Diabetes Blogs

My Endo Says I Need to Decrease My Blood Sugar Range?

Yesterday my day started off a little on the crabby side. You see, I NEVER schedule any appointments or anything in the morning. Although I often wake up early on my own, I am NOT an up and out the door in the morning kind of girl..

I prefer to spend quiet, comfortable mornings at home while I gently ease into my day. Cat snuggles in my bed with my iPad followed by an excited pup in my living room when I decide to embark on my day.

I got a call last week that my endocrinologist had to cancel my afternoon appointment this week for my quartery check-up. His next reschedule? Over a month out. Just as I was telling the receptionist I could not wait that long to reschedule, she asked me to hold, stating that the doctor was right there.

She came back on the line offering me a 9:00 am appointment the following week - the doctor specially opened up his appointment book to fit me in. When I asked if a 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. might be available she said she'd have to go back and ask the doctor. I told her to just leave it as I did not want to inconvenience him.

I went to bed early the night before my appointment---something I have been working on. Well, early for me. 11:00 p.m. Setting the alarm for 7:00 a.m., I was thankful I would get at least 8 hours rest.

Then one low blood sugar happened about 2:00 a.m. I awoke my husband to grab me juice and thankfully was quickly able to fall back to sleep again. A few hours later, my Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose meter) alarmed again. Armed with a box of gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (similar to Oreo's) next to my bed for blood sugars that do not respond as they need to from orange juice, I grabbed one of the last two cookies out of the box and popped it in my mouth whole.

Mission: eat carbs, get my blood sugar up and fall back to sleep quickly!

Unfortunately this time, I did not fall back to sleep quickly. Does this happen to you sometimes too or do you often quickly return to a slumber after treating a low?? I lied there for quite some time before I was finally able to feel sleepy enough again for rest.

Then rest I did. I was finally in a deep sleep when my alarm went off at 7:00 a.m. I was not happy to be woken up.. And I was tired. I pet my cats for a bit, searched for a morning quote to post to my diabetes blog Facebook page community (something I do each morning) and got up.

Feeling frustrated I had to miss my morning yoga class after not being at class in over a week, I hopped in my car only to sit in morning rush hour. But, I arrived at my appointment, on time!

Needless to say, the visit with my endocrinologist went great! A lot of helpful information was shared by my wise doctor and the questions I had were covered too.

What I learned at my appointment.. This is BIG!

So what I learned is something I think is pretty important stuff! I apologize if this is old information for some of you. But I cannot help but think if this information is new for me that it might be new for some of you as well. 

I started wearing a continuous glucose meter maybe 3 - 4 years ago. For those who aren't aware, the CGM can be set to alarm for highs and lows---at whatever level the user enters for the high and low they want the device to alarm at. When blood sugars falls outside of the set parameters, the device alerts.

My diabetes educator told me told me during my initial CGM training to set the high alert to 200---otherwise it would alarm too much, which I did. I set the low alert to 90 (to be able to correct my blood sugar before it drops too low). Well, 90 - 200 is just where my alarms and goals have stayed---all these years! If my blood sugars stayed within this range ('the box' as we call it), I was happy!

I learned at my endo appointment that the MAXIMUM my blood sugars should reach after a meal or ever is 150! That is a BIG, big difference from the 200 I have had as my max blood sugar ideal for years! He said these are guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

I changed the settings on my CGM right there in my appointment to reflect this change and now have my CGM alert range set from 80 - 150. My endocrinologist says that he would like my blood sugars to stay between 100 - 150.

I must admit, I had seen Dexcom CGM graphs shown on pictures within the diabetes online community (DOC) recently with tiny boxes/ranges like this but I just thought they were just possibly stricter in their diabetes management and control than me. 

Well now I know that they were right on target! And somehow..... For two days now my blood sugars are miraculously staying in this range... a LOT! I will actually have to lower my insulin rates some more as you can see I have had my share of lows (see in the red - below the bottom line on CGM graph) lately.


What this new information means for me..

As a Type 1 patient, even one who puts my self care as top priority in my life, these "new for me" guidelines will take plenty of dedicated focus and work. But, I am ready to make it happen! And I am excited about the opportunity to drop my A1C (3 month blood sugar average) maybe just a little bit more. Although it is pretty good, there is always room for improvement.

For those of you with A1C levels over 7% that you are not able to bring down further, listen up! He said that people who have their A1C levels stuck between the 7 - 8% range have blood sugars going over the 150 mark often.

I believe the new information I learned at my appointment will be helpful for all of us and that is why I share it here in this latest article with each of you. It may be a little (and on some days a LOT) more work, but it is my goal to live a long and healthy life.

I love that I leave my endocrinology appointments with a smile on my face and armed with new information for my diabetes toolkit---to make life with diabetes just a little more manageable and feeling healthier too. Because we all feel better when we experience less fluctuations in our blood sugars!

What range do you like to keep your blood sugars?

Were you aware that 150 is the maximum blood sugar guideline set forth by the American Diabetes Association?

 

In Peace & Wellness,

Cynthia

 

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