours after meals. Basically, he changed my medication and told me the common signs of trouble to look for and ran blood tests and told me to come back in 3 months. This was my first A1C and he did say until he sees the results he can’t help me make the next step and if it is worse than he suspects I’d be hearing from him sooner than 3 months.

Anyway, back to the original question, only check my BG two times a day? Is this normal?
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Many type 2’s are told to check only twice a day, but to vary the time of the day. If you are not insulin dependent, then you are less likely to have dramatic swings in your blood sugar and this is the reason.

But I think that it’s OK to test as often as you feel you need to. My father has type 2 diabetes and he checks his blood sugar whenever he wants to see how something affects him, but at least twice a day.

Has it been confirmed that you are type 2? Did the doctor check for type 1.5/ LADA?

Nothing has been confirmed as yet. We are pretending I am Type 2 currently. I do not have health insurance until January so we are doing as little as possible since I do not have large swings in my sugar and don’t seem to go over 450 no matter what I eat.

What tests confirm your type?

First of all, your BG (blood glucose = blood sugar - I don’t like using the initials BS, for obvious reasons! LOL) should NEVER be 450, EVER! After meals, it technically should be 140 or under. Without insulin, that isn’t always easy to achieve.Believe me, I know! Unless you eat absolutely NO carbs! It seems most docs say 180 or under after meals (though I don’t agree with that number, as at a BG of 140 is when damage begins to be done to your body).I do realize, however, that you are just beginning all this, and your BG isn’t quite normalized yet, and that it can take a couple/few weeks for your BG to become more normalized (IF on the right regime [meds, diet, exercize, etc]).

As for testing, right now, in the beginning, it is very wise to check just before your meals, and 2 hours after the first bite of your meals, so that you learn how different foods affect your BG. It is just as important to check before a meal, as you need to know where you’re starting at, to know how far you’ve gone. I also know just how expensive test strips are! I don’t have insurance, and haven’t had it for over 10 years! Since I was diagnosed in Aug 2005, I’ve paid for every bit of my meds and Diabetes supplies! It ain’t cheap, not at all!! I spend about $5000 a year on everything (including labs and doc visits)!

Example: say your BG is 200 just before you eat your meal, and then two hours later, after your meal, your BG is 230. Well, technically you’re BG is too high, was to begin with, BUT, that meal only raised your BG 30 points. That’s actually good! Now, say your BG is 100 before your meal, and 230 after. That is NOT good! That’s a 130 point rise, and a meal that you should NOT eat!! I look at it like clocking your miles from one place to another in the car. You need to know your starting mileage to know how many miles you traveled. See what I’m saying?

Did the doc talk to you about counting carbs? If not, he should have! But then, it seems most docs really haven’t a clue about Diabetes!! For a female, the average intake of carbs per meal (at 3 meals a day) is 45 grams, and 20 per snack (2 - 3 snacks a day). I would strongly suggest you start counting your carbs, it will probably help a lot! Were you told of what foods to limit? Breads (anything with flour in it), of course cookies, cakes and candies (anything with sugar in it), be watchful of fruits! Bananas, apples and oranges, (the most commonly eaten fruits) tend to raise the BG for a lot of us. Regular sodas, sweet tea (lots of sugar in those). Meats are good, they usually don’t have any carbs in them (some sausages and hot dogs do, though). Cheese, ya gotta check, some has more carbs than others. Some have none, or very little. Most veggies are alright, besides corn, potatoes, carrots, and I think some squashes are kind of higher in carbs. A place you can check for calorie and carb amountsin just about any food you can imagine (especially helpful for fresh foods!!!), as well as restaurant foods, is Calorie King. It’ll give you the serving size as well!

Once you’ve got a “handle” on your foods (what you can safely eat, with out a huge rise in your BG), then you can cut back on the testing, unless you are sick, or have eaten something new, or just aren’t feeling right.

