Colleen Schultz was stunned to learn that her blood sugar level was high during a routine doctor visit in the fall of 2010. Though she did not have diabetes, her results were in the prediabetes range. "I was very upset," says Schultz, a drapery fabricator in Voorheesville, N.Y. "It was depressing thinking I was falling apart. I didn't want to take medications for the rest of my life."
Her doctor gave her a prescription, which Schultz tried and then decided she'd rather focus on her doctor's other...
Here are six mistakes that you can learn to avoid.
1. Not Knowing Your Disease
“You are your own doctor 99.9% of the time,” says Andrew Ahmann, MD, director of the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR.
By that he means that you are the one watching your diet, making sure you exercise, and taking your medication on schedule. Understanding how diabetes works will help you make better decisions about how to monitor and manage it. Classes on coping with diabetes are an excellent but underused resource.
“Not enough patients seek them out, and not enough doctors send their patients to them,” Ahmann says.
That’s unfortunate, because not only do they offer essential information, but they are often support groups as well, bringing together people who have the same problems and giving them a place to meet and talk with each other.
2. Expecting Too Much Too Soon
One of the biggest hurdles in controlling your blood sugar is sticking to your eating and exercise habits. Many patients become frustrated and give up because they don’t see results right away, says endocrinologist Preethi Srikanthan, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
“Most people expect something dramatic is going to happen right away,” she says. “But it has taken them a decade or two to get to this point, and it will take a while for them to even to get to that initial 5%-10% reduction in weight. ...These are challenges that must be taken in small steps.”
Expecting too much change right away is a mistake. So is doing too much before you are ready, especially when it comes to exercise, Ahmann says. He advises starting off slowly and easing into the habit.
“If they do more than they can tolerate, they will often quit,” he says. “Or they will do too much and hurt themselves.”
Be sure to talk with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you aren’t already active. He or she can help plan a routine that’s safe and effective, as well as set realistic goals.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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