Life Beyond Diabetes Blog

What Causes High Morning Blood Sugar?

Jul 27, 2020

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve had a great day, Diabetes-wise, making healthy choices about activity and food and your blood sugar has been in range all day. When you head to bed a few hours after dinner your blood sugar is a nice 112. Super proud of yourself, you expect to FINALLY wake up with a fasting blood sugar you can be proud of. The next morning, you brush your teeth and take your morning meds before pulling out the blood glucose meter, already proud of what you know will be a fantastic result. 162.

WTF??? This is not the result you were expecting. You went to bed at 112, had nothing more to eat, got a great night’s sleep and now your blood sugar is HIGHER? What gives?

High fasting blood sugar is one of the more frustrating aspects of Type 2 Diabetes. It’s also an incredibly common scenario. Personally, I got so frustrated at this perceived failure that most of the time I’d “forget” to take my fasting blood sugar...

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Barbecue Season!

Jun 27, 2020

Next week is a big holiday week for the US and Canada.

July 1 is Canada and July 4 is US Independence Day. These two holidays are the big celebrations of summer, observed with picnics and barbecues. This year, due to social distancing for the pandemic, celebrations may be a bit subdued, but it’s likely barbecues and picnics will remain the order of the day.

For many years after my Diabetes diagnosis, I dreaded holidays like this, that seem to revolve around the food. I would worry for days ahead of time about how I was going to enjoy myself when I couldn’t eat anything there. Would anyone notice that I wasn’t having ice cream? Or maybe I should just give up, numbers be damned, and eat whatever I want?

I no longer fret about food-related gatherings because I’ve figured out how to navigate them, for the most part.

There are three kinds of food events:

  • Hosted by me
  • Potluck
  • Completely hosted by someone else

Hosted by Me is easy. I’m in charge of the food...

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Breaking News!

Jun 16, 2020

Last night I attended a virtual forum that was a wrap-up of the scientific meetings of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Let me be be honest with you here. I've not been a fan of the ADA pretty much since I started realizing that most of their guidelines seemed based on a "one size fits all" theory of treating Diabetes. (If you've been around here very long, you know that I think that this disease is just about as individual as every person afflicted with it.) I've also been frustrated by what I've seen as counter-intuitive treatment recommendations to lower blood sugar at the expense of all other health indicators. 

I did not have high hopes for the ADA meetings. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a vast understatement.

After attending the forum last night, I'm planning to purchase the recordings of the entire meeting. Apparently, there have been moves within the ADA for a few years to move beyond the "gluco-centric" view of Diabetes treatment that only...

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Diabetes Tantrum

Jun 11, 2020

When's the last time you had a good tantrum? You know. A knock-down, drag-out hissy fit. Something that could give the most petulant two-year-old a run for his money. 

"Never. I'm an adult. We don't throw tantrums."

Ok. Maybe it's not socially acceptable to throw yourself dramatically to the floor and kick and cry and scream that LIFE'S NOT FAIR. But when's the last time you got so mad that you wished you could embrace your inner toddler and just scream at the world?

For me, it's happened a few times over the past week. For some reason, I'm having a hard time regulating my blood sugar, causing some severe lows that interfere with normal life. And it makes me so mad!! It's just not fair that I have this stupid disease and I can be doing everything right and things can go so sideways. 

Or I decide that I want to live like everyone else for a day and the resulting blood sugars numbers are terrible. I'm reminded that I don't get to live like everyone else because...

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Racial Disparities in Diabetes Outcomes

Jun 02, 2020

Yesterday I did a Facebook Live to talk a bit about issues of race in the U.S. from a Diabetes perspective. (Yes. There actually IS a Diabetes perspective. Go figure.)

Here’s a rough transcript of the notes I spoke from:

I don’t really even know where to start with this. So first I’m going to say this: There’s a deep wound and I am not the injured party. As a white person, it’s not my place to speak to the deep pain for a community that’s not my own or to center the conversation around me and my response. What I CAN do is talk about the facts that I know and refer you to more knowledgeable voices from the Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) communities.

Because Diabetes is my corner of the world I’m going to talk today about the intersection of racial trauma and health outcomes, specifically Diabetes. Before today’s Live, I looked up the statistics. I’ll not bore you with them here but will compile them for you to...