Test as much as you feel you really need to, and once you get insurance, and if you don’t feel the doc is prescribing you enough test strips, call him and tell him you need more (as long as your insurance will pay for it! Some insurances limit the amount of test strips they’ll pay for, but sometimes, if a doc pushes the issue, the insurance company will go along with it), and tell him why! That your health is important to you, and you want to get, and keep, your Diabetes in control!!

Good Luck!

A c-peptide test will tell you how much insulin your body is producing and a GAD antibody test (there are also other antibody tests) will tell you if you have some form of autoimmune diabetes. Once you have insurance, you should definitely have those tests!

I agree with Melissa that “under 450” is NOT good enough!! What is your average blood sugar? You must be very careful because if you have type 1 diabetes, you could be losing insulin production quickly. Have your blood sugars been higher from week to week or pretty consistent?

Thank you Melissa!

Lots of good info. We didn’t go into too much detail. He felt how I started was working and want me to continue with what I am doing and take it a little further. He has no baseline blood work to start with and we are just assuming I am Type 2 until the insurance kicks in and then we can get a little more free with all the tests he wants done. I have only just cut out the obvious stuff from my diet and need to take that one step further and start counting. The obvious took me from the real high numbers to the normal high numbers.

He/We will go into further detail with all that and he did assure me this. He said the eyes were glazing over and I was getting way too much info at one time. He was very right. He seems to be a good guy.

Tomorrows project for me was to research diabetic diet guidelines as far as carb numbers and all that, this is gonna be the hardest for the whole family (4 in all at home) my youngest is a carb junkie and she will rebel the most. You’ve given me a start. Do you know of any other websites to help with this??

I will be logging off for a while and will check back tomorrow if you have any.

Thank you again,

I don’t remember where all I gathered my information from! I wish I did!! I had to learn EVERYTHING on my own! I was on a witch hunt, for Diabetes info, lemme tell ya!! LOL My original doc was worthless for anything besides prescribing my meds! UGH!! Most of what I learned though, came from other Diabetics, on Diabetes communities on the web.

Some people use the ADA guidelines, but I personally don’t recommend their diet guidelines, especially for those not on insulin! Those of us who are on insulin, food is a bit of a different issue. We have the insulin, to combat high BG! ;0) Though, I still watch my carbs. When you are only on pills, it ain’t always so easy! I remember! I started out on the pills, but eventually had to go to insulin. The pills, and really limiting my carb intake just wasn’t doing it!

What I did find, was those “average” carb amounts for females, that I mentioned before. The 45 grams of carbs per meal and 20 grams per snack. When I eventually was able to go to an Endo, and got to see a dietician, she instructed me to eat the exact same amounts! I was right on, she said! ;0) Not everyone’s needs are the same though, you should eventually go and see a nutritionist/dietitian once you have insurance. But, for now, the above carb amounts should work well, to get you started.

Just read the labels on your foods. Pay attention to the serving size, and carbs per serving that is stated on them. For fresh foods, use the Calorie King website I mentioned before. One thing that I do, is load up the veggies, on my plate. Like I said, most veggies are very low/no carb, so work well to “fill you up”. But make sure they are the low/no carb veggies. Corn, potatoes, peas, carrots, beans (like lima, pinto, navy, black, kidney, etc) are not so good to fill up on!! ;0) OH, and watch the pastas, rice and cereals!! VERY high in carbs!! Spaghetti sauce too!! It usually has sugar in it!

For breakfasts, the light yogurts are good, especially if you aren’t much of a breakfast eater (like me). They usually have about 15 or so grams of carbs, and are kinda sweet tasting too, at least the flavored ones, so they help with that “sweet tooth” thing! Also, eggs and bacon have no carbs. That with a slice of toast is good. Oatmeal is iffy! It sends some peoples BG sky high, and others not so much. Test it out! Oh, and milk has carbs too!! Gotta watch that one, as well!

Well, there’s a few things for ya. Hope it’s helpful! :0)

Hi Kristin,

"What is your average blood sugar?"
It was 278 is down to 187!!

