Friday, May 9, 2014

High blood sugars – a perfect storm

When blood sugars are high and you don’t use insulin, you don’t have many options for lowering those numbers.  You can exercise or drink lots of water and you probably shouldn’t eat too many carbs.  So what can happen when you wake up with a high fasting blood sugar?  It can be a perfect storm.

You wake up and check your blood sugar.  159.  Peachy, just peachy.  You pour yourself some coffee and attempt to wake up. (Coffee can raise some people’s blood sugar but ask me if I care.  I need my coffee.)  Now what?  You’re hungry but that number is pretty high.  Ok, you decide to go exercise before you eat.  You jump on the treadmill (insert exercise of choice here) armed with your water and your determination.  30 minutes later you aren’t really hungry so you don’t eat breakfast.  You go about your morning activities and before you know it, it’s time for lunch.  A quick check and you see that your blood sugar is 134.  (Even though you didn’t eat, you can still have too much glucose in your system.  Thanks Mr. Liver.  Skipping meals is not a good idea.)  Hmmm, better not eat many carbs then.  You throw together a salad or some other “benign” food that’s quick and easy because you’re really not bursting with energy right now.  Three hours later, you’re hungry.  Darn, should have eaten more protein at lunch.  What is there to snack on?  Well, there’s some hummus and peppers or maybe a bit of fruit.  Oh look!  There’s some chips!  Half a bag later you realize that you’re a dolt.  Why did you do that?  Shoot, my blood sugar is probably really bad by now.  You eat some more because you already blew it, right?

Dinner time arrives and you aren’t hungry because you just pigged out on snacks.  You’re also grumpy; mad at yourself and pissed that those chips were even in the house.  You might even have a headache.  Freakin’ blankety-blank chips! It’s all their fault.  Check your blood sugar?  Naw, you know it’s too high and you just don’t want to know.  What are you going to do?  Jump on the treadmill again or inhale gallons of water?  So maybe you don’t eat a good dinner.  Maybe you nibble around the edges or just munch on veggies.  Whatever you do, it’s far from satisfying.  From here you either indulge in snacks during the evening or are “good” and drink water.  Either way you feel bad.  You feel angry with yourself or mad at diabetes.  Defeated.  As you go to bed you realize that you have a choice to make in the morning.  Regardless of what number shows up on your meter, you have the option to eat in a way that you know will make happier numbers.  It’s up to you.

Have you had a day similar to this?  I have, more times than I’d like to admit.  I definitely have a problem with food.  I most decidedly can make some ridiculously bad decisions.  A high number on my meter can send me into a perfect storm of poor decisions and even higher blood sugar numbers. It’s important to remember that the above scenario doesn’t make me a bad person (or you either).  I’m not stupid or lazy, nor do I have a death wish.  I’m just a person like everyone else.  People can make poor decisions.

Here’s the thing; I have the tools to switch it up.  I have the knowledge to make good choices, I just have to make them.  Chips in the house?  Bad idea.  Skipping meals?  Don’t do it.  Higher glucose numbers before we eat just means that we should make smarter choices, not skip meals.  Make the carbs you consume those found in green, leafy vegetables.  Make sure you eat some protein so you’re not tempted to snack later.  Have appropriate snack options ready for when you are tempted.  Eat those mini-peppers instead of chips!  Living a life with type 2 diabetes and not having insulin as one of your tools doesn’t mean that you’re doomed.  It just means that you have to work a little harder, walk a little farther and make good choices.  Can you do that Kate?  Yup, I can.  So can you.


  1. Yup, we all have those perfect storm days. Although I use insulin, I also tend to make bad choices that I chase with a bolus that just can't keep up with the crap I've consumed. Thank you for sharing a true bad day that I bet most of us can relate too. And thanks for reminding us that tomorrow is a fresh start to make better choices.

  2. Gosh, I needed your comments. Yesterday was a " perfect storm" day for me. I'm new at all this, and have no one to set me straight, instead of to the dungeon. I do that to myself all the time. (The dungeon, that is!) I really need someone to hold my hand, still. Feel so lost.

    1. Hang in there Mimi. I know it's so confusing and frustrating, especially when you're just beginning on this journey. Best advice: take it one thing at a time. Don't try to change everything overnight. Don't exercise regularly now? Start taking a walk after dinner, even if it's just one block. Addicted to "bad" carbs? Replace something you need to cut back on with a healthier choice...just for a week to begin. You are stronger than you believe you are. I'm here if you ever need an ear. (


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