Extremely New to This; The Meter is making me neurotic

I was just diagnosed with Type 2 on April 1 and began testing at my diabetes education class on April 5th. SO it’s only been a few days!!

I’m on 500mg Metformin once a day. Things started out great, my BG at the class was 85 and I was so relieved and excited. Things were going well for a few days but then yesterday - I woke up, didnt eat breakfast, went for a run and when I got back it was at 117. I felt nervous about eating, not sure what to do. Had an apple and PB, REALLY didn’t feel like eating most of the day. Thought maybe I was sick. Later on had a vanilla protein shake. Before dinner was at 110 and after dinner (chicken pot pie) was 167. I know this is not sky high but it is much higher than it’s been all week.
This morning when i got up my fasting was 110. I wonder if I’m sick? or what else can be causing this. What can I do to bring it down??

I can see that this testing can be as neurotic as jumping on and off the scale 5x a day, that it can mess with one’s head. But i know it’s necessary and need to put it into some perspective. Help?

hi, Skeeto, welcome here. I’m sure this has been a hectic and overwhelming week for you, there’s a lot of new stuff you have to think about. I’m a type 1, so I don’t know all the physiology of type 2, but I can give you some suggestions. The 110 fasting is really good! I think the ideal blood sugar is supposed to be 80-120, and if you are diabetic, most people like to be under 140. Did you see a Registered Dietician? I highly recommend it. Chicken pot pie is very high in carb, and also fat, I know, it can be delicious, but maybe it’s not such a good choice. There is a great little book you can get at any big bookstore called “Calorie King”…a good reference. I don’t think you’re neurotic for testing a lot. I think it could be helpful to figure out trends, problem foods, how exercise affects your bg, etc. I hope you’re keeping a log book with details of what/when you eat and exercise, etc. I also hope you keep going to the classes, and perhaps see a CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator. CDEs can spend more time with you than MDs, so start writing down your questions. You’re going to be fine, we will help you anytime you need it.

ho skeeto, there is a great book called Think Like a Pancreas that was intended to give people an understanding of treating diabetes with insulin, but it does a great job of explaining the issues around digestion and metabolism, which I think will help you. There’s more to blood sugar than diet: stress, and illness can raise blood sugar. Exercise is great don’t get me wrong, but a high stress training program, (and skipping meals) can sometimes cause your liver to dump sugar and result in a temporary high bs…

I guess the most important thing is not to panic. =) you are among friends.

Hi Skeeto, this site will help a lot, and calm you down, since you´ll see that there are thousands other dealing with the same things you are. Your library may have an excellent book called The First Year Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed which may help you to find your way around. Marie B is right, 110 fasting is good! You may have been nervous about raising your BG levels, which may be why you did not want to eat. The same thing happened to me at first. I was SOOO careful at first about what I ate, but got over that quickly! Take it one day, one meal at a time. Check out the Small Steps Forum for some great suggestions.

Hi Skeeto welcome!,
It’s pretty common to be over anxious upon diagnosis - I was like a deer in the headlights for several weeks. I have now decided that response is a sign of great intellectual capacity :). All your fbg’s (fasting glucose levels) are fine. It is hard to believe, but it is not uncommon for your bg to go up if you exercise fairly intensely before eating. Many of us actually have our highest daily reading upon awakening. (This drives me crazy.) In my case, I average about 117 first thing in the morning, but almost never get that high again for the rest of the day- that includes 2 hours after meals. Don’t worry about testing ‘too much’. It is the only way that you will be able to figure out what YOU can eat. Truly everyone is different, which is why each person needs an individual plan. I would comment that personally I would not be happy with the reading of 167. Although many doctors and educators set a goal of 180 pp (after meals), the endocrinologist assoc. sets a goal of 140, and I am uncomfortable with anything over 130. Your d.e. class will tell you that carbs are what mainly affect your bgl, this is true. However many of us believe that they encourage too many carbs in the diet. I was diagnosed with a fasting bgl of 342, so to get my levels down to near normal, I find about 50 g’s of carbs per day are all I can handle. You will probably be able to have quite a few more, just remember to spread them out throughout the day, and test to see how they affect you. Remember that starchy ‘white’ foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, sugar ( and pastry eg. chicken pot pie) are the worst offenders. Please check out the website ‘Bloodsugar 101’ written by Jenny who often posts here. It is packed with interesting facts and advice. Good luck!! PS I am a type 2 on 1250 mg. metformin a day

Thanks everyone for the reassurance. I need it even more now bc today my fasting was 126!! I thought I had dawn effect (had just read about this) but a few hours later, STILL 127 – trying to remain calm - this is a lifelong thing but the hard thing is I don’t know what to DO about it. I’m not taking insulin, just the metformin. I thought maybe I had a little cold or something but today I felt fine… I don’t know!

