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Blood sugar checking, A1C, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other yearly labs are the way that your health care provider monitors your diabetes control. Understanding what the numbers mean and why they are important can help you stay on top of all of the things necessary to prevent complications and live your healthiest life as a diabetic.

Comprehensive Guide to Hypoglycemia

One of the biggest fears people with diabetes face is hypoglycemia, a blood sugar low. And rightfully so, because the most severe forms of hypoglycemia lead to seizures, coma and in the worst cases, death. Every person with diabetes (and under ideal circumstances, their family members) needs to know how to recognize and manage unpredictable hypoglycemic episodes. Let’s agree on some definitions first. What is hypoglycemia? Simply put, hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose (BG) dips below normal levels. Experts disagree on whether 60 or 70 defines a true low. It is very helpful to be aware of how [...]

How to Eat to Your Meter

How many carbs can I eat in a meal?  How many carbs can I eat in a day?  The answer: there’s not a magic number that fits everyone.  If you are in the early days of a diabetes diagnosis and trying to figure it all out, you may have heard the advice, “eat to your meter.” It sounds so simple.  But what does that mean??? People with diabetes will each have their own degree of a healthy, working pancreas which produces insulin. Early in a diagnosis timeline, your pancreas may still be producing lots of insulin on its own. [...]

Choosing a Glucometer: Does it Really Matter?

For the newly diagnosed person, choosing a blood glucose meter is no simple task. If you walk down the glucometer aisle of any pharmacy, you’ll see at least 5 different brands and probably 20 different styles of glucose meters.  Knowing some basic features to use as a basis for comparison is helpful. Blood drop size, cost of meter and cost of strips definitely covers the basics, but there are also bells and whistle features (memory, syncing to a smartphone, downloading ability, etc.). In addition, some meters allow “alternate site testing,” meaning that you can use somewhere besides the fingertip (think [...]

Do I Really Need to Check My Blood Sugar?

So, you have type 2 diabetes. You’re not on insulin. You’re taking two or three oral medications. You feel fine most of the time. “Why bother checking blood sugars?” you ask. Good question. The view on the importance of checking blood sugars has evolved over the years. In the past, self-monitoring of blood glucose (often referred to as SMBG) was recommended to be done at least three times a day in patients not on insulin. Over the years, a shift has occurred and the recommended frequency is much less, but is still considered an important part of the routine [...]