How do I know if it's getting better?

Earlier today as I was staring obsessively at my glucose logs, I was wondering about my progress. Is it getting better? I can’t even tell. My numbers today have been as follows:

11 AM - 246 (Fasting)
7 PM - 325
8 PM - 287
10 PM- 285 (1 Hour After Dinner)
11 PM - 285

See I know that fasting sugar is unbelievably bad, but in all honesty it’s my lowest one yet this week. My fasting sugars HAVE definitely been going down, slowly but surely.

The 325 was deeply alarming, because I think it was caused by my power nap. Even so, the two 285’s were even more alarming. I double checked that one. How often does it happen that you get the same blood sugar twice? I can’t even tell if that’s good or bad.

I’m not actually looking for feedback about the numbers exactly, although today has been incredibly weird. I’m willing to bet it’s because I recently (as in yesterday) started drinking Sugar Controller Herb Tea. I had to have a mini-argument with my grandma before she would let me drink it. She would say, “You can’t take this with the Metformin. It will bring your sugar down too much!” to which I would reply with “Yeah that’s what I’m aiming for!” My logic is the tea isn’t nearly magical enough to throw me down into a hypo overnight, and I’m getting desperate for some results. Even if I do go hypo overnight, it’s not like I have issues bringing my glucose up. Hyuk hyuk. It appears to be doing…something. I figure I’ll keep with it for another day or so to see what it does and I’ve told my mom to keep an eye out for that lovely drunken behavior associated with a low. I act ridiculous and disoriented, so it shouldn’t be too hard for her to spot.

I’m getting a little off track here. When people tell me the Metformin takes a while to kick in, I imagine it as I’ll suddenly wake up one day and my sugar will have dramatically lowered to normal levels. This is what most people would call wishful thinking. I’m sure they mean it as a gradual change, and I am indeed seeing a very…very slow gradual change. But is it supposed to be THIS slow? I’m getting a bit impatient here. Around the forums I’ll see people say things like, “I’ve been having highs of 130…” and all I can think is, “You lucky jerk…” I think when my glucose finally goes below 200 I will just break down and cry like a little girl. Forget getting it down to normal levels. I’m just getting sick of this 200-300 loop I’ve been stuck in.

I have an appointment with an endo in two weeks. Thank god. By then I’ll have some logs to show him and I’ll have been taking Metformin for a month I believe. I like to think I’d have made some progress by then, so I won’t have to deal with him giving me that ‘Shame on You’ look doctors like to give when they see how high my sugar gets. Trust me docs, I’m doing the best I can here.

You don’t mention how much your numbers are coming down & what they were before Metformin. Never seen a tea that lowered BG enough to cause a low.

Very frustrating to not see the improvement you want. The Metformin dose may be too low. How many carbs are you eating per meal? Lowering carbs is the best route to tame BG along with the right treatment. With readings this high, depending on what you’re eating, you may need insulin. Are you sure you’re T2? Did your doc order tests to diagnose you (C-peptide & GAD antibody panels)? Please ask your endo for these. Adults are often misdiagnosed T2 based on age &/or weight. Dozens & dozens of stories here about this. If you are T2, insulin is prescribed more to T2s to bring BG under control also when Metformin, dietary changes & exercise aren’t enough.

How long have you had numbers at this level, Winter? When you were ddiagnosed as type 2 about a year ago ( (according to the January 2010 date), what type of testing did your doctor do?I agreed with Gerri: I am surmising that you may or may not be type 2, by the bit of information I read on your profile and in your blog. If you intiaially saw a GP ( General practitioner); those tests may or may not have been done , and needed to be.

And your Grandmothers diabetes ,if she has it, is not yours.
All diabetics havelearn ,individually, what works FOR them.

Have you received any training on carbo hydrate counting and meal portions for carbs? Please see if the endo can set you up with appts. with A CDE and or nutritionist/detitian, after you have received a proper diagnosis. If you are rerally working hard with lowered carbs, adjusting metformin and exercise and still having such high numbers, I am suspecting that you may be LADA ,or type 1…But I am not a medical professional, just a Type 1 for 42 years who does not like to see or hear about people who have been misdiagnosed and been mnade to feel guilty due to high blood glucoses, when the fact of the matter is they have been given the incorrect treatment protocols. WE do not like Shame-based medicine in this on-line community; and I am so glad you have come here, sweetie…

God Bless,

I’m pretty sure my doctor at the time didn’t do any fancy tests. They did blood work for completely unrelated reasons, than said, “Oh yeah, by the way, you’re a diabetic!” I’m have similar thoughts with what type I am, but I figure I can’t see my endo for a few days now, I may as well work with what I’ve got and see how treating myself a a type 2 works out. It’s less stressful that way. There’s been some small improvements. I’ve been judging improvements by my fasting sugars, which have been going down 10-20 points a day.

