Sunday, October 27, 2013

B and C {Blogging Through the Alphabet}

Well, I missed last week; and if I don't watch out, I am about to miss this week...because today is the last day to link up for "C"! I'll be doing both "B" and "C" this time.

B is for Blood Sugar
The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. (Wikipedia)

Another method of checking blood sugar/blood glucose levels is with the A1C. Since I didn't discuss this under the letter "A," I will do that now.
What is a hemoglobin A1c (A1c)?

To explain what an A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks, and when it's around for a long time, it's harder to get it off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar sticks to these cells, it gives us an idea of how much sugar has been around for the preceding three months. In most labs, the normal range is 4-5.9 %. In poorly controlled diabetes, its 8.0% or above, and in well controlled patients it's less than 7.0%. The benefits of measuring A1c is that is gives a more reasonable view of what's happening over the course of time (3 months), and the value does not bounce as much as finger stick blood sugar measurements. (
So, just what are normal blood sugar and A1C levels supposed to be? Normal fasting blood sugar levels should be below 100 mg/dl. And a normal A1C should be below 5.7%.

As I mentioned last time, the boys and I were participating in the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, at the University of Florida, when we lived in Florida. And at that time, I was prediabetes, or at least on the verge of being prediabetes. But lately I've been feeling like symptoms have been increasing (I'll discuss symptoms later).

Friday I really wasn't feeling too well after lunch. I checked my blood pressure first. It was a little high. Then I used Jen's glucometer; my blood sugar was 155, which was about 2 hours after we'd eaten.

Then I sent Jen to see if the store here in town had a selfcheck A1C kit. They did. So she brought one home for me. Now, it may or may not be accurate. For one, it is beyond the use-by date. For two, this video indicates it may be off a little bit. So, for what it's worth:
This morning I asked Jen to use her meter again, for a fasting blood sugar.
Now, it could be a little skewed, because I am currently fighting a cold. Still, I think it's definitely time for me to try coming up with the money to go see a doctor. What do you think?

B is also for Bolus

Bolus: The amount of insulin used to cover the carbohydrates you are eating or to correct for a high blood glucose. You usually bolus before a meal or snack. (Planet D)
Which brings us to:
C is for Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates (AKA Carbs): Another word for sugars. The main source of energy for the body. Carbs get digested quickly and easily into glucose. Carbs are the foods that affect blood glucose the most. Examples of carbs are fruits, starchy vegetables, breads, pastas, rice, sugar, syrup and honey. (Planet D) 
C is also for Counting Carbs

Because carbs are what affect blood glucose the most, one of the main things a person with diabetes must do is keep track of how many carbs are taken in, so one knows how much insulin to take.

One serving size of carbs is usually 15 grams. You should aim for about 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. Here is more information on carb counting. The Diabetes Carbohydrate & Fat Gram Guide, 4th Edition, is an excellent tool in helping to figure carb intake. You'll find other useful books here, as well.

I hope you'll continue following along on this round of Blogging Through the Alphabet! In the meantime, have a great week!

Blogging Through the Alphabet
 Be sure to join the others who are Blogging Through the Alphabet. You'll find "B" here; and "C" here.

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