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Blood Glucose Monitoring
What Do the Numbers Tell You?

by Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, APRN, MA, BC-ADM, CDE

Many people are shocked by how high their readings are after meals. Ralph was convinced that his large restaurant meals every night didn’t really raise his blood glucose levels because his fasting readings weren’t elevated. But when he actually checked two hours after dinner and got readings over 400 mg/dl, he decided to make some changes.

My blood glucose is usually no higher than 130 mg/dl, but for the past two days every reading is over 200 mg/dl.

  • A sudden change in your blood glucose pattern is usually due to infection. The stress hormones released when you are sick tend to raise blood glucose levels. Infection is a physical stress, and when stress occurs, the body reacts by secreting more epinephrine, cortisol, and glucagon. These hormones cause extra glucose to be released from the liver to give the body added energy to cope. Most times, your blood glucose levels will rise even before you get symptoms of an infection.

Two heads are better than one
Dave stopped checking his blood glucose levels because the numbers didn’t mean anything, but some people stop checking simply because the numbers upset them. It’s especially hard when you’ve been following all the rules, eating right, exercising, and taking your medicines and the numbers are still high.

Learning what the numbers mean and evaluating the patterns are tools that can help you cope. It’s also helpful to remember that there are blood glucose readings that defy explanation. Sometimes we just don’t know why a reading is out of range. That’s why it is wise to team up with a diabetes educator or your health-care provider who can offer guidance and a fresh perspective. What do the numbers tell you? The answer lies in knowing your targets, patterns, and who to call when you have a question.

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Also in this article:
Blood Glucose Meter Averages: Don't Be Fooled

 

 

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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

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