I take my meds for diabetes, why do I need to worry about my numbers? I felt that way for a while, especially in the early years following my diagnosis I took my medication as prescribed by my doctor and frankly just didn’t want to be bothered with trying to keep up with numbers, and manage anything beyond simply taking my meds and moving on about my day. In this podcast episode we are going to talk about why you need to do more than just take your meds, and discuss some of the numbers that you need to pay attention to for starters.
Listen to the podcast episode
Know your "numbers"
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I take my meds, why do I need to worry about my numbers?”
If you have type 2 diabetes, have you ever asked that question, or thought it even if you didn’t say It out loud?
I felt that way for a while, especially in the early years following my diagnosis. I took my medication as prescribed by my doctor and frankly just didn’t want to be bothered with trying to keep up with numbers and manage anything beyond simply taking my meds and moving on about my day.
We are constantly being told to “know your numbers” and some people may get frustrated with trying to figure out what the “numbers” are.
Let's talk about why you need to do more than just take your meds and discuss some of the numbers that you need to pay attention to for starters.
Why you need to do more than just take your meds
Before I move on, I want to make this very clear. It is very important that you follow your doctors advice and adhere to your treatment plan by taking meds as prescribed.
In my opinion, the main reason why you need to do more than just take your meds is so that you can foster a partnership with your physician and become an active participant in your own health.
Let me explain further what I mean.
Everybody is different, and how your body responds to a treatment plan may vary from person to person. Knowing your numbers helps you communicate the changes within your body, good or bad, with your doctor. You can provide important insights to your doctor that will help him/her make more informed decisions about changes to your treatment plan.
The numbers you should know
Start with some basics.
Know your A1C – it tells the story about your blood sugar levels over a period of time; this test is typically repeated about every 3 months
Your fasting blood sugar – provides information about your blood sugar levels right now
You can have a good fasting blood sugar reading today that falls in the normal range indicating your blood sugar levels are fine right now, but also have an A1C that is high, indicating that your blood sugar has not been managed well over the last few months.
Let's work through a hypothetical scenario
If you know the result of your last A1C was high, then a good goal would be to have a lower number at your next visit. Between those 3 months, you should check your fasting blood sugar on a daily basis and work on keeping those numbers in the normal range every day (by following a healthy diet and routine exercise as well as taking your meds as prescribed).
Tracking those blood sugar numbers on a daily basis will help you focus on maintaining consistent good blood sugar numbers day by day. By knowing your daily numbers and that they are consistently within the normal range, you can expect the next A1C reading to be lower.
If it is not, then knowing your blood sugar numbers across that 3 month period of time provides an opportunity for you and your doctor to discuss what could be wrong and how to best address the problem. It's a Team effort.
Without knowing those numbers, you are at a disadvantage and miss an opportunity to be an active participant in your own health.
There are other numbers that are also important, but a good starting point is to understand the difference between the fasting blood sugar and the A1C and why it is important to track these numbers for yourself and take advantage of the opportunity to better communicate with your doctor and about your own health.
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Alright everyone, until next time…have a fantastic rest of your day!