Is my BS level BS? – by Andy Kliman


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I recently returned from three weeks holiday in Thailand, it was a slightly delayed honeymoon to be honest. I then had an extra week off before coming back to work. In that whole month, apart from some less than strenuous walking, swimming and site-seeing, I did no exercise what-so-ever. I kept my eating under control, but possibly had three more ice creams than I should have. All in all it was a terrific honeymoon.

But here comes the sting, my blood sugars have been pretty darned high, registering around 10/14 in general. I don’t know if this is a result of the changes from the holiday, the lack of exercise, or if my drugs are working less effectively. It’s a bit scary.

The week that I had back at home with no exercise I was eating healthily and the blood sugars did not improve. Since coming back to work I have been to the gym twice and on both occasions my levels came down to between 5.5 and 6.1 immediately afterwards but in the morning they would be back up to 10 – even though I’d had a light salad for dinner.

So my question is, will my blood sugars come back under control as I get back into the habit of exercise or are my pills becoming less effective and I should think about the insulin option? Perhaps, the pills are already ineffective and it’s only the exercise that is masking the need to move to insulin. I don’t know.

I’m loath to make an appointment with the doctor as I think he may well say, let’s wait until your next HBa1c, as the day-to-day monitoring is seen as less of an effective measure. However my last HBa1c result showed an increase on what had previously been a downwards trend. I keep losing weight, gradually and healthily, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

Insulin scares me. It scares me because it means learning a whole new way of life – or that’s the way it feels. I have only just got used to the diabetes tablets (I take 4 Gliclazide and 4 Metformin a day) and what that means.

So any help or advice you can offer would be much obliged, on any of these issues. Or if you think you can point me in the direction of a helpful resource – that would be great. Should I wait and see or should I head to my doctor’s now and confront this thing head on?

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Just read you article. I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 years ago. First they were not sure if I was 1 or 2. I was treated with Metformin and later also with Glicazide. However, 5 weeks ago my blood sugar increased and I had to begin with insulin. They also reckon that I’m in the “honeymoon period” now and my pancreas will stop working at some point as a late onset of diabetes 1. How are you doing now, I would be very interested to hear more news as very few people seem to experience this.

Also just read your article in Balance. I was diagnosed with Late Onset Type 1 last December. I was 35 yrs old. Was training for a marathon when they told me I was glucose impaired tolerant two and a half years before and a year later was told I had diabetes but they were unsure which type. I was controlled with diet and exercise but just before I was ill last December when I was put on insulin, my morning readings were increasing to 8-10 even though I was doing quite a bit of running. Was so frustrating. GP put me on Metformin for a week then another drug but was getting really ill so just phoned the diabetic clinic at the hospital and they told me to come in immediately for insulin. I was dreading going on insulin. I am not really under control as I am very insulin sensitive and exercise makes me hypo sometimes (14 mmol before 30 min run today and 4.1 after so very nearly hypo-ed). However, it is a question of changing your thought processes and being really organised. Hope you are doing ok since going on insulin!

I have just read your article in the latest Balance Mag, and I am surprised it took so long to diagnose you as Type 1. You will feel much better on insulin so don’t be afraid. Try and learn as much as possible about the way it works and once you understand you will be able to feel better and in charge.
Cycling is a good way to bring the BGs down and it doesn’t take as much effort as walking or working out at the gym.
Hang in there. All will be well. I know I’ve been there.

My husband is in exactly the same boat. He’s just been to the diabetes nurse at the GP surgery and has been referred to the diabetes specialist nurse. His sugars are in the mid teens every morning- he’s on Metformin and Gliclazide. 11 tablets a day and feeling horrible. Not much fun, when he does all the right things. Now he feels that he would actually welcome going on insulin as he feels so rubbish and hopes it would give him control over his diabetes, rather than the other way round which where he feels he is at the moment. All good fun! I think it’s worth going to the GP and talking things over and work out the way forwards. Good luck!