The Absolute Best Weight Management Tool, Blood Glucose Monitor

You can go to Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or any other number of stores and purchase a Blood Glucose Monitor. One will cost you somewhere between $30 and $200 dollars depending on how fancy of a one you purchase. The strips typically cost about $1 each, which can add up depending on how often you test your Blood Glucose. However, this all is remarkably inexpensive for the amount of insight it can provide into how your dietary choices are affecting your insulin level.

There are an endless number of foods and combinations of food that can make up a person’s diet, and food is a huge part of our social lives. Also we have preferences. There are foods we like better than others. Plus, people are different sizes, have different activity levels and so on. All of this makes it difficult to make clear cut recommendations concerning how a person should navigate their day-to-day dietary lives.

This why a Blood Glucose Monitor is so helpful. In order to know if the dietary choice from the day before were solid, you do not need to know all the details about what you ate and you do not need to know how much energy you expended walking to the mailbox. All you need to do is take a reading of your fasting blood glucose. If your body is having trouble keeping up with the food you are eating it will be reflected in your fasting glucose reading.

You need to have been fasting for at least 8 hours prior to testing your fasting blood glucose. The best way to do this is to test right after you have woken up in the morning. You have to tolerate pricking your finger, which I admit to being a little freaked out about when I did this the first time. I did not know how high to turn up the puncture depth, and I wasn’t sure how to work the thing. It turned out for me the puncture depth was one of the lowest setting. On the other hand my husband fixes cars and therefore has spent a lot of his life working with his hands. For him we turn it on the highest setting and still have trouble getting through his thick skin.

However, once you get past the finger prick it is not a big deal at all. It only takes only a few seconds. The process looks like this: I stick the strip in my Blood Glucose Monitor, prick my finger, put a drop of my blood on the strip and then in seconds my blood glucose level pops up.

According to the American Diabetes Association, if your fasting blood glucose is under 100 mg/dL, your fasting glucose is considered normal.[1] If your fasting blood glucose is between 100 and 125 mg/dL then you meet the criteria for pre-diabetes. And if your fasting blood glucose is above 126 mg/dL you meet the criteria for full blown type 2 diabetes. [2]

 

For a person that does NOT have diabetes there is some debate as to the ideal fasting blood glucose. If your fasting blood glucose is 99 mg/dL, it is technically normal. However, it is not optimal. The preference is to keep your fasting blood glucose a comfortable distance away from being pre-diabetic.

The optimal fasting glucose range is 70 mg/dL to 90 mg/dL.

60mg/dL or 70 mg/dL is is commonly cited as the lower limit of normal glucose. If your blood sugar drops too low, and you are considered hypoglycemic.[3]

To keep blood glucose levels within a tight range your body relies on two hormones that have opposite actions: insulin and glucagon. [4] Glucagon raises blood glucose level. Insulin lowers blood glucose level. Insulin lowers your blood glucose partially by storing excess glucose into your fat cells.  Glucagon raises blood glucose partially by pulling glucose out of the fat cells.

Glucose is the energy that is used by each cell in our body to function. Think of insulin as the doorman at a fancy apartment building. Insulin open’s the cell’s doors to let glucose in. Without the doorman glucose cannot get in. In which case, glucose accumulates in the blood but cannot be used to fuel cells.[5] Type 1 diabetes is when a person’s panaceas does not produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a different problem. It is when the door becomes so difficult to open that the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to get energy to all of the cells. The process of cell doors becoming that difficult to open can take years…even decades.

 

The cells become resistant to insulin when a person’s diet has resulted in their blood glucose being consistently high, which in turn results in their insulin level being consistently high. It is estimated that 57 million people in the United States have pre-diabetes. It strikes one in four Americans over age 20.[6] And even if a person has not crossed line to becoming pre-diabetic they can be affected by the ill effects of elevated insulin.

The point is that what many people consider a normal diet is resulting in an abnormal level of insulin and is wearing out their body. Fortunately, our bodies are very resilient and bounce back quickly if given the opportunity. Even a person with type 2 diabetes can often times bring their fasting blood glucose to a normal range within a short time period through diet.

Insulin control and weight control go hand-in-hand. If you learn to control your insulin you will be astounded by the positive affects it will have on your body.

A Blood Glucose Monitor is a tool every Happy Deviant needs in their tool box. It is gives them the power to find their own bodies limitations and empowers them to find a diet that works for them.


[2] Greene, Bob, “The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes”, ©2009, page 8

[5] Greene, Bob, “The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes”, ©2009, page 11

[6] Greene, Bob, “The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes”, ©2009, page 19

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~ by happydeviant on October 18, 2010.

One Response to “The Absolute Best Weight Management Tool, Blood Glucose Monitor”

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