I never received any type of carb counting training. I didn’t even know such a thing existed haha. I think that’s why it took me nearly a year to start trying to control everything. I had no idea what to eat, got overwhelmed, panicked… you know, that story. Now I’ve been doing better with my diet. It could stand for improvement. The pizza rolls in the freezer are a testament to that, but I’ve been doing generally well I think. It’s been trial and error, but it’s still hard.

Thank you both. :slight_smile: I can honestly say I’ve had zero panic attacks since I’ve joined this site. Whenever I start to hyperventilate like an asthmatic, I just come here and read through everything and it calms me down and puts things in perspective.

At this point, your numbers are still way too high. You know it. I know it. Your doctor will know it. That’s just the way it is. Try to detach from the numbers emotionally. You’re going to see the endo. He’s going to change your regime. BG’s are facts, not moral judgements. It’s not your fault you’re diabetic and it’s not your fault that you need additional medication to get into the healthy zone.

Perhaps pretending to be a bit of a sleuth or a medical researcher about it might help with the emotionally charged reactions you’re having? What you DO NOT want to do is freak out and go into denial, “Diabetic? Who? Me?” Been there. Not good!!!

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is test, test, test and write everything down:

What time you go to bed.
What time you wake up.
Fasting BG
Exactly what you ate for breakfast
BG one hour after breakfast
BG two hours after breakfast
BG before lunch
Exactly what you ate for lunch
BG before dinner
Exactly what you ate for dinner
BG before you go to sleep

Then, the next day, take those one-hour-post-meal and two-hour-post-meal readings after lunch. The next day after dinner. And so on.

By having a really clear, neat, easy-to-read and comprehensive BG and food log, your doctor will have the information he needs to start helping you get your BG’s into the normal range, which is still over a hundred mg/dl below where you’re running.

There’s no such thing as reading too much or learning too much about diabetes. The danger lies, I believe, in thinking that with each blood glucose reading you have to DO something, especially in the early stages of learning how to manage it yourself. Just test it all, log it all, and keep learning, keep seeking help from your doctors, keep testing, keep logging, keep learning. You have a ways to go and throwing herb teas and other things into the mix right now might just muddy the waters.

Oh, and one more thing: I will repeat what others have said, the number one thing you need to learn right now it how to know how many grams of carbs are in your food and how to limit and control the number of carbs you eat.

I can’t believe how many diabetics I meet who are two or five or ten years post-diagnosis, who don’t even know what a carb is! I know a lady on insulin who couldn’t tell me if a huge baked potato or a bowl of salad greens had more carbs. If she was eating anything that didn’t have the carbs printed on a box, she just didn’t count it. Eeek.

Go to a website like Calorie King and start putting into it what you’re eating and writing down the number of carbs in your food. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to start learning.

You’ll start to learn about carbs and be amazed at what you find. The numbers that seem so wild and irrational will suddenly start to make sense: “Oh, when I have 80 grams of carbs I get this number after dinner, and when I have 15 grams of carbs I get this other number after dinner.”

It’s just like learning the names of people at a new school. At first you won’t know any. Then you’ll start remembering a few. Then you’ll know most of the ones you need to know, and can look up the occasional, rare one that you can’t remember.

Here, I’ll start you off:

small baked potato (2-1/2 inch, 5 oz) - 26 grams of carbs
medium baked potato (3-1/4 inch, 6 oz) - 33 grams of carbs
large baked potato (4-1/4, 10.5 oz) - 57 grams of carbs

See? Eating a large potato has twice as many carbs, will raise your BG’s much higher and it will take much more time and insulin to bring it down.

If you get comfortable understanding the carbs in your food, you’ll know to pick the smallest potato (or even half of a smaller potato) and to eat a much larger green salad (1 cup shredded romaine, only 1.5 grams of carbs) or a bit more chicken breast (0 grams of carbs) to make up for eating less potato. You can have that pat of butter on your potato (