Blood Sugar Basics Guide


Diabetes patient advocate and expert, Nadia Al-Samarrie shares her advice on what people living with diabetes need to know about their blood sugar self-management to avoid the devastating effects of diabetes complications.


Some Words about Blood Sugar

This issue covers one of the most important—if not the most important—aspects of managing diabetes: blood sugar, from measuring it to tracking it to managing and controlling it.

There’s a lot more to blood sugar than just measuring its levels. Among other things people with diabetes and their healthcare providers have to keep in mind: the continually advancing technology for tracking blood sugar: blood glucose monitors (page 7).

Today’s BGMs are durable, light, and sophisticated, offering features that weren’t available only a few years ago. This includes spotting patterns, storing data, and communicating with other devices. Best of all, competition among their manufacturers has made blood glucose monitoring (BGM) prices come down. As a result, they are affordable devices covered by most health insurance plans.

BGMs are a large part of the routines that help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, considering that each person living with diabetes is slightly different. Therefore, no two cases match exactly in every respect.

The effects of diabetes can range from puzzling to dangerous. First, I discuss the Somogyi Effect (page 19). In this process, your nighttime medication lowers your blood sugar as you are sleeping but not enough for you to feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Fortunately, your liver releases glucose to fight your very low blood sugar by releasing sugar to bring up your glucose level.

In “The Dawn Phenomenon and How to Avoid It” (page 21), we look at the opposite effect from the Somogyi Effect. In this case, there is a perplexing rise in blood sugar in the early morning. Previously, research scientists thought that the dawn phenomenon only affected people with type 1 diabetes. But in a recent study that examined data from the past 30 years, researchers determined that the dawn phenomenon also occurs frequently among patients with type 2 diabetes.

We look at opposite ends of the diabetes management spectrum in “How to Bring Down High Blood Sugar” (page 22) and “How to Treat Low Blood Sugar” (page 14). Both conditions are ones every person with diabetes is familiar with and are worth reviewing and passing on information about them from the newly diagnosed to the seasoned person living with diabetes.

We end on the most appetizing part of covering the diabetes world: Diabetes Health recipes. In this case, we›re offering some very timely Keto Recipes from the Sugar Happy Kitchen (pages 29 and 30), with Southern-influenced meals we think you will like. I wish you the best in health!

Nadia Al-Samarrie
Founder, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief


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