Knowing the correct parameters to keep track of will inspire confidence to keep on keeping on!
If you have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or with Prediabetes, It can look overwhelming keeping statistics and figuring out how to get started. Most physicians don’t tell people the value of keeping these records or even what numbers are important.
In this article I will talk about the numbers that are important to know. Once people see how easy it is, they feel less pressure and worry as they watch their numbers improving. After only a few days of success on this program, confidence grows to inspire them to stick to the program. Then soon, friends and family start noticing the improvements!
Everyone needs a notebook set aside for these measurements. You will be surprised and encouraged by the results! The three measurements that provide fast positive feedback are:
- Fasting blood sugar. I suggest checking this number just before eating your first meal. In the beginning most people strive for at least a 12 hour fasting period each day. That means only water or perhaps plain coffee or tea for a period of 12 hours–say from 6 pm until 6 am. Generally it soon becomes easy to stretch that fasting period to 14-16 hours. There are those who find it easiest to fast from 2 or 3 pm until 6 or 7 am. The challenge with that schedule is the difficulty of conforming to the family and social schedule. At first it’s a good idea to check fasting blood sugar before each meal. You will be surprised to see that generally the number recorded early in the morning will be higher than fasting blood sugar numbers later in the day. This is called the dawn phenomenon. Blood sugar naturally rises early in the morning to help in waking up for the day! The goal to strive for here is to keep that number under 100 mg/dl.
- Post prandial blood sugar. This is a test taken 1-2 hours after the start of your meal. At first take this reading after 1 hour and after 2 hours to see when the blood sugar is the highest. This is an important reading for at least two reasons: to see how a certain meal has affected the blood sugar level and to watch how the body is handling the glucose in food. The eventual goal for this number is 140 mg/dl. It may take awhile to reach that number. In the beginning, the goal is to see it coming down–hence the need for recording the number. The foods eaten in a certain meal will drastically affect the postprandial glucose level. This is a motivating number which lowers as the number of carbs in the meal are reduced.
- The third number that is highly motivating is the waist circumference. This number is motivating because it can improve so quickly that it’s surprising. I know firsthand that when I got serious about needing to get my prediabetes under control and started eating more correctly and adding more movement to my life, the inches just melted away–1 inch in the first week! The waist reduction continued at a rate of at least ½ inch every week until my waist was back to a healthy level! Take this measurement around your waist at the height of your belly button. Record this measurement once a week. As this number goes down, the health of the body is improving drastically! If it’s slow at first, try adding more healthy fat to the first meal of the day and being sure to get your 30 minutes of heart-rate increasing exercise each day.
Other numbers that are valuable and should be ordered by your doctor every three months at first:
- Hemoglobin A1C The goal with this number is below 5.7%.
- Fasting Insulin Strive to keep this number under 6
Keep these figures regularly and watch with pride as they improve! It’s very possible to change your life for the better! It’s possible to feel great and energetic every day!
If you want extra help, consider a free coaching discovery session with Dr Helser. You can sign up here: http://drcarolynhelser.com/coaching/