April 29, 2014

More Bad Habits When Diagnosed with Diabetes

For those that have not read my blog and the link from yesterday, here is another link that lists many of the diabetes bad habits I have covered, but explains them differently. This brings me to the habits for this blog.

Not tracking your blood glucose If you don't keep track of your sugar levels and report them to your doctor, your doctor may not be able to figure out which diabetes drugs are working best for you. This is because many diabetic medications vary in terms of pharmacodynamics (how a drug influences a diabetic's body) and pharmacokinetics (how your body responds to the drug). If your medication can’t be assessed, you can’t successfully manage your diabetes. Yes, the doctor has your A1c and other tests, but without the daily blood glucose readings, he only has a general knowledge and whether you are doing great or poorly in your management of diabetes.

Sloppy carb counting or not correctly recording the carbs consumed Accurate carb counting is critical to good diabetes management on any level. Sloppy carb counting if you are on insulin can be dangerous. With hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia being the result, guesstimating the number of carbs you will be eating can lead to incorrect injection of insulin.

I will be the first to admit that even reading the labels on food and calculating carbs from ingredients is still a crap shoot because of the errors that are allowed on labels and the USDA database used by many carbohydrate calculators. Now before becoming too discouraged, using labels and information from the USDA database is still preferable to guessing. A digital scale also helps when cooking foods.

Binge eating Many people with diabetes have this bad habit and this promotes other bad habits like overeating snacks and having food quantities that cause blood glucose levels to become too high. I recently watched a person with type 2 diabetes eating almost an entire plate of all white foods – bread, potatoes, and rice. There was not another color as in vegetables on the plate. He was not in insulin and we don't know what medication he was using, as he would not tell us.

Skipping meals Many people with type 2 diabetes do not consider this a bad habit. Yet they take their oral medication. This is dangerous and if a medication causes hypoglycemia, then it is even more dangerous. If you are a person that does this, you should have a talk with your doctor urgently. The doctor should be able to suggest when or when not to take your medication.

Emotional eating Here again people let their emotions take over and seek out foods that they would normally not consume and then proceed to overeat. Yes, they seek out comfort foods and these are often high carbohydrate foods. Emotional eating often occurs with stress, depression, death of a family member, and other emotional happenings. Even positive feelings and happy times can lead to emotional eating, though rarely.

Avoiding fish in favor of red meat Now this may not be a bad thing, but many doctors consider this a bad habit, as do most registered dietitians nutritionists (RDNs). This is because they follow the high carbohydrate/low fat food plan. While we should eat more fish for the nutrients, many people never do and are living well despite what doctors and RDNs like to believe and promote. The saturated fat in red meat does not give us cause for concern any longer.

To avoid the bad habits of diabetes, develop a positive attitude, and a routine that you can follow and make a habit. Good habits that become ingrained and almost automatic can help you when burnout happens and even during minor depression. They can also help in avoiding most of the other bad habits. I can not guarantee this, but this had helped me.

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