Friday, January 21, 2011

Checking blood sugar with diabetes

Subject: blood sugar testing?

How often should I check my glucose if I have type 2 diabetes?

There is no set guideline for the number of times to check your blood sugars daily.  It may depend on how good your blood sugar control is and what kinds of meds you are taking.  As a general guideline, our Diabetes Care Center generally recommends for patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes to check first thing in the morning before breakfast and 2 hours after a meal - this way we can assess both the sugar that your body makes during the night and how your body handles food during the day.  We also recommend checking blood sugars if you are experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar.  If you are on an intensive insulin regimen you will likely need to check your blood sugars more frequently to achieve better control.  Also, if your A1C does not seem consistent with the readings you are getting, you may want to check more frequently during the day to see if there are highs or lows in your blood sugars throughout the day that you are not aware of.  The more you check your blood sugars, the better understanding you will have of how the different things you do affect your blood sugar.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Excellent Resource for Nutrition Information

Check out, a website by dietitians with a huge database of food product and restaurant nutrition information.  Nutrition experts give easy explanations for label information and recommend frequency of consumption.  The site is geared towards people with diabetes but contains beneficial information for everyone who is looking to eat healthier.

Smoothies and diabetes

Question: diabetes & smoothies?
I have type 2 diabetes.  I am wondering if I could have fruit smoothies?  If I can, which ingredients I should include and avoid?

Answer:  Yes, there are no foods that are off limits when you have type 2 diabetes.  Smoothies are often filled with many of the healthy carbs that we want to have in our diet.  What you want to be careful with is the portion and amount of carbs you are consuming.  For example, a smoothie made with 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup of berries would provide about 30g carb and an ounce of protein and would make a very healthy snack or part of a meal.  A smoothie made with 1 cup yogurt, 1 banana and 1 cup berries would provide about twice the amount of carbohydrate and would give you a meals worth of carbohydrate by itself.

I think a safe rule of thumb would be to limit the portion size of any smoothie you consume to 8 oz. and this should keep you at 30g carbohydrate or less.

Be leary of smoothie shops.  Try looking up their nutrition information at sites such as or  Usually the smallest sizes are pretty big and have loads of carbs and calories, despite their healthy ingredients.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do I have Diabetes?

Question:  My A1c test result is 6.4% and my fasting blood sugar level is 113.  Do these numbers sound like diabetes and if so what do I do now?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when a person has 2 separate fasting blood sugar levels greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL or a random blood sugar greater than 200 mg/dL.  A1C has recently been approved as a way to diagnose diabetes as well.  Typically an A1C from 5.7-6.4% indicates prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose), and an A1C of 6.5% or higher indicates type 2 diabetes. 

Your blood sugars indicate you are in the prediabetes range.

Prediabetes is essentially the early stages of type 2 Diabetes; the same dysfunctions are going on within the body and have probably been present for many years.  However, in the prediabetes stage, one has a much greater chance of halting the progression of diabetes with changes in lifestyle and/or the initiation of metformin.  Exercising regularly and eating healthy may reduce your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%.  See results from the Diabetes Prevention Program and learn more about prediabetes at the following link: