Diabetes Agent > Common Concerns & Issues about Diabetes

Monitoring Glucose - Diabetes Agent

Sore fingers, endless test strips, drops of blood… you might dread or resent monitoring your glucose for these or other reasons. But glucose testing is one of your best allies in your diabetes management. It gives you the up-to-the-minute feedback you need to make excellent choices that make you feel better. Think of this step as the gratification for all the work you’re putting in. Monitoring is still the best way to avoid hypoglycemia and to see how effective your therapy is.

It’s essential to monitor and manage your glucose: good control of blood glucose will prevent significant complications of diabetes that lead to a poor quality of life, or even death. Diabetes is unique – it requires a high degree of patient involvement to get into therapy.

Explore these links and videos to get strategies for optimal glucose monitoring.


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Videos

Dave Monitoring Glucose

Dave discusses how he enjoys monitoring his glucose as a method of positive feedback.

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Priscilla Monitoring Glucose

Pricilla is concerned about the costs of monitoring her glucose.

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Elizabeth Monitoring Glucose

Elizabeth agrees with her doctor to monitor glucose twice a week.

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Carlos Monitoring Glucose

Carlos demonstrates how he uses his glucometer.

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Jessica Monitoring Glucose

Jessica talks about trying to reach her ideal A1C number.

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Luke Monitoring Glucose

Luke talks about monitoring before marching band or driving and his hesitance about using continuous glucose monitor.

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Gene Monitoring Glucose

Gene discusses how he has chosen not monitor his glucose as often.

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Zac Monitoring Glucose

Zac discusses his need for monitoring glucose within his busy daily life.

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Amber Monitoring Glucose

Amber Monitoring Glucose

Amber talks about her quest for perfect blood sugars and dealing with monitoring in public.

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Tools & Resources

What are some of the problems I might experience and what I should do about them?

Typical symptoms of high blood sugar include extreme thirst, frequent urination, and feeling tired all the time. You might also have dry, itchy skin or blurred vision. If you have a family history of diabetes, you should be tested at your annual physical. Sometimes, catching blood sugar elevations in the early stages can give you […]

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Could I have pre-diabetes and not know it?

Yes, it’s possible. 79 million people in the United States (including 50% of all adults over 65 years of age) have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes as effectively. As a result, your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet […]

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Why do I go to bed with normal blood sugar levels and wake up with high levels when I haven’t eaten all night?

Morning highs are typically caused by one of two things: The Somogyi effect (also called rebound hyperglycemia) or Dawn Phenomenon. With the Somogyi effect, you may be experiencing hypoglycemia (or low blood glucose episodes) during the night. In reaction to these untreated lows, your body releases stress hormones and the subsequent high blood glucose levels […]

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

My diagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic caught me completely by surprise. I knew almost nothing about it and had to get up to speed on the disease, fast. Here’s a quick list of a few things I wish I had known immediately after getting off the phone with my doctor: Am I going to […]

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What makes my blood sugar go up?

In order to understand what makes your blood sugar go up, let’s review what blood sugar is and does. Blood sugar is the fuel we all have and need to function. Blood sugar is simply the amount of sugar in your blood. It is also sometimes called glucose. Blood glucose is simply the level of […]

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Previsit Form

When you get to your next appointment, your doctor will have questions. Will you have the answers? Be prepared with the help of this printable form.

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How does exercise affect my blood sugars?

Exercise is an important part of diabetic management, not only in terms of losing excess weight, but also in stabilizing your metabolism to provide a consistent “burn” of your body sugars for fuel. Low-impact exercise which elevates your heart rate also elevates your metabolism, which tends to stay at a more constant level if your […]

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Will menopause affect my diabetes?

Yes. The changes in hormonal levels and balance, may lead to blood glucose levels that are out of control. Women with diabetes are also at risk of developing premature menopause and consequent increased risks of cardiovascular disease.

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If it’s sugar-free, can I eat as much as I want?

Many products are now touting “sugar-free,” “low fat,” “low carbs,” and more. Does something being sugar-free or low in fat make it safe for a diabetic to eat? Actually, a simple carbohydrate is a simple carbohydrate, in terms of your disease, however sometimes the difference is in how the body processes the carb. In foods […]

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How is diabetes managed?

1) Healthy eating: Why Eat Right? If you have diabetes, you will quickly learn that how you eat can have a significant impact on your ability to control your glucose. Certain foods will really elevate your glucose and make it hard to control your diabetes. Naturally, you want to avoid large amounts of concentrated sugars, […]

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Why are carbohydrates so important in diabetes care?

