July 30, 2011

Six Ways to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes – P6

Error 6 - Making Poor Food Choices

When it comes to food, excellent diabetes management is a must. Learn to maintain logs of what you eat, when you eat, and the blood glucose levels before and after eating, especially within the first few months. Be aware of the problem of going off an eating plan. It is the long term unhealthy eating habits that need to be broken and replaced with healthy eating habits. This can take time, but steady progress needs to be a priority.

Carbohydrates become the requirement and you meter needs to be your friend while learning what foods you need to eliminate, reduce in quantity, or that are okay to eat. Since each person can handle different foods, you should talk to your doctor about classes or at least a meeting with a dietitian for guidance and directions for healthy eating. Forget about what you think is healthy eating, it may be more harmful that you imagine.

Learn to read nutrition labels. This will help you calculate the proper amounts of the foods you choose to eat and may provide you with clues as to why you are having problems with your blood glucose levels. This may be more important that you realize now, but eating at a regular time and intervals will assist you in better management of your blood glucose levels.

Do not skip meals as this is the downfall of many people with diabetes. Often you will think that because you skipped a meal, you have a built in deficit of carbohydrates – wrong! The skipped meal does not calculate into allowing for extra carbs later in the day – your liver has taken care of the blood glucose deficit, but adding blood glucose to your system to compensate for the skipped meal. Whether you like it or not, the skipped meal has gained you no carb allowances.

If you doubt me, use your meter to help you see what is happening. Depending on your medication, you may be also creating hypoglycemia and have a blood glucose low which can be dangerous. Skipping medications because you are skipping a meal is also dangerous. This is another reason to learn all you can about the medications you are taking. This can point out the problems, side-effects, and dangers of missing a dose. Plus this may also point out the dangers of not eating or skipping a meal.

Some medications are meant to operate for a set period of time in your body while others have a longer period of operation. All of this means that skipped meals can affect the medications and do more harm that you are expecting. Some combinations of medications create even more troubling complications if you skip meals.

This is why, even though I have blogged about these points separately, they are all interlinked and can be very much part of the integral plan of diabetes management. It is important to remember this and review these on a regular basis. Remember diabetes itself does not cause the complication – it is the lack of diabetes management that does the damage.  If you need to reread the article - it is here.

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