Blood Sugar Profile



The body is constantly aware of the blood sugar levels and relentlessly adapts, maintaining normal values. As a diabetic, your body has lost much (if not all) of this ability. You would need to take over and do what your body once did routinely. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate continuously throughout the day. Knowing your blood sugar profile is the key to understanding how you can assist your body in normalizing your blood sugar and keeping it in healthy ranges.

The blood sugar profile is a record of blood sugar levels with associated events;  meals, exercise, sleep, time of day, medication, etc. It gives an insight on how your lifestyle, diet and medication come together in influencing your blood sugars. From this profile, an appropriate treatment plan - that will normalize your blood sugars - can be established.


Compiling Your Profile

Be yourself; Everybody else is already taken

The idea behind profiling is to understand how your body reacts to various circumstances during the day. The biggest influence on your blood sugar is the meals that you eat. Special attention is required around eating and drinking when compiling your profile.

Meals

Record what you eat and drink.

  • Writing everything, including amounts, is such a big chore and will eventually be neglected. A good habit to form would be to take a photo of everything that you eat and drink and store the photo(s), including the meal time, in your profile record. 

Measure your blood sugar before and many times after a meal.

  • The rate at which food is digested differs between people. Some might absorb the food faster than others. Where do you fit in? It is the same with different foods; some foods are digested faster than others. How long does it take for the meal to elevate your blood sugar and to what level does it rise?
  • Measuring before the meal gives a baseline to which the sugar level should return to after the meal. It is unrealistic to expect the sugar level to return levels lower than the start of the meal.
  • Take measurements in increments of 30 minutes after the meal, for up to three hours. If you do feel more daring, shorten the increments to 15 minutes. This would only be necessary until you have established the time spans at which your blood sugar is the highest after a meal, and how long it takes to return to the pre-meal level. Usually, the highest level is around one hour after eating and returning to "normal" two hours after the meal. Where do you fit in?

 

Measure

Record your blood sugar levels as well as other factors such as moods and activities and keep it in a journal.

  • Upon rising in the morning - Fasting blood-glucose level.
  • Before each meal or snack.
  • After each meal or snack, as expanded above - only two readings needed; when at its highest and when it returned to "normal."
  • Five hours after every injection of rapid-acting insulin, if used before meals or to correct elevated blood sugars.
  • Before and after exercising - directly after and one hour later.
  • Before and after shopping or running errands.
  • Before driving a car or operating heavy machinery and hourly while engaged in these activities.
  • Times, types and amounts of medications taken.



Frequency of Doing Your Blood Sugar Profile

Establishing your first blood sugar profile:

One to two weeks prior to doctor's appointment, record everything diabetic related daily. Continue for a few weeks, while your treatment plan is being fine-tuned.


Re-doing your blood sugar profile:

Compile another profile whenever there is an adjustment to your diet, medication or lifestyle. Do it daily until satisfied that the change improved your blood sugar levels.

Execute a blood sugar profile for one day at least every second week. It would be wise to alternate the day of the week that the profile is done. So, between profiles wait a week and a day. If the profile was done on a Monday, then the next profile would be on a Tuesday. This will take into account different habits/activities over the weekend, for example.


If you have to inject insulin before each meal:

This is an indication that your body is probably unable to correct small deviations from your target blood sugar range automatically. It would therefore be necessary for you to do a profile every day, for the rest of your life, if you have any hope of managing your diabetes.


Blood Sugar Profile Visual summary



For Contemplation

The only way to know what your around-the-clock levels are, is to monitor them yourself.


You cannot manage something that you do not measure

To have your blood sugar profile and regularly renew it, is the way to go in effectively managing your diabetes.

A journal will come in handy to look back on to see how far you've come or what went wrong. It is further an invaluable resource to assist you and your health care team to fine-tune your diabetes treatment strategy. 

You can learn more about your blood sugar profile from Dr. Bernstein's diabetic solution.


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