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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

Are you confused about your glucose numbers?

Clients in my diabetes education class have made these comments:

 “I don’t understand why my glucose goes up.” 

“I am not sure why I keep having low blood sugars.” 

“I don’t want to check because my blood sugars are always high.”

It is easy to look at the numbers and label the numbers as either “good” or “bad." It is easy to use the numbers to judge yourself too. The “good” numbers mean you are good. The “bad” numbers mean you are bad.

Your numbers are not you.

Your numbers are not good or bad and are not part of who you are as a person. They are data points (values) to make decisions with. The numbers give you important information about decisions you need to make about your food choices, your activity, and if your medication is working the way it should.

For instance, if you are planning to take a walk, the blood glucose value before you start walking needs to be within a certain range so you won’t end up with a hypoglycemic event (a blood glucose that is too low).

When you check your blood glucose value, you will decide you need to eat a snack before taking your walk. Or you may determine the value is high enough, and you don’t need to eat a snack.

It is important to describe the numbers to use them as part of your detective work and not to personalize them.

The first step is to name your numbers

Naming your numbers

If a glucose value is lower than your target, it is out of target low.

If a glucose value is higher than your target, it is out of target high.

Another part of glucose management is to identify the factors that will cause glucose levels to go up or down

  • Ask what may have caused the value to be high or low.

  • What changes need to happen to raise or lower the value?

Understanding the factors that can make glucose values go up or down can be very confusing. It is important to know what these are in order to be in charge of diabetes.

What do you need to do to manage your diabetes effectively?

Your dietitian in your pocket


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