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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Treatment of Diabetes With Insulin: Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

People have written to me asking about the treatment for diabetes, particularly the use of insulin. Since I am neither a pharmacist nor a doctor, I have asked for help from these professionals. Mind you I will just be reporting what they said for your information only because you have to consult the professionals before making any changes. The professionals will choose the right fit for you.

Anyone on three mealtime insulin injection should monitor their blood sugar before each injection. Why? It is because the blood sugar may have gone up and down depending on different factors. The meal you consume or skip, the beverage intake or skipped, whether you exercise or not and stress you feel all affect the blood sugar level. So it is important to monitor the blood sugar level so you can adjust the insulin dose accordingly.

If you find your blood sugar to be 60 mg/dl before a meal, reduce the insulin dose by one unit and add a high-fiber carbohydrate of 15 grams like a small baked potato, a slice of whole grain bread or just a piece of fruit. Plan your next day before going to bed so you do not have to skip breakfast. If pressed for time, a Fiber Plus or Fiber One breakfast bar or a bottle of Glucerna Shake will do.

The key to blood sugar control is to eat three balanced meals a day which has lean protein, vegetables and carbs containing high-fiber. Then for snacks you can have a piece of fruit and a few nuts. Taking the medications as prescribed is also important and never make changes without consulting your health care team.

If you are sick and do not have the appetite to eat, you cannot just skip a meal and also skip taking your medication. Instead consume a bottle of Glucerna shake in place of a meal or snack and take the medication as prescribed until you are able to eat regularly. Also since being sick may get your blood sugar out of control, monitor it more often.

Someone ran into the problem of getting too busy to stop for lunch and asked whether she should inject a lower dose (she's on mealtime insulin Humalog). The answer is of course, it is still best to have three balanced meals but being on mealtime insulin Humalog and will not be eating a meal or no carb intake in a meal, she could then skip the insulin dose for that meal.

However, in a case where the insulin dose has already been administered and then the meal was skipped, make sure the blood sugar will be closely monitored. Keep glucose wafers to dissolve in the mouth until the blood sugar reaches 70 mg/dl or higher. Really the best schedule for blood sugar control is to have regularly scheduled three balanced meals with two snacks in between.

Someone asked about starting to exercise but had not been feeling well with occasionally feeling dizzy and nauseous. Exercising is a great thing to do for all people especially for both the diabetics and pre-diabetics as it helps reduce belly fat, helps take care of insulin resistance and helps keep the blood sugar under control. As one exercises though, the muscle begins to take sugar from the blood to inside the muscle cells.

That is the reason behind feeling nauseous and dizzy. It means the blood sugar has dropped to lower than 70mg/ml. That means hypoglycemia is coming to town. Know therefore where your blood sugar levels are before and after exercising. Eat some nuts and fruit around two hours before the exercise and then after the physical activity, have a cup of fruit smoothie.

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There you have some of the situations where you will be faced with some challenges but have no fear for every challenge has a solution. As long as we try to do what is right, we will be fine so remember to make sure to consult with your physician before making any changes. There is no-one-fits-all strategy and each one of us is a unique human being. Here's the link for the Breakfast Bar