October 25, 2013

More Diabetes Terms People Should Know

This is a continuation of the last post about terms that people with diabetes should know. Some admittedly are more important and some are just good to know.

This continues the list:
#8. Medications This is probably the most troublesome term for many people. Some do not wish to take medications and then run to the health store and substitute medications they think will help them. Medications need to be taken as directed for oral medications. Insulin is slightly more flexible after you learn how to use it properly and count carbohydrates. Symlin, Byetta, Bydureon, and Victoza are medications that you must understand and follow directions, as there can be severe side effects otherwise, even with the normal side effects. As with all medications, be alert for hypoglycemia and do not be afraid to communicate as needed with your doctor or requested by your doctor.

#9. Key numbers Even though I warn people not to become fixated with numbers, there are some key numbers to learn. The first is 70 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). Any blood glucose reading below this is considered hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. Severe hypoglycemia is defined as an event requiring assistance of another person to actively administer carbohydrates, glucagon, or take other corrective actions. This varies by individual and is the reason I will not give a number.

I cannot appreciate the numbers used by the ADA as these encourage progression to complications. The ADA definition is excessive blood glucose (whatever that is). Fasting hyperglycemia is blood glucose above a desirable level after a person has fasted for at least 8 hours. Postprandial hyperglycemia is blood glucose above a desirable level 1 to 2 hours after a person has eaten. According to the AACE, generally fasting plasma glucose should be less than 110 mg/dl and the 2-hour postprandial glucose should be less than 140 mg/dl.

Since most of us are not able to use plasma glucose because those are lab tests, we are limited to what our meter tells us. I generally have fasting blood glucose readings of less than 100 mg/dl and 2-hour postprandial of less than 140 mg/dl. Do I obtain these goals? Many days I do, but there are days when I am above them and need to work to get below them quickly.

#10. Diabetes acronyms These can be found in this blog. The acronyms are not all available and if you wish to add more, please let me know, and I will add them to a future blog.

#11. Sleep Eight hours is recommended. The message is now “eight hours plus of sleep, exercise, and nutrition”. People that can regularly get 8.5 hours of restful sleep burn more fat than people getting 5.5 hours of sleep. They have concluded that sleep loss while dieting increases the ghrelin (a hormone that stimulates appetite) associated changes in hunger, glucose and fat utilization, and energy metabolism, which slows or halts weight loss.

The researchers reported that sleep-deprived participants reported feeling hungrier during the study. They agreed that sleep may be an important factor in successful weight loss and that adequate sleep may be a significant part of the lifestyle change that has normally concentrated on diet and exercise. If you have been losing weight, but now or have hit a weight loss plateau, you may want to add sleep to the other remedies to break through the plateau and get on with losing weight. This is just another part of the lifestyle change so important for people of diabetes. Good luck!

#12. Stress When stressed, almost anyone can toss aside their usual good diabetes management practices, forget to eat the proper foods, and lose control of your blood glucose. Prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly which also creates additional problems. Some find logging your stress level (1 to 10 scale) each time you log your blood glucose level helps them see patterns and allows you to adjust accordingly. Learn about ways to relax and find ways to reduce stress.

Even this list of terms is not comprehensive and is not intended to be.


davidmendosa said...

Dear Bob,

Excellent addition to your list. I would suggest only a couple of points regarding what you write about medications. In the sentence, "Some do not wish to take medications and then run to the health store and substitute medications they think will help them" you are actually referring to supplements. So many people thing that supplements aren't really medications, but in fact they are, as I have often written, citing the experts in this area.

Do no harm,


Bob Fenton said...

Thank you David,

Yes, I am referring to supplements and many other "natural medications" that people take in place of chemical (man made) medications, but they are still medications.