Achieving a good blood glucose control? Find out in 3 ways….

Diabetes mellitus is a life-long illness, at least, for NOW. As part of the total diabetes care, blood glucose control is very important. It has been shown that good blood glucose control over a long time goes a long way to minimizing or preventing the chronic complications of diabetes mellitus.
Someone living with diabetes should strive to achieve good blood glucose control. How will that person know that he or she is achieving a good blood glucose control?

There are 3 ways to know that:

  1. Presence or absence of symptoms of high blood glucose such as excessive urination, excessive feeling of thirst and general body weakness. Someone living with diabetes who has a good blood glucose control will not have those symptoms. This is what the person will observe before results of tests confirm it. However, absence of symptoms is not enough to show that one’s blood glucose is well controlled….as some people may have poor blood glucose control and still don’t have symptoms of high blood glucose.

  2. Level of blood glucose and presence or absence of glucose in one’s urine. Blood glucose levels refer to the fasting values and the levels obtained 2 hours after the main meals. Therefore, blood glucose should, ideally, be checked (preferably by self) four times in a day; fasting and 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fasting blood glucose should be between 80 –
    130mg/dl while the post meal values should not be more than 180mg/dl. However, these target blood glucose values depends on patient’s age, life expectancy, duration of diabetes, presence of other illnesses in the patient and patient’s preference.
    Again absence of glucose in one’s urine sample suggest good control. Blood glucose checks are superior to checking glucose in urine.

And, finally…

  1. Check or measurements of one’s glycated haemoglobin (aka HBa1C). This should be checked at least, two times per year for all persons living with diabetes. For those persons who have had poor glucose control, HBa1C should be checked up to four times per year. It’s a good measure of blood glucose control in the prior 2 – 3 months and the level should not be more than 7%. Therefore, if your health care provider ask you to do your HBa1C, he is perfectly in order.

With what we know now, where do you or your loved one living with diabetes belong? Do you have a good blood glucose control? The choice is yours and the rip offs are there for you too.

3 quick steps to recognize and confirm that someone living with diabetes is currently having low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)

Hypoglycemia (aka low blood glucose) is potentially fatal if not recognized and treated promptly. Self care skills acquired from diabetes self management education is life saving to patients presenting with hypoglycemia. But,  it’s important that persons living with diabetes and or their caregivers should recognize and confirm hypoglycemia via these 3 steps:

  1. Recognize the symptoms and signs of hypoglycemia which are divided into two :

a. warning symptoms that are due to increase adrenaline and other chemicals release by the body. They include :

Excessive sweating

Feeling of hunger

Feeling of tremors

Palpitations (ie awareness of one’s heartbeat).

Nausea (ie feeling like to vomit),

Shivering

Anxiety

b. Symptoms due to effects on the brain which include:

Confusion

Headache

General body weakness

Irritability

Lack of concentration

Aggression

Dizziness

Drowsiness and

Coma

The warning symptoms are important and should be recognized to prevent effects on the brain. Then, the next step is to:

  1. Check the person’s blood glucose as soon as the symptoms of hypoglycemia (listed above) are recognized in the patient. If the person’s blood glucose then is less than 2.5mmol/l or 45mg/dl, he/she is strongly suspected to have hypoglycemia which is confirmed by the last step which is:

  2. Resolution of the symptoms of hypoglycemia noted in the  person after taking a glucose -rich food or beverage or intravenous infusion. This,  finally, confirms the diagnosis of hypoglycemia in the person.

It’s important that one should act fast as soon as the warning symptoms are observed or complained of by the patients. It’s, also,  important that all persons living with diabetes who are on insulin injections should always have some cubes of sugar or sugar rich sodas /beverages in their homes.  This is a precautionary measure against  hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia experience is a nightmare to most patients who have had it.