Online Exclusive: Diabetes Month

Written by Staff Writer in the November 2010 Issue

Did you know that 23.6 million children and adults in this country have diabetes… and almost one fourth of them don’t know it?

Diabetes affects more than 190,000 Oklahoma adults. So if you are a person living with diabetes, you are not alone. You are also not alone if you have ever had a misstep when it comes to managing your diabetes.

Everyone makes a mistake every now and then, but the experts at Draelos Metabolic Center in Edmond (200 North Bryant, Suite 100) say certain mistakes can be dangerous when you are dealing with diabetes.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common mistakes people with diabetes make:

1. Focusing on cutting out sugar, fruit, or white foods to control blood glucose
When it comes to diabetes, the total carbohydrate content is the most important item on a food label. Total carbohydrates include sugar, fiber and other carbohydrates in foods that will affect your blood glucose. That’s why keeping track of total carbohydrates is the best predictor of how much your blood glucose will rise after eating.

2. Not bringing your meter or log to your appointment
Blood sugar logs and testing meters are two of the most important tools for treating and managing your diabetes. You need to bring your log or meter to every appointment with your diabetes care team. These tools supply valuable information about your blood sugar and the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

3. Skipping an insulin or medication dose when blood glucose is in the normal range
Short-acting insulin is needed to lower your blood sugar after eating carbohydrates. Do not skip short-acting meal insulin (bolus) when your blood sugar is low. It is much better to decrease the amount of insulin you will take with your meal. If your blood glucose is within target range prior to a meal, you still need to take your short-acting meal insulin (bolus) if you will be eating carbohydrates.

Long-acting insulin covers the insulin your body needs for a full day. So it is important to always take your long-acting insulin dose as prescribed even when your blood sugar is low or within normal range. Skipping doses can cause hyperglycemia.

Taking your diabetes medications or insulin as prescribed by your healthcare provider is critical to maintaining your blood sugar within a normal range and to properly managing your diabetes.

If you have any questions about decreasing or discontinuing a diabetes medication or insulin, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

4. Eating too much of “good” foods
Portion control is essential to diabetes management. Just because a food is carbohydrate-free or very low in carbohydrates does not mean you can consume unlimited quantities of it. Meats and fats do not contain carbohydrates, but are very high in calories, fat and sodium. So always watch your portion sizes to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5. Over-treating low blood sugar
Low blood glucose (blood glucose below 70) requires the hypoglycemia 15-15 rule:
- Immediately consume 15 grams of simple carbohydrates (such as 4 oz juice, 4 oz of a regular soda, glucose tablets or hard candy) after a blood glucose reading below 70
- Wait 15 minutes, if blood glucose is still below 70, then consume 15 more grams of simple carbohydrates
- Consume a small snack after blood sugar of 70 is reached

DO NOT consume foods that contain high amounts of fat or protein such as peanut butter, cake, or candy bars. These foods will not raise your blood glucose very quickly.

6. Consuming diet food, diabetic food or diabetic drinks (such as Glucerna) in hopes of improving blood sugar levels.
Diet foods, sugar free foods/diabetic foods and diabetic drinks will not lower your blood glucose levels. These foods actually contain carbohydrates which raise your blood glucose levels. So be sure that you always look at the food label to monitor and maintain carbohydrate intake for better blood glucose control. Remember your body needs carbohydrates to function and stay healthy, so they should not be completely eliminated. However, you should follow your healthcare providers guidelines when it comes to how many carbohydrates you should be regularly consuming.

7. Letting your diabetes training get out of date
Medicine is advancing all of the time. So it’s important to stay current on the latest in diabetes care. Talk to your healthcare provider about resources that can help you stay
current on the latest developments regarding new and improved medications, lifestyle modifications and more.

8. Using expired medications, insulin, testing strips, or medical supplies
You wouldn’t drink milk with an expired date on it and you shouldn’t use expired medications or supplies either. So be sure your insulin and other diabetes medications have not expired. If they have, talk to your provider about getting them refilled so that you can be sure they are functioning properly in terms of lowering your blood sugar
levels.

A glucose meter must be properly coded according to the number on the glucose strips in order for the meter to work correctly. Expired testing strips can cause inaccurate results and should be discarded.

For more information that you may find useful, visit the Draelos Metabolic Center website at www.draelosmetabolic.com, or call 405-330-2362 to inquire about an appointment.

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