Testing is one of the most important tools in gaining control of your BS numbers.
While many medical professionals only advise testing on a much less frequent basis, many of us here have found the following method extremely helpful in gaining personal control of this disease. Knowledge put to use is power!
The test we do for meals is for our own benefit, to see how the food we eat affects your BG. The doctor might tell you different testing times for his/her information, but this is for you.
We usually test 2 ways here: Two (2) hours after the first bite of food or one (1) hour after the last bite of food. I find the one hour after the last bite easier because it takes me different times to eat different meals and it’s easier to remember. You have to decide what works for you. The goal is to find your “peak” rise, the highest number that your BS rises with the meal. The one and two hour ranges are flexible, and you also might want to try experimenting with other timing within the 2-hour range until you find your usual “peak” time.
I don’t know how many test strips your doctor prescribed, but when you first start out you’ll use a lot until you get the hang of it. Try to get as many prescribed as you can. Some doctors will prescribe more, some won’t. Insurance companies might also only allow a certain amount. You don’t need a prescription to buy a meter and strips, and it’s well worth it to buy your own if you can’t get the amount you need to test as you should. Look at this post for information on low-cost varieties: click here
Regarding the numbers, were you given targets? Here are some sources for target goals:
RECOMMENDED BLOOD GLUCOSE GOALS
*ADA: “Post-prandial glucose measurements should be made 1–2 hours after the beginning of the meal, generally peak levels in patients with diabetes.”
ADA = American Diabetes Assn. Joslin = Joslin Diabetes Center AACE= American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists
**Non-diabetic= ranges compiled from goals of all agencies.
Unless you test both before and after it’s hard to really know how much your BS rose from the food. For instance, if you started out at 120 and after the meal were 150, that may be out of your target range, but it’s only a 30 point rise, which is good.
Most of us strive for no more than a 40-point rise. If the number is too high, reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the meal will help to lower it.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t meet those goals right away. This is a long-term lifestyle change, not a short-term “diet”. It’s also a good idea when you first start out to keep a diary of what food you ate, the carb counts, the activity levels (exercise)
before and/or after the meal, and the numbers. This will help you figure things out too.
Testing on a Budget:
If testing so often is too costly, you could try focusing on one meal at a time. For instance do a fasting test, then after breakfast for a few days. Then do a fasting, and before and after lunch for a while, then dinner. It might take longer to see the trends, but you’ll still get the information.
Hang in there, you won’t always have to test this much after you become familiar with how your body reacts to different foods.
© EMO 3/12