It just feels like something out of my control.

I pretty much learned that chicken pot pie is not my friend… that was the last “white” carb I’ve eaten this week, and today my BGs are even WORSE. Bleah!!! 126 at 6am, and 127 at 9am… I am feeling a little bummed out and slightly frantic, not knowing what I should be doing to change this.

Hi Skeeto,
You will find the day to day variations for no apparent reason will probably drive you crazy… which will only make it worse, as stress will affect your levels . Arrrrgh!! It sounds like you may have dawn phenomenom. Like many things about D, the solution is counterintuitive. If you eat something, your bg will drop. Try something high protein/fat, low carb such as eggs with or without 1 slice low carb toast as opposed to cereal with milk ( both of which are high carb). I usually try for a 20-30 minute walk right after breakfast, but of course this is not possible for everyone. I find that a walk after any meal, especially if I think I have overdone the carbs, will make a 20-40 point difference in my reading. Also, remember many diabetics would be thrilled with your numbers.

Jenny really does a great job of explaining things. Her Bloodsugar 101 site and book are highly regarded here.

BS fluctuations are pretty normal and what you describe is fairly typical and not something to get to upset about. Now, having said that, i know it freaks you out and for that reason I suggest keeping a journal for a few weeks at least. What you will see is that your BS rises and falls through out the day. That is just normal. Also remember the meter is not an absolute. It looks like it is, but it is not. Your readings are usually within 20 points high or low of the one you get on the meter.

i tell young diabetics to try this out. Test on one finger on one hand and then one on the other., i bet you will get a slightly different number. Do it a couple of times, and you will see fluctuations between hands and the number. That should help you know in your head at least that the meter gives a good number but it is not exact.

Good luck, and check bakc in and let us know how you are doing !!


Hi Skeeto! Aren’t you glad you found this community? So many ideas and so much info and so many friends in the same BIG boat!
I was diagnosed in Oct. of 2005. I immediately started reading, researching and asking questions. There’s almost too much info out there and you will find it hard to digest. What’s right? what’s good? What do I do?
First of all…breathe! It’s true that stress raises your blood sugar numbers. I found a great 20 min. yoga dvd that I do faithfully every morning just to help me deal with the everyday stress of life and it carries over when I get stressed about my numbers.
Keep testing as often as you feel necessary. Those numbers tell you what’s going on…sometimes. I too, have had unusually high numbers for no reason at all. Man, that ticks me off. But then I get mad and figure out what I might have done and what can I do to change that result.
Exercise WILL bring your numbers down. If my numbers (blood sugar reading) are higher than they should be, I’ll walk for 30 minutes…outside or on the treadmill. I don’t think there’s much you can do when the numbers are high except finding out what makes them high and quit that.(or modify that!)
I have found that my system is very sensitive to carbohydrates. Any carbs…fruit, bread,pasta. Of course, you’re learning to read labels, I’m sure. Even sugar free candies and cookies still have carbs. Everone is different and their bodies react differently to everything.
Wow, this has gotten to be pretty long. Sorry.
Just hang in there, ask questions, come here often for support and encouragement and take one day at a time.
I treat it like a challenge. I’ll beat today’s numbers…I’m determined. And if I don’t do it today, I’ll get them down tomorrow.
Keep a log (or notebook) of every test you do and when. Also of the foods you eat and when. Even the sugar free gum you chew or the headache you had the other day or the fight you had with your friend.
Sometimes there isn’t an answer, so you just have to roll with it and make tomorrow a better day. You’re in charge of your own health. Grab it by the horns and don’t give up!
Hope this helps at least a little!
Good luck! Jean

http://tinyurl.com/cy345w is the URL that helped me the most with respect to interpreting my meter readings.

It is a chart of the continuous glucose monitoring of 21 non-diabetics over two days.

http://tinyurl.com/2lshrb is the same data, different presentation.

Hi, skeeto. Welcome!

One of the most interesting (and frustrating) parts of diabetes is that although we hear a lot about control and consistency (control your blood sugars, control what you choose to eat; be consistent about meal times and portions and daily activity), both those items are NOT EASY.

