Me and My Glucose Curve
In my article What Does Eat Like a Diabetic Mean? I explained that one of the three concepts behind this phrase is a Glucose Curve. Managing your glucose curve is the main point of any Type 2 Diabetic meal plan.
Allow me to share my personal experience here.
I remember when I was younger, my dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his 30’s. My dad always had a love-hate relationship with sugary foods. He loved to eat them, and his Diabetes hated him for it.
Many times I found find my dad asleep at the breakfast table in the kitchen, with a bowl of cereal, half eaten sitting in front of him. He had gone into low sugar because he ate too many sweets and then gave himself too much insulin to counter the sugar spike he was about to have.
I asked my dad on several occasions why he never took better care of his Diabetes and he would respond, “I want to live my life the way I want to live it.”
My dad never wanted his Diabetes to dictate to him how to live his life. How ironic that when he passed away, all of his complications were a direct result of his diabetic condition.
Having seen how my dad took care of his Diabetes, I decided at a young age I was not going to repeat history.
I took care of myself all through my 30s with a series of diets and exercise. For some reason when I hit my 40s, most of that began to disappear. I became less and less active and started eating worse and worse.
Until the day that I ended up in the hospital because my blood sugar was 518 and my blood pressure was 199/112. This is when I knew that taking care of my Type 2 Diabetes was going to be a lifestyle change.
Understanding Your Glucose Curve
One of the first steps to controlling your Diabetes is understanding how your body produces and burns glucose. The best way to get a great picture of how this works is by testing yourself. The tools needed are pretty easy and inexpensive to purchase, but the process is a little painful.
Use the information in my article The First Things I Bought as a New Type 2 Diabetic to purchase yourself a full glucose monitoring setup. When I was in the hospital they would come by every 2 hours (day and night) to test my glucose levels. In the hospital they were merely trying to get my glucose level down to acceptable levels.
Your objective is to understand how your body produces and burns glucose.
Based on my experience, the practice of taking your glucose levels every 2 hours for about a 48 hour time frame will give you a pretty good idea of your glucose curve.
Measuring your glucose levels at 2 hour intervals for a 48 hour time frame should give you enough data points to see how long it takes your body to cycle (or not) and how high/low your glucose levels are changing.
Controlling Your Glucose Curve
Amazingly, controlling your glucose curve can be simple and easy, but it will require a lifestyle change. If your not willing to change, like my dad, then you glucose curve will control you.
There are a lot of side effects from not controlling your glucose which you can read about more in my article I Feel Fine!
Once you understand the rate (how many hours) it takes for your body to cycle glucose, you will want to plan out your meals to be about that far apart.
Eating too close and your body will not have enough time to process the last meals glucose before you put more glucose into body.
Eating too far apart and your glucose levels will drop too low which is just as bad if not worse then have glucose levels too high.
Eating at the right rhythm is just as important as eating the right things.
In addition to the rate at which you eat, you will also want to control the mixer of what you eat and how much of it you eat.
When you measured glucose levels, they should have been somewhere between 80 and about 130. If they were higher or lower you will want to add (if they were 80) or take away (if they were 130) carbohydrates to your meal plans. Between the amount of carbohydrates and portion control you should be able to find a balance where you have a smooth glucose curve.