"Have your blood sugars been higher from week to week or pretty consistent?"
Pretty consistent, whats puzzling is I can eat the same thing for breakfast 2 days in a row and get two TOTALLY different numbers even if my fasting numbers are pretty close together.

My doctor didn’t mean my numbers were good enough just good that they were going in the right direction, for a week on meds my numbers have almost been halved. He has switched me from glucophage to glucotrol to see if this works better (not to mention getting rid of the horrible ‘side effect’).

c-peptide & GAD, both written down for the beginning of the year. Thanks. It really sucks being in the position to choose between paying rent and staying healthy. Although I do know I am one of the fortunate ones! No health insurance is a short term crisis for me.

Yes, Samantha, there is sooo much to take in when you are trying to manage diabetes. Testing, eating, exercise, meds, not to mention all the research and ideas and theories and diets and what all the numbers mean. Don’t worry if it all doesn’t fall into place right away. Unfortunately, you are going to have diabetes for a looong time, and it will take a while. I liked the “eyes glazing over” comment. Sounds like your doc is a real human. :slight_smile:

There is a lot of good information here! I disagree about the dried beans though. They are very healthy for you, and they should be eaten at least a couple of times per week.

Also, you can eat cookies and cakes and treats if you bake them with sucralose or another type of sweetener. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, and am only able to stay on a low carb diet because I can still have these treats. You should always try to fill up with healthier foods first though, like veggies.

I eat yogurt that is called Carb Master, and there are only 3 net carbs per 6 ounce container. I love this stuff and eat a couple of them each day.

It really is not very hard to stick to this type of diet. For me, the hardest part about being diabetic is the exercise. I struggle to get enough into my days.

One of the most important things to do, is to check and know what certain foods do for YOU. Sometimes what makes one of us have a high BG reading will not affect someone else in a negative way.

I didn’t say DON’T eat them (dried beans), I said not to use them to “fill up” on, because they are in the higher carbs, and they can run your BG high, if you eat too much of them! They also have fiber, which will raise some people’s BG up too. I know for me, a carb is a carb, is a carb … no matter what kind of carb it is! I have to take insulin for those fiber carbs too!

But, as you said, not all foods work the same in everyone’s body. What will raise one person’s BG up, may not with another person.

We have this issue within my own family, with rice. Me, my dad and my sis. We all have Diabetes. My dad practically can’t even look at rice, without it running his BG sky high (no kidding, just a couple teaspoons of the stuff and his BG is through the roof!) No matter how much insulin he takes). My sis can eat just about all she wants, without any rise in her BG (she’s on Metformin only. No insulin). Me, I can eat about 1/2 a cup and do fine. Any more than that, and it’s through the roof with my BG (if I don’t take my insulin, that is).

Also, remember that the Sucralose baking blend, still has carbs in it. About half the amount of real sugar. So if you put 1/2 a cup of Sucralose into a recipe, that is 96 grams of carbs. Of course, when you divide it up per serving, the amount lessens, but, there are still some carbs there, that one must account for. Sucralose is not a no carb product.

Also, be weary of Sugar Alcohol. It often raises peoples BG up, and in addition, often gives people “tummy troubles”. eW Doesn’t give me the “tummy troubles”, but it’ll run my BG right up! I gave up the “sugar free” syrup, and just use “regular” syrup, on the rare occasion I eat pancakes, or french toast! Two years on insulin, and I STILL can’t dose right for those two meals! UGH! I don’t eat them that often though, so that’s probably why I can’t get a handle on dosing right for them! shrugs

But, again, one will never know how different foods affect their BG, if they don’t test before and after meals! ;0) Testing is KEY to helping keep our BG in check! :0)

The Apriva brand of sucralose that I use has no carbs. I love to use it with natural peanut butter and eggs to make peanut butter cookies. I don’t have any trouble with my BG levels when I eat these, or when I eat beans in soups. My husband is the same way. I guess we are just lucky in this fact.