15. November 2011 04:55
Have you heard of the term “Dawn Phenomenon” or the “Somolgyi” effect? Many people with diabetes haven’t, and yet it happens quite often.
The “Dawn Phenomenon” is a sudden rise in blood sugar between 3:00am and 6:00AM. It occurs in type 1 diabetics and occasionally in people with type 2 diabetes. It is caused by the body’s reaction to hormones that are released when you sleep. The result is an increase in blood sugar due to lack of insulin in the blood stream.
The “Somolgyi” effect, also known as the “rebound” effect, is a period of low blood sugars followed by high blood sugars. It usually happens in the middle of the night. Normally this occurs as a result of taking too much insulin or an oral medication that works at the wrong time. When the blood sugar is low the body releases hormones and stored sugar is released from the liver which also results in high blood sugars.
How do you know which one you have? This is the fun part! Your doctor will ask you to test your blood sugar between 2:00AM and 3:00 AM a few nights in a row. If the blood sugar is normal or high at this time, suspect the dawn phenomenon. However, if your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, you are experiencing the “Somolgyi” effect, caused by too much night time insulin or too small of a bedtime snack for the insulin given.
What can you do? Ask your doctor about an insulin pump to manage your diabetes. One of the features that the pump can do well is stop the dawn phenomenon. You can set different basal rates to increase or decrease insulin according to your needs.
Feel free to share your “Dawn Phenomenon” or “Somolgyi” effect stories…what steps did you take to overcome this?
28. October 2011 03:57
Will you be indulging in Halloween candy? Are you going to go to several holiday parties this year? Controlling your diabetes can be very difficult during these holidays. Keep in mind, it can be done by making some smart choices.
According to The American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can have sweets. This includes chocolate, pies, brownies, cakes and much more. Play it smart and keep the portions small. Plan to fit these carbohydrates into your meal plan. For example, if you want a brownie, exchange it for your potato.
Most people say it is ok to eat whatever you want because it is a special occasion. While this is true and everyone deserves a treat sometimes, over doing it is never a good idea. Here are some ideas that you can use to help you make the holidays fun and healthy.
- Try to limit treats to once a day and remember to keep the portions small
- Before going to a party, eat some raw vegetables or fruit so you do not over-eat at the party
- Use the smallest plate and have more vegetables than carbohydrates
- After eating, get others to take a walk with you.
What guidelines do you generally follow to help you control your diabetes over the holiday seasons?
24. October 2011 05:28
My diabetes patients often ask me if cinnamon will help lower their blood sugar. Some have reported that they have successfully used cinnamon while others have said cinnamon had no impact on their blood sugar readings. I decided to do some research on my own. I found a mix of results. One study showed that cinnamon may lower blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. In another study, cinnamon had no effect. A third study suggests its use in the diet as a supplement. In my opinion, it appears that more research is needed to confirm these findings and it may not yet be time to throw your diabetes pills away for cinnamon! So, is Cinnamon Safe for People with Type 2 Diabetes?
It appears to be. It is classified as a food supplement and not a drug. Just be aware that large amounts may increase liver problems in people with liver damage. If you do plan to use cinnamon, speak to your physician first.
What are your thoughts on supplements to control your blood sugar?
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.full Accessed 9/16/2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549460?dopt=Abstract Accessed 9/17/2011.
20. October 2011 04:35
I talk with patients daily about blood sugar testing. When questioned why they are testing less than their doctor has ordered, their excuses are too many to list.
When I hear this, I look back on my own life with diabetes over the past 51 years. When diagnosed with diabetes that many years ago, I had urine test tape. When placed in the urine the tape would turn colors. I would compare it to the color chart and the chart would tell me the range the sugar was in. I then progressed to the Clinitest which measured the amount of glucose in the urine, this was the only way for diabetics to keep a check on their glucose levels at the time. These tests were unreliable and you can imagine how happy I was when the blood glucose meters became available. Now, I could actually see a specific number associated with my test. It improved the ability to control my diabetes and my medications could be adjusted properly. This is why I encourage people to test their blood sugars as prescribed by their doctor.
We have come a long way in diabetes testing management. There are so many types of diabetes blood glucose meters on the market that you are bound to find one that fits your needs. Blood sugar testing is the most important thing you can do to manage your health and prevent complications.
If you have been managing diabetes for quite a few years - what is your favorite benefit of the new blood glucose meters?