Tips for Troubleshooting High Blood Glucose
Last updated: October 2022
Ever wanted to be an investigative reporter? Well, when it comes to controlling your blood glucose levels, this could be your big opportunity. Everyone with diabetes has at different times been stumped over a string of high blood glucose levels after seemingly doing everything “right.” Or, maybe you’re consistently running higher than you’d like. Here are a couple of investigative techniques that will not put you in contention for the Pulitzer Prize (sorry), but may tell a story with a happy ending.
- Consider the American Diabetes Association’s target levels for blood glucose. Before meals, your blood glucose should be between 80-130mg/dl; two hours after a meal your blood glucose should be 180 mg/dl or below. If you aren't checking before meals it could be that your readings were high before you ate. If you’re checking sooner than two hours after eating, that reading - it’s not telling the real story.For one full week, check your blood glucose before meals and again two hours after eating, and keep a log of your readings. This data really helps with understanding our blood glucose patterns.
- During a one week period of time, measure your portions of carbohydrate-containing foods. It’s hard to know “for sure” if you are eating one, two or three portions without measuring. Measuring, using measuring cups or a food scale, helps us to take any doubt out of how much we are eating. Measuring our food is more precise. During this week of fine-tuning your portion sizes, eat your meals and snacks at a consistent time of day as best as possible. Consistency in eating does help keep your blood glucose levels consistent.
Time for review (your investigative reporting). Look at your blood glucose levels over the week. Do you see a pattern? If your timing and portion sizes were right, but your blood glucose levels are still high, look at other potential factors. Did your activity change from other days when your blood glucose was closer to target? Were you getting sick that day – catching a cold? Did you take your diabetes medications as prescribed by your doctor?
Sometimes there is no obvious reason for out-of-whack blood glucose levels. But often, with a little investigative skill, you’ll be able to identify the issue.
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