You have done your tests and have your results. What in the world do they mean?
First, understand that while your numbers will fluctuate, the ADA refers to ranges. The American Diabetes Association has a good article on glucose levels. Again, because I love simple, think in terms of the following ranges as goals to achieve:
Fasting Glucose Test – This is your first test of the day: 70 to 120 is the target range. This range is the goal. The Goal. You may not be seing these numbers. I remember my first test in the middle of the day about 30 minutes after I had lunch. My number was over 300. I had no clue what that meant. Now I know it was way, way, way too high. My first morning reading was 297. Again, very, very, very high. Now my morning readings are 85 – 95. Rarely do they go above or below.
As I started my way to gaining control over diabetes, my morning readings started to come down 10 and 20 points a day. Sometimes they went up from one day to another, but I was learning what I could eat and not eat. But, when you look over a week’s or month’s time period, there was a downward trend. These morning readings are a great indicator of where you are in your battle to control the disease. If you are only going to test once a day, this is the one to do.
Evening/Night Test – This one was a challenge for me. Think in terms of a range of 110 to 140. I, again, want to stress I am not a doctor, this is just what I found to be about right when I test at night as I was gaining control.
Diabetes control is a journey – remember that. When I first started testing at night after I started medication, I was happy to see anything around 160. Due to eating changes, exercise and medication, that number came down pretty quickly to around 130.
I just did a test and found that I was at 91. I ate about 2.5 hours ago – so it was low even for me. Most of the time I my tests show 95 to 125 – there are a lot of variables such as what did I have for dinner, how long ago it was, and have I had anything to eat since dinner.
After Eating – This test is done two hours after you start eating a meal. This is important enough to repeat – two hours after you START a meal. For me, start means when I take my first bite. The goal here is less than 180 for a Type 2 Diabetic.
You can control diabetes. You really can. I know in the beginning it might not seem so easy, but it’s all about a series of choices. The better choices lead to control and lower test numbers. Other choices lead to higher results. But sometimes you don’t know how certain foods will effect you. sure, there are guidelines, but we are all different. You only learn how a food will effect your body after you eat it – and you learn through testing. If you get a higher number, it’s a food to avoid.
I started with very high numbers – VERY high. Through diet, exercise and medication I am controlling the disease. Do I miss apple pie, french fries and cheese cake? Well, yeah. But, I want control of the disease because I have respect (fear) of what it can do to me – the complications can be severe.
Remember, you cannot fail this test; you can only fail to test. Even getting a high number provides a lesson. If you are just starting treatment, you want your readings to trend down. If you have been under treatment for awhile, you want fairly level readings near or in the normal range – at least that’s the goal and it’s one that is attainable!
Don’t let diabetes win. Battle and control it! You can do it…I know you can. Keep your food diary and learn from it. If needed, lose weight. Take your medication. And, TEST.