Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Blood sugar

Being diabetic, as I am, I have to worry about my blood sugar level.

The metric we use is mmol/l, though that is changing it seems! It is a shame as I am so used to it for many many years, what with my mother being on insulin since a few years after I was born. From an early age I grew up understanding about blood sugar levels.

What I was always told, and is apparently still the norm, is 4 to 7 mmol/l is normal for before a meal.

Now, maybe the meter I use is out or maybe I am abnormal (likely) but practical experience is that 4-7 is way out for normal... If my BM is 5.5 I am losing concentration. If 4.5 I am shaking. If below 4 I am feeling ill. So 4-7 is not normal for me - more like 6-7 or 6-8...

If I am not alone - please say!

What is specially odd is that following the normal rules is not working. I am on metformin, gliclazide, and sitagliptin now, and not yet insulin injections (phew). The gliclazide is meant to give my pancreas a kick, and does - especially with something to work on!

If I have no breakfast I feel peckish in the afternoon and blood sugar is fine, but if I have 500ml of lucozade and a gliclazide at breakfast then I suffer a few hours later - yes BM goes up and a few hours later is not just down but by lunch time is in the 4.X region and I feel ill. But not having breakfast is fine. So some how it works giving a kick to my pancreas and some glucose as well! The good thing is all morning I am way more with it than otherwise. So much for low GI foods as per the normal rules for being diabetic.

Seems a kick is what I need. We'll see how it goes in the long term.

Though alcohol in the evenings is also a factor I expect :-)

3 comments:

  1. If you're interested, here is another data point. I had some fruit for breakfast. It's now mid morning and I'm not particularly hungry or full. I feel alert. I'm not diabetic or glucose intolerant. My blood sugar is currently 5.0. That means I'm above the range where you would feel ill, although you might be losing concentration.

    Sometimes I think medicine should be seen as a branch of engineering. :) I fix technological systems, and the doctor fixes biological systems. What's the difference?

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  2. Normal or common for your condition?

    I'm not diabetic, and my blood glucose pre-meal tends to be between 4.7 and 5.7, depending upon time of day, and how long it has been since the last meal. i.e. not considering the period within 5 hrs of eating.

    Depending upon what I eat, post meal it can peak up to 8.5 (100g rice) before dropping back down under 7.0 within an hour, under 6.5 within 2 hrs.

    I recall reading something about diabetics getting acclimated to higher blood sugar levels, such that drops to what would be normal give hypo like effects. i.e. its the delta from baseline triggering the effects, not the absolute levels. But then what do I know?

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  3. People's blood glucose varies widely, as does their tolerance to it. I've met people with a BM as low as 1.5 who are "fine" but I've also seen people with a BM of 3.5 who are quite ill.

    Good medical professionals will always try and find the patient's normal range by asking them, rather than relying on a text book.

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