How To Monitor Your Blood Sugar At Home

Monitoring your blood sugar is important in controlling diabetes, and keeping a log of it is equally vital. Showing the results of your blood sugar monitoring at home to your physician will help him identify your body’s response to your care plan.

Though diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder, it can be controlled and reversed by changing your lifestyle. The main goal of every care plan is to keep your blood sugar levels under control and checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to identify if your treatment is working.

Self-blood glucose monitoring (SBGM) helps you determine your sugar levels at any time of the day. It also helps prevent you from hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

SBGM enables you to strictly follow your doctor’s advice which will help decrease the long-term risk of diabetes.

Who Can Check Their Blood Glucose Levels

Not all diabetics are required to check their blood sugar levels. But the people who can benefit from taking this test regularly are the following:

  • Patients taking insulin shots
  • Patients who are experiencing difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels
  • Patients with low blood sugar levels without any visible warning signs
  • Patients who are experiencing low blood sugar levels constantly
  • Patients who are pregnant
  • Patients with ketones caused by high blood sugar levels

How To Test Your Blood Glucose Level Using A Glucose Meter

Here are the steps and general guidelines for testing your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you utilize your blood glucose monitors properly and get specific details from its package insert or from your doctor.

  • Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry hands using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Step 2: Prepare the lancing device by inserting a fresh lancet. Make sure that you only use the lancet ones. A used lancet will not be as sharp and can cause more pain and further skin injury.
  • Step 3: Prepare the test strip and the blood glucose meter. This step will vary depending on the type of glucose meter you have.
  • Step 4: Use the lancing device to prick your fingertip and obtain a small drop of blood. There are alternate sites and one of them is the skin of your forearm. Although these sites are less painful, the blood from the fingertips provide more accurate blood samples.
  • Step 5: Apply the blood drop to the strip in the blood glucose meter and apply pressure on your finger to stop the bleeding. Wait for the results after several seconds.
  • Step 6: Throw away the used lancet in a puncture resistant container.

How To Interpret Blood Sugar Results

The results of your blood sugar testing determines whether your diabetes care plan and treatment are working or not. However, you must remember that physical activity, medication and food can affect the blood sugar results.

You should record the results in detail, including the date, time taken, blood glucose result, dose of medication taken prior to testing, and other notes like physical activity or foods eaten prior to testing.

How To Manage Your Blood Sugar When Ill

When you are ill, your blood sugar levels can become unpredictable and may fluctuate at any time of the day. During these times, it is best to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. For example, instead of checking it before taking your meals, you can check it every two to four hours. These notes will become helpful especially when you catch the same illness in the future.

If you plan on taking flu medications or any type of over-the counter meds, talk to your pharmacist about your diabetes so that he or she can assist you in choosing sugar-free medicines.

Here are other important guidelines to remember.

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking tea, coffee, sodas or any beverage that contain caffeine. This will make you lose more fluids.
  • Consume 15 grams of healthy, complex carbohydrates every hour.
  • Try to stick to your usual meal schedule to avoid hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
  • If your illness disrupts your usual meal time, replace solid foods with fluids that contain a little bit of sugar. You can also ask your doctor about this.
  • Continue to take your insulin even if you are sick. Check the guidelines your healthcare team have left for you in an event of an illness.
  • If your illness is associated with nausea, diarrhea or vomiting every two or more hours, call your doctor or proceed to the emergency room.

Your doctor and the rest of your diabetes care team are the people who formulated your treatment. Therefore, they are the best sources of information whenever you have questions and concerns about your diabetes.

Breast Cancer and Weight Gain

beautiful curvesWeight gain during breast cancer treatment is often minimized by physicians and caregivers. What are some extra pounds in the face of cancer?

Yet it is very real and this suffering is added to what you already get from the disease and its treatments. Women, already confronted with loss of hair, eyelashes, nails, fatigue, nausea … must in addition all too often face the extra burden of more pounds, and it is so difficult to bear. And these pounds tend to settle down, long after care is over.

On the other hand, it is known that patients with a high body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk of breast cancer and that overweightness and obesity are associated with poorer prognosis. On average, women take between 2 and 4 kg during the treatment, but some have a much higher weight gain and others do not grow fat at all. Unfortunately we are not all equal regarding the kilos.

But why do we gain?

Anxiety and even depression lead to a change in our eating habits. As we know, eating sometimes gives the impression of being able to better manage the stress.

In the same way, the forced immobility due to stopping work and the physical inactivity are not favorable to the maintenance of a correct weight. Stay at home, turn around and then nibbling makes its appearance much more than when we were stuck at an office.

Treatments by themselves, chemotherapy and hormone therapy can make you gain weight. These are recognized side effects of the products. For hormone therapy, it seems that it is more frequent under tamoxifen.

Cortisone, often administered to compensate for the nausea induced by certain chemo, is also responsible for a few kilos.

Finally menopause which can occur after chemotherapy or hormone therapy can make gain weight.

So what to do?

Unfortunately no miracle can happen without a little effort. If during heavy treatments it is difficult to imagine dieting, it is possible, and even advisable to control your weight, once medical care has been completed.

It is said to women in full treatment: please, enduring the side effects is quite hard enough not to impose additional constraints: one is made sufficient violence for in addition, to have to deprive oneself. This advice is binding only to some women and some doctors advocate monitoring your weight from the start.

On the other hand, after, and even under hormone therapy, it is possible to try to lose weight, but without falling into excesses. Indeed, no question of using a hyper protein diet, like the Ducan diet, or a dissociated diet. Healthy eating, consuming fruits and vegetables, lowering intake of sugars and fats, avoiding snacking between meals, seem to me to be basic principles and easier to put into practice.

Ideally, if you can, and if you have difficulty in reasoning, it is best to consult a nutritionist who will help to evaluate the flaws in our diet and explain how to prepare perfectly balanced meals. There are even consultations in some hospitals. But in all cases one should not be too hasty: the body has been subjected to a severe test, our psychological state is not necessarily at the top immediately after treatment, and life does not immediately become the one it used to be before. To allow time, to take care of oneself are an integral part of the process of regaining our body which we lacked.

Of course, it is necessary to start some sport again, because as we all know, activity helps to regulate our weight. It is even recommended to do it during the treatment, but it is not always easy, but some patients are actively doing some sport.

There is no question of running a marathon or getting on with weightlifting; On the other hand, yoga, qi qong, walking … are easily accessible once a normal life is resumed. The fear of lymphedema should not be an obstacle to this resumption of physical activity.

You just have to be reasonable and do not put your arm to too much effort. If there is a feeling of pain, heaviness, simple embarrassment, you have to stop right away and change to something more in tune with your current fitness and strength level.

Of course we all know how difficult it is to diet. In the same way there are often a lot of excuses for not doing sports. To take your time, to be helped, not to hesitate to consider the weight loss as a treatment in its own right are ways to spare both your health and your psychological balance.

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