Checking your blood glucose (blood sugar) is an important way to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. How often you check typically depends on whether you're taking insulin or oral diabetes medications. Even for people who take no medications, it's always good to know what's going on in your body. Blood sugars are like light in a dark tunnel. It's information against your enemy. If you don't have information, you can't fight as well as you can. Are you going up? Are you doing well? It gives you a snapshot of how you're doing.
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Monitoring your blood sugar doesn't just help you pick the best meals, it also lets you know whether you're taking the right amount of medication to prevent a large spike in blood sugar after eating. And monitoring before bedtime and first thing in the morning will help you know if your meds are keeping your blood sugar in a good range overnight.
Your blood sugar monitor will clue you in to the effects of exercise. Does your blood sugar go up or down after a short walk, a long walk, an aerobics class, a jog, or any other form of exercise? Do you need to adjust your medicine to safely cover exercise? That's what your trusty monitor will reveal. During exercise, you'll be moving your body more, and that may mean you need less medication, whether you're taking insulin or any other diabetes drug. For some of you, the combination of diet and exercise could mean a dramatic decrease in medication or even that you can stop taking medication. However, your body's ability to make insulin tends to decrease as time passes, so even with the best diet and exercise regimen, your blood sugar levels may eventually rise again and you may need to increase or restart medications in order to keep them normal.
By helping you keep your blood sugar in line, your monitor can help you ward off diabetes-associated conditions such as heart disease and neuropathy. That's what a study at the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf, Germany, found. Researchers tracked 3,268 people with type 2 diabetes for 6½ years from the time of diagnosis. They found that those using glucose monitors had half the number of heart attacks and 37 percent fewer strokes than people not using the device.
Find out more about this book:The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes