It’s been a while since I last wrote a post. I’ve totally been MIA lately due to a lot of different things happening in my life at the moment, some things are D related and others are just the usual day to day life occurrences. Anyway maybe we’ll get into that at another time.
In terms of my D, one of the things I’ve been trying my best to do is to get a much tighter grip on my blood glucose (BG) levels and in turn my HbA1c. I’m pleased to say that I was able to take my HbA1c down from 7.5% to 6.4% YAY!!
As a diabetic, I know all too well that when it comes to diabetes it doesn’t affect all diabetics in the same way. By this I mean, we can’t all use the same basal rates, count and eat the same carbohydrates and even take the same insulin doses in order for our diabetes to be well controlled. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complex than that. I’ve found that with my diabetes and getting things to work it is all determined by trial and error.
What is this you ask?
I think most diabetics and even the professionals (who help us diabetics with our blood glucose (BG) levels and insulin calculations) all use this method. This method works by basically trying something out to see if it works. If it works I stick to it, if it doesn’t then I shift numbers, tweak ratios and rates etc.
So what have I been doing to keep my dreaded and sometimes tedious BG levels under control? Here are a few things I’ve been doing:
I really do believe that exercise is necessary when it comes to managing my diabetes. I usually work out at least 4 to 5 times in a week, however when I first started working out I started with a realistic and manageable goal of 2 days a week for at least half an hour at a time. I started with a little Zumba and one of my favourite Youtubers Cassey Ho. I found that I started to enjoy it and besides it giving me a great deal of energy it also helped with my overall BG control. Initially my BG level dropped quiet frequently and I had to make sure I consumed more carbs to maintain a good level. However my insulin requirement started to decrease across the day and I found in general I just needed to reduce my basal rates, increase my insulin to carb ratios and give myself a smaller bolus after meals. During my whole working out transition I had to use the trial and error method and a lot of consultations with my diabetic doctor to see what would work best with my BG.
Coconut water: I started to drink coconut water after I found that caffeine in general wasn’t a good option for me and my BG levels. You can read about my experiences with caffeine and coffee in particular (here). Once I started drinking coconut water my cravings for coffee seemed to reduce a great deal. I started to find that every time I drank coconut water my energy levels were boosted. The days I didn’t have any I noticed I definitely had less energy than normal.
There are so many benefits to drinking coconut water. Here are a few of those benefits:
– It hydrates the body even better than water
– It is rich in dietary fibre, enzymes, vitamin C, minerals such as magnesium, potassium and amino acids.
– It is also very low in calories and cholesterol
– It speeds up the metabolism
– A weird thing I found out about coconut water is: If you wanted to bathe in coconut water it would be really great for your skin (hahaha never tried that one)
-It also boosts the immune system, which is a bonus for us D’s as our immune systems are generally a lot weaker. Actually since I started drinking it I haven’t had a cold.
-Because it’s a natural product it’s safe to drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding and is also safe for younger children.
Matcha Tea: I’ve been drinking Matcha tea now for a few years. Matcha is a finely grinded green powder made from green tea and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s highly nutritional and has very high antioxidant content. I love Matcha and in relation to my diabetes I usually try to drink it at least 3 times a week. When, I’m having a day where my BG levels are constantly dropping or if they remain higher than I’d like. It seems to stabilise my levels and usually it gets it back into a normal range.
Low carb diet: Eating a lower carb diet has really helped me manage my BGs better. I still consume carbs but I try not to have more than 300g of carbs a day. I’ve found my BG levels are much more stable and easier to control.
Dairy: I recently discovered dairy and I aren’t the best of friends. Unfortunately I have become lactose intolerant. I noticed that whenever I consumed any dairy products, I would see a spike in my BGs. After I stopped consuming products with dairy in it, I stopped having these spikes in my BG levels and also my digestion seems to be working a lot better.
Eating right for your blood type: I’ll have to write a separate post just on this, to explain what this is all about. In the meantime there is a book by Dr Peter J.D’Adamo which goes into detail called “Eat right for your type”. He has also written a book based on diabetes called “Diabetes and fighting it with the blood type diet”.
De-stressing: I really do believe this is also a major factor when it comes to BG levels. Any stress these days seems to have an effect on my BG levels. I try to take myself away from the daily stresses of life and make time for just me. Selfish you might say but it makes for a better Amina, mummy and wife. Plus my BG levels really seem to like the little time I give back to myself. (I’d definitely suggest doing this)
Finger pricks: Finally I’ve been testing my BG levels a lot more frequently on a daily basis. I now try to test at least 8-10 times a day, sometimes more which gives a really accurate picture of what is happening with my BG levels. I was using the Dexcom sensor which I found was really beneficial when it came to my BG levels. However it was only for a short period of time and after using it I hope that it will be something that I can fund and use in the future.
I really feel that all these things put together have contributed to getting my BG levels and HbA1c in better control. However these things seem to work for me, it may not be the same for you. I also had to consult my doctor and nurses frequently when trying out these options. I’m always willing to try new things if it means tightening my BG control. I’d love to hear of anything which you’ve found helps you in your overall diabetes control.
Thanks for stopping by