Carbohydrates are important because they’re your body’s main source of glucose. Overload on dietary carbohydrates and your blood glucose levels rise. That’s why knowing the quantity of carbohydrates you’re eating, and other related nutrient qualities of your food, is so important.

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Are there different types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes. In Type 1, an individual’s pancreas is not producing insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the individual’s pancreas still produces insulin, but the cells are not using the insulin effectively. Another type of the disease, gestational diabetes, develops during pregnancy because of hormones that are secreted to maintain the […]

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Is prediabetes the same as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose?

Yes. Doctors sometimes refer to this state of elevated blood glucose levels as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IGT/IFG), depending on which test was used to detect it.

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I have type 2 diabetes, and just started insulin. Does that mean I’m type 1 now?

No. Many people with type 2 diabetes who can’t adequately control their blood glucose levels with diet, exercise, or oral medications go on insulin. The type of diabetes you have is defined by the cause, not the treatment. People with type 1 diabetes have experienced beta cell destruction and make insufficient insulin to control their […]

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Monitoring Glucose Handout

Having diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Monitoring your glucose gives you vital feedback about your diabetes management techniques. Here are some frequently asked questions about monitoring glucose.

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I had gestational diabetes. How soon after having the baby should I get my blood glucose rechecked?

About 6-8 weeks after delivery. Like 90% of the women with gestational diabetes, your BG levels will probably return to normal right after your baby is born. However, you still run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, prior studies have shown women who have had gestational diabetes are at risk (of up […]

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How does my blood sugar affect my mood?

Studies have shown a relationship to chocolate and mood. There is a chemical in chocolate that stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of well-being and calm. So, how does this relate to diabetes? Well, fluctuations in blood sugars or sugars that are out of range can contribute to unexplained mood swings, […]

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I need financial assistance for type 1 diabetes supplies and/or healthcare.

There are pharmaceutical assistance programs offered directly by some drug companies for people with type 1 diabetes who have little or no insurance to help offset the cost of supplies or prescription medications. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669) offers a point of access to hundreds of assistance programs that have joined together to provide […]

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I had diabetes before I was pregnant. Now that I am pregnant, how often should I monitor my BG levels?

Most health care professionals recommend that a woman with pre-existing diabetes (both type 1 & type 2) who becomes pregnant monitor her BG levels up to 8 times daily. In terms of your day-to-day routine, you should probably monitor: before each meal, 1 or 2 hours after each meal, at bedtime, occasionally at 2-3 a.m.

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I have type 2 diabetes. What are my own numbers that I should be aware of?

Know your ABCs. Focus on the numbers that can affect your health. To reduce diabetes complications, such as heart attacks and strokes, the American Diabetes Association recommends the following: A1C: A three-month blood glucose average test that can monitor development and progression of eye, kidney and nerve damage. Target: less than 7 percent. Blood pressure: […]

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When to Check Blood Sugar

Blood glucose monitoring is a way of life for the diabetic. When you are first diagnosed, it is very important that you get a glucometer as soon as possible. How often should I check? At first, pretty much all the time. The only way to come to grips with your diabetes is to learn, as […]

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I’ve seen sugar-free foods in the grocery store. Does that mean I can eat as much of those foods as I want?

There are many products that are sold as being “sugar-free,” “reduced sugar,” “light,” “no sugar added,” and so forth. These labels can be confusing and sometimes misleading. While the amount of sugar in a product might be lower, it’s important to remember that sugar is only one type of carbohydrate, and all carbohydrates affect your […]

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Why are women with diabetes pre-disposed to developing recurrent yeast infections?

The glucose (sugar) in your body is the perfect trigger to encourage and grow yeast within your body.

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What tests are recommended for diagnosing diabetes?

A fasting blood plasma glucose test, performed first thing in the morning, is the preferred test for diagnosing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, a diagnosis of diabetes can be made based on a random (i.e., any time of day) plasma glucose test and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The findings should be […]

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I really hate to exercise. What are some ways to manage my diabetes without exercise?

I wish I could tell you otherwise, but exercise is vital to managing your diabetes and staying healthy. There’s no way around it – but it doesn’t have to be torture! One way to sustain momentum is to make sure there’s enough pleasure in your life while you take the time and effort to build […]

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What happens if I don’t manage my diabetes?

