I have been working on lowering my blood sugar levels. This was prompted by blood tests over the past several years labeling me as prediabetic. That label scared the ever-loving bejesus out of me since I have read that in the short term, 3 -5 years, 25% of people with that condition will become diabetic and the percentage goes up with time. It also pissed me off since I’ve worked pretty much my whole life to eat a very healthy diet. I even gave up refined sugar back in the mid-80s just to help me curb my tendency to overeat on sugary desserts. That’s why I bake only with honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, agave or molasses.
Admittedly, I still love sweets, but I have limited my intake based on pure availability. If I don’t bake it, then most of the time, I don’t have too many options. Of course, we do occasionally buy agave sweetened goodies at Whole Foods or other health food stores, but even that has been less than in the past. Needless to say, those blood tests were both shocking and eye-opening. As a result, I decided that I needed to get some clarity about my blood sugar levels and devise a strategy to get them down. That’s when my doctor daughter Sarah gave me a little blood testing kit so that I could test my sugar daily and see how I was doing.
I have had the kit now for probably six months and I have learned a lot by testing my blood sugar levels daily. First, now I know that my fasting blood sugar was not too far over the 100 point limit – usually around 105 – 108 – but, then again, any number greater than 126 is considered diabetic so I soon understood I didn’t have much leeway. Second, I started noticing that stress or illness would send my numbers up (and Ray’s), which was something I had not realized in the past. Third, I saw that I didn’t have to completely give up my honey-sweetened treats, but that it mattered when I ate them. Later in the day or early evening eating was going to mean a higher fasting blood sugar reading the next morning than if I ate a goodie at midday. Fourth, if I ate lots of bread or other carbohydrates, my blood sugar level was going to be up the next day as well.
This information-gathering has helped me to make better eating decisions since the daily monitoring has given me some pretty clear feedback. Consequently, even without working too hard at it, my blood sugar levels are going down, slow but sure. I am proud to say that for the past couple of days, my blood sugar has been at 88. That is definitely a major improvement!
So, my goal is to keep up the good work so that I can get my blood officially tested by my doctor and move out of the prediabetic category. That doesn’t mean I will then return to any of my bad habits prior to my blood sugar testing. On the contrary, I plan to closely monitor myself (and Ray) so we can do what we can to avoid diabetes in the future. That is an absolute goal. My grandmother developed late-onset diabetes and suffered as a result. I am doing my best not to let that happen to me. I realize there may be other factors that are out of my control, but I’m going to do what I can that is in my control!
I would highly recommend a blood testing kit if you have received that same prediabetes diagnosis. I believe you can get the kit at a local drugstore or order one online. I don’t think they are expensive and they are easy to use. Just noticing what sends those numbers up and down can be extremely helpful, all on its own.
Here’s to staying as healthy as we can!
I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. I’ll be checking back in with you again tomorrow.