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Why Can't I Lose Weight?

May 15, 2020

“Lose weight.” It’s one of the first things you’re told when you’re diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Eat less and exercise more. Just push away from the table and go for a walk.

It’s not only exhausting to hear these things, it’s humiliating and demoralizing. 

I don’t know about you, but when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I had been counting Weight Watchers points for years. I was exercising as much or more than most of my friends. Yet the first thing my doctor said was “We need to get you skinny.” Really. I’m not making that up. She said those words to me. As if I spent my life lying on the couch eating ice cream.

Fast forward all these many years later and I now understand how insulin resistance affects the body. I know that insulin resistance makes it easier for the body to store carbohydrates/sugar as fat instead of using it in the muscles as available energy. And, oh, so much more difficult to lose...

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Avoid the Meal-Time Drama!

May 07, 2020

Are you one of the many moms who cooks 4 different meals for dinner every night? Something low-carb for your Diabetes but different things for everyone else because they “don’t have Diabetes” or “don’t like that healthy stuff” or whatever other reason might cause dinner-time drama? 

STOP IT! You are not a short order cook!!!

We all want to avoid Dinner-Time Drama. But the whole family can and SHOULD eat healthy food. Everyone in the family can eat the same food. Sure, compromises may need to be made on many sides, but the compromise should never be the nutritional quality of the food. For anyone. Including food that’s appropriate for your Diabetes.

I won’t sugarcoat it: if you’ve been giving in to demands from your family around mealtime, making the changes is going to be hard. But it will be worth it in the long run. Very few things that are truly worthwhile are easy. This is one of them.

For some reason, when it comes to...

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Recipe: Corn Dog Bites

May 02, 2020

I made these during a live video on the Life Beyond Diabetes Facebook page. Click here for the printable recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2-3 Hot Dogs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease mini-muffin tin, if not non-stick
  2. Combine dry ingredients
  3. Stir in eggs and melted butter
  4. Divide dough into mini-muffin tin (24 muffins)
  5. Chop hot dogs into total of 24 pieces.
  6. Press a piece of hot dog into each muffin
  7. Cook at 350 for 12-17 minutes

For more family-friendly low-carb recipes click here to download a week-long meal plan that includes recipes and and a complete grocery list.

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Life During a Pandemic Is Hard!

Apr 30, 2020

Is anyone else watching Pluto, the wise Schnauzer from Canada? Or Some Good News with John Krasinski? (BTW, I’m so unhip that, until a few weeks ago, I only knew John Krasinski as the husband of the woman who played the new Mary Poppins.)

Why am I asking about silliness that some might call a Distracting Time Suck?

Because This Shit Is HARD. People are trying to work from home at jobs that never before supported telecommuting, while also homeschooling children who should be getting ready for end of year assessment tests at SCHOOLS that are now closed. None of us signed up for any of this!  And in addition to being cooped up inside the same walls with the same people day after day, we’re starting to realize that when we finally start to emerge from our isolation, the world as we knew it will never exist again.

Woah. I just went from Pluto the talking Schnauzer to existential crisis. What is going on here? Why so dark, as if we weren’t already sad enough?

...

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Metformin: What You Need to Know

Apr 22, 2020

Metformin Is Almost Always the First Medication Prescribed for Type 2 Diabetes

Chances are, if you have Type 2 Diabetes, you've taken Metformin. All the major medical organizations recommend Metformin as the first medication to treat Type 2. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. It's effective. I mean, it works really, really well!
  2. It's dirt cheap. It's on the $4 list at pharmacies that have one and most insurance companies cover it with minimal or no copay. 
  3. It's safe, with very few exceptions, that I'll go into below.
  4. It's well-tolerated by most people.
  5. Did I mention that it works? And it's cheap? And safe? And most people don't have side effects?

Why Do We Love Metformin?

Metformin is REALLY Cheap. While most Type 2 Diabetes drugs can run $300-$800 or more per month, Metformin is almost always under $10-20 a month. If it's more expensive than that for you, here are a couple tips that might make it a little cheaper:

  1. Your insurance company may be...
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