17. November 2011 04:49
The holidays can be a challenge for people with diabetes and the stress can be too much with all the activities going on. You are probably preparing for entertaining, family visits, buying gifts and parties. Besides all of this, you are working full time, therefore, diabetes care is put on the back burner.
Here are some tips to plan for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season:
- Plan your schedule, make a list of gifts to purchase and do some shopping online
- Always carry glucose tablets and your blood glucose meter in your car, purse or pocket
- Carry a healthy snack like nuts, a small apple with cubes of cheese or peanut butter and crackers instead of eating in the food court
- Keep your exercise schedule, it can reduce stress
- Prepare your traditional holiday food with healthier ingredients
- Bring a pre-mixed light alcoholic drink for fewer carbohydrates. Follow the American Diabetes Association alcohol guidelines for women 1 oz. and men 2 oz. per day.
- When traveling, get all prescription medication (insulin/pills) filled ahead of time. Take syringes, lancets, test strips, pump supplies and batteries
Enjoy your holiday season while effectively still managing your diabetes!
Do you have any tips for the holiday season?
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?
3. October 2011 05:12
Every day one of my diabetes patients state that they saw a diabetes meter on TV that does not “prick the finger”. I then explain that this is true, but blood is still needed to check blood sugars. This commercial is advertising a meter that you can test with alternate sites. You can now use your palms, forearms, upper arms, thighs or calves.
Follow these simple steps to make alternate site testing (AST) successful:
- Only use the clear cap on your lancing device.
- Rub the site until it is warm to increase blood flow
- Press the lancing device firmly against the skin
- Hold the lancing device down on the skin and press button to lance
- Push up and down on the skin with the lancing device (do not remove from the skin)
- Once you see the proper amount of blood, touch the test strip to the blood drop
- Wait for result
Is AST for Everyone?
If you have frequent low blood sugars, the finger is your best choice because it gives the most accurate blood sugar readings. Always check with your health care team to see if alternate site testing (AST) is right for you.
22. September 2011 03:50
A patient recently said he had seen a commercial for a talking diabetes meter, and wanted more information. I asked if he was having difficulty reading his blood glucose results. His answer was yes. After further discussion, I agreed that a talking meter may help but he needed to find one that matched his needs. Not all talking meters are the same.
What features are you looking for in a talking diabetes meter?
- Small sample size
- Turns on with the test strip
- Fully audible meter that talks through the entire process
- Provides previous audible test results and error messages
Talking meters are a good way to maintain your independence especially when you have limited vision.
Check out the Prodigy AutoCode talking meter available at CCS Medical.