So, diabetes causes high blood glucose. Why is that such a bad thing? Glucose is fuel for our bodies, so more fuel available in the blood seems like it would be a good thing, right? Well, no. When there’s too much glucose circulating in the blood, it attaches to and damages the walls of all […]

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What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a small electronic device that provides a continuous, low flow of insulin (called a basal rate) to the wearer via an infusion line. The end of the infusion line has a small needle called an insertion set that is pushed just under the surface of the skin. The user can program […]

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What should my blood glucose levels test at?

Everyone has individual goals for diabetes management. You should work with your doctor to set your target goals for self-monitored blood glucose levels. However, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following general guidelines for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes*: Fasting or before meals (preprandial) – 90 to 130 mg/dl (5.0 to 7.2 […]

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My doctor said I’ll need to see a couple of different types of specialists to control my diabetes and handle some of the problems that come along with the disease. What kinds of specialists will I need to see and why?

There are four main types of doctors that people with diabetes typically consult, including endocrinologists, ophthalmologists or optometrists and podiatrists. Endocrinologists specialize in caring for those with diseases of the organs or glands that secrete hormones- like insulin. Problems with the vision and the eyes can result from poor blood sugar control, so people with […]

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How is Diabetes Managed?

Host David Fatback explains the different ways you can keep your blood glucose under control.

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HbA1c: Diabetic Blood Test

If you’ve been diagnosed as a diabetic you are, or soon will be, quite familiar with a blood test called the HbA1c, or A1c for short. The HbA1c test is used to monitor your diabetes. It is an average of your blood glucose levels over time and gives you a good idea of how well […]

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body digests and uses food. It means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. What does that mean? Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose, the kind of sugar that circulates in our blood. Glucose is the main source of […]

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What are the complications of using birth control pills while having diabetes?

Birth control pills may raise your BG levels. Using them for longer than a year or 2 may also increase your risk of complications. For instance, if you develop high blood pressure while on the pill, you increase the chance that eye or kidney disease will worsen.

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What should my A1C (Hemoglobin A1C) be while I am pregnant?

An A1C (Hemoglobin A1C) is a blood test that can predict average blood glucose levels for about 8-12 weeks. People without diabetes generally have an A1C of less than 6%, though this usually drops to less than 5% during pregnancy. Women with diabetes should strive for “near normal” A1Cs prior to, as well as during, […]

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I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor to really explain what this disease is. Can you tell me more about the disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your pancreas is not able to produce the hormone, insulin, which is needed to control your blood sugar. You’ll need to take insulin every day. Currently, insulin is only given by injection. You’ll also need to follow a meal plan, exercise and test your blood sugar.

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How does exercise lower blood glucose levels?

Several ways. When you work out, your muscles use glycogen-a glucose source stored in muscle tissue-for energy. With prolonged exercise, the muscles take up glucose at an accelerated rate, turning to blood glucose once glycogen stores have been depleted. In addition, if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, exercise can help you lose […]

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Once a diabetic, always a diabetic?

Someone living with diabetes can lose a bunch of weight, eat right, and get their numbers in control, and as such, they have no signs or symptoms of diabetes but, like everyone, they could slip right back into those bad numbers if they do not maintain their lifestyle and medication behaviors. For Type 1 diabetes, you […]

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What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugars, can be a serious complication of diabetes. It can have many causes, including, but not limited to: eating too much or too many simple carbohydrates, i.e. doughnuts, candy lack of exercise illness stress not taking medication properly medication side effect, such as prednisone or antibiotics expired medication – efficacy tends […]

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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

There is no simple answer to what causes type 2 diabetes. While eating sugar, for example, doesn’t cause diabetes, eating large amounts of sugar and other rich, fatty foods, can cause weight gain. Most people who develop diabetes are overweight. Scientists do not fully understand why obesity increases someone’s chances of developing diabetes, but they […]

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Appointment Journal

People forget things after their appointments. This form helps you remember what you and your doctor discuss.

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What are the blood glucose levels for women that are pregnant?

Fasting 60-90 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-104 mg/dL (plasma), before meals 60-105 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-121 mg/dL (plasma), 1 hour after meals 100-120 mg/dL (whole blood) 115-138 mg/dL (plasma) and 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. 60-120 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-138 mg/dL (plasma).

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News

Don’t lose your mind! Poor glucose management can lead to brain volume loss late in life.

Here’s yet another reason to stick to your blood glucose self-management regimen: poor control over your blood glucose can result in brain atrophy – basically, your brain shrinking in volume. Brain atrophy happens as a result of the loss of cells, and its exact effects vary depending on where the cells are lost. Regardless of […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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