So far today, my numbers have been 144 (a little high, took a correction dose of insulin; a protein snack and exercise can help if you don’t use insulin), 51 (low, my correction dose and morning housework really worked to drop the blood sugar), and 84 before lunch (sweeeet!). That’s an average of 93.

Your numbers are very reasonable–albeit frustrating–at this point in your diagnosis. You are on a relatively low dose of metformin (typically, 500 mg is a starting point and the dosage often is ramped up over time so your body can adjust). As others here have suggested, keeping a log of your sugars and meals will help you and your health-care provider figure out if you need to adjust meds, foods, activity, etc.

Also, do ask your hcp what the range of readings should be for YOU. Many people can achieve on-target A1Cs (a measure of blood glucose levels over time, the “gold standard” of diabetes wellness) by maintaining 70-120 mg/dl fasting and 140 mg/dl or below two hours after eating. But that doesn’t mean EVERY number has to be in range, every time you test. I have yet to meet the “perfect” diabetic (although some people on this site have such stellar A1Cs that they come close :-).

I wish you well as you wrap your head around the newness of living with diabetes. I’m sure in another month or so, you’ll feel ready to give advice to the next new member of the site!

If I’m not mistaken, it takes a few weeks (two or three) for metformin to really start working… The numbers are not BAD… try not to worry too much…Stress is a huge factor so just try to stay calm… You’ll get the hang of it! AND… Welcome to TuDiabetes!

Chicken pot pie is full of starch (which turns into blood sugar immediately) so it is not surprising that BG went high still not disastrously high but probably high enough to kill your pancreas on the long run.

I am not sure if 500 mg of metformin per day will do anything. There is not much you can do with the tools you have except eat as little carbohydrates as possible to try and keep your BG in the normal range and do as much exercise as possible.

In your case a little bit of insulin would do marvels and keep the BG normal at all times. According to Dr. Bernstein this would most likely keep your pancreas alive for ever or at least a long time. This would keep your disease in a manageable range and a only a minor nuisance, once your pancreas dies it becomes your worst nightmare. However to get this would need a Doctor with a really open mind. In Canada you are not allowed insulin until your pancreas dies completely. This is a criminal attitude in my opinion that turns a difficult but manageable disease into your worst nightmare. I know from personal experience.

If you exercise less than 1 hour it is not unreasonable that your blood sugar will go up a bit since exercise is a stress and the stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol will make the liver pump out a lot of sugar. Don’t wory about that, the insulin resistance reduction from the exercise is well worth the temporary increase in BG.

Morning fasting of 110 would be considered wonderful by most diabetics. Hope it stay that way.

Thanks EVERYONE for the warm welcome, the support, the info and tips. I so so appreciate. I had a better BG afternoon and evening, much to my relief. I still don’t really know why…
Anyway, I was so moved by the incredible support. THANK YOU ALL. I know I will have a ton more questions as the days/weeks/months continue…

Hi Skeeto,

Welcome to our community. Glad you jumped right in. Ask anything you need to know! There’s also a wealth of info here from past discussions you can search.

Normal fasting is under 100 & 110 isn’t awful by any means, but shooting for as close to normal is a worthy goal. Too many doctors take the attitude that higher readings are “good enough.” Our greatest chance for staying healthy is to aim for as normal as possible.

Though dawn phenonmenon is more prevalent in Type 1, Type 2s can have dawn phenonmenon. One thing that helps is eating when you get up to prevent your liver from dumping even more glucose. Not eating & exercising can send your BG high. The fact that you were only barely higher at 117 is great, especially given the margin of error of meters. I’m Type 1. If I eat nothing in the morning, my BG creeps up & gets high. Learned this the hard way. Feels counter productive to eat, but it actually helps if dawn phenon is at work.

Second the suggestion to check out Jenny’s wonderful site & book http://www.bloodsugar101.com.

Testing frequently is great! Keep doing it. The best tool we have to learn how food, meds, exercise effect us. If you’re not, keep a record of your readings to show to your endo.

Hope we hear from you often.

Well, for the third morning in a row my Bg was elevated. Just woke up and it was 120. I’ll go eat now (carb? protein?) – whole wheat English muffin with some cheese?? Then I’ll walk. And thanks for the book/site recommendation - I"ll check it out right now.

Again, I really appreciate the support. It’s huge. I can’t tell you.

The more carbs you eat (English muffin), the higher your numbers:) Limit your carbs & use them for healthy veggies.

Happy to help.