After a few weeks of checking my blood glucose levels, it turns out I may actually be diabetic. By saying ‘may,’ I am more than likely simply underestimating the effect. My blood sugar readings over the time I’ve pricked my fingers regularly, have been appalling.
I know some of you are wondering why I even bothered checking my readings, but when you manage someone else’s diabetes, you do eventually become curious about what your own sugar levels are like. You mostly know my mum lives with us and has dementia, but she also has diabetes, and I have to control that for her through food, insulin and her tablets. The exercise part is out of the equation as she can barely walk these days.
My awareness of diabetes had been growing due to monitoring her levels, but one day, around the table, I checked my whole family. My reading was enough for me to begin keeping watch on my readings, and I am now monitoring one of my children who seems to be sitting on the cusp of pre-diabetes but is still healthy and living within the limits.
There are other symptoms of possible diabetes, which meant I had ruled myself out as a candidate. The books said that people with diabetes lose weight as they excrete the glucose through urine and not insulin helping it into the body’s cells. For me, that means nothing. Lose weight, that’s a laugh. It was, however the one biggest reason that convinced me that my extreme tiredness after eating especially was more to do with my fibro or sometimes a carb coma if I ate potatoes or pasta.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Only two of these symptoms applied to me, so I wish I had done something about them sooner.
- passing urine more than you used to, especially at night.
- becoming increasingly thirsty.
- extreme tiredness.
- unexplained weight loss.
- slow healing of cuts and wounds.
- blurred vision.
- increased or unsatiated hunger.
Whatever my results end up being, I know that from now on, I really need to be careful of what I eat and how I live my life.
I bought myself a blood sugar meter, but the meter itself wasn’t expensive, however the lancets and the test strips are quite pricey. I believe that some areas of the UK don’t prescribe them for people who turn out to be Type 2 diabetes, which is either where I am, or where I’m headed.
In any case, testing several times a day is helping me keep an eye on which foods do what to my sugar levels and it can turn up some surprising results. If I drink a diet fizzy drink, my sugar levels can go up as much as 1 mmol (the measurement of blood sugar in the UK.) There may be other factors at play, but as a rule, my favourite diet fizz has to be rationed for me now.
Type 2 diabetes can come on very slowly, which mean we might not even notice the symptoms. I suspect I have built up to this for a long time, and I might have chugged on for another few years before it became an issue at all, but thankfully, I seem to have nipped it in the bud.
If you are in doubt, visit your G.P for a test, like I just did. If it is diabetes, then early diagnosis can reduce future problems. Your G.P is likely to start with a fasting blood sugar test which will indicate your levels where you have had no calories for 8 + hours. If you are diabetic, your body will release glucose as a result of fasting and will result in levels over 7 mmol.
The interesting one for me has to be the increase in levels of hunger. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a decade. Apparently, in uncontrolled diabetes, where blood glucose levels are high, glucose from the blood cannot enter the cells, either with a lack of insulin or from insulin resistance. What that means, is that bodies of people with uncontrolled diabetes cannot convert that food into energy. What happens then, is that your hunger levels rise and simply eating more will not get rid of the feeling of hunger, as it will just top up the already high blood sugar.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that my sugar readings lately are just a blip, but deep down, I know there is more going on and that it’s likely I have had this for years. Whether I sit at pre-diabetes or full diabetes is my issue, and I suspect I will need more tests, but in the meantime, I have a way of checking where I sit. That gives me more confidence in controlling what I do in my daily life.
I am very early in this journey, but with the help of my blood sugar meter, I hope to get on top of it, but it will mean many food changes for me.