A patient of mine thanked me graciously after learning that he could actually test his blood sugar without fear or pain. He had been avoiding testing his blood sugars because he was afraid it would hurt. In the past he was using the pads of his fingers. I explained - lancing the tips or pads of fingers can be painful because there are more nerve endings there. Instead, it's best to test the sides of the finger - between the bottom of the nail bed to the tip of the nail. He tried it in the office and was shocked that he barely felt a thing. Now he is monitoring regularly, losing weight and getting his sugars in range. It was a win for both of us.
If you are someone with diabetes and are not monitoring your sugars because it's too painful - rest assure knowing that there are ways to avoid pain. It's never too late to learn.
Fruit is refreshing, healthy and delicious. But, like anything you can't eat unlimited fruit, especially if you are someone with Type 2 diabetes and are following a consistent carbohydrate diet. You don't need to avoid fruit completely either. It always frustrates me when patients are told by loved ones that they can't eat fruit because it's too sweet. Fruit although it contains fruit sugar, fructose, also contains fiber, vitamins and minerals, and is rich in water. If fruit is a love of yours', you can find out ways to incorporate it into your meal plan without wrecking havoc on your blood sugars. Ask your Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator to help you.
Invest in your health - that is my motto for all my patients. This especially hit home today when a young woman walked into my office with a broken spirit. After the birth of her last child and years of fad dieting she is heavier than ever before. With a strong family history of diabetes and heart disease, sustainable weight loss is critical for preventing or delaying diabetes.
We talked for a long time about her motivation and her diet shortcomings. I discovered that what prevented her from achieving her goals was her lack of confidence in herself and her inability to make herself a priority. In the past she relied on pills or quick fixes for weight loss and then threw in the towel when her weight plateaued. She came to me because she needed hope - reason to try again.
I told her to think of her body as an elite care, let's say - a Mercedes. If you spent a great deal of money on a car, wouldn't you want to give it the best fuel possible so that it could last long and run well? Now, I know our body is far from a car, but the analogy makes sense. We only get one body - and it's important to give it the best fuel we can so that we can try our best to prevent disease, increase our energy, and longevity. We all work hard to get the things in life that we want. I have never met one person who doesn't want to be healthy - they just don't know how or where to start. It's never to late to change behaviors, get motivated and adapt a healthy lifestyle.
My patient today left with her head held high - confident that she would start small and continue to work on dietary and exercise changes. She needs a cheerleader - someone to motivate her. I can be that for her when she comes to visit me.
So to all my readers out there - think of this as reassurance - you can change your life. You can start tomorrow. Start small. Get motivated - get a cheerleader.
Yesterday, I asked one of my patients to test her blood sugar during our session. She doesn't test her blood sugar regularly and was eating a diet rich in carbohydrates. To her dismay the glucometer read: 350mg/dL. She had been walking around with high blood sugars for so long that she didn't even realize her sugars were elevated. We came up with a plan together: she would test her blood sugars regularly - morning and two hours after a meal for one week. If her blood sugars were above target range she would cut back on her carbohydrates and schedule an appointment with her physician to assess her medications. One of the best way to pattern manage and prevent hyperglycemia is to test your blood sugar.