Because diabetes is in my family, I’ve been testing my blood glucose levels for years now. First at the doctors and now through my own finger pricking devices. Technically I’m not even pre-diabetic even though I was on that path in the past. in 2015, I had fasting blood glucose levels of 101, pre-diabetic levels. But since I was what is considered young and fit, doctors never even mentioned this to me. I had to look back at my labs to see my blood fasting blood sugar levels and it’s trends. If I hadn’t changed my diet, I would have probably had less than optimal blood sugar levels for years, increasing my chances of diabetes.
After I changed my diet and cut out most processed carbs and sugars, my fasting blood sugar levels returned back to normal, around 83-93. After my first meal of the day, my blood sugar potentially spikes above 110 and stays there for 3-5+ hours before it starts to go down slowly. So if I eat an early lunch or breakfast, my blood sugar levels are elevated most of the day. I’m not too concerned because it doesn’t spike to dangerously high levels.
I am cognizant of the fact that I have 4 uncles and all of them are taking metformin, and are either pre-diabetic or diagnosed with full-blown diabetes. None of them would be considered obese or even overweight. Their ages range from 65-78 and all of them appear to be fit for their age.
It’s because of my personal genetics that I want to make sure my blood sugar is under control. Insulin resistance is correlated to many diseases of the cardiovascular system and brain. Controlling your blood sugar through proper diet and lifestyle can help improve your insulin sensitivity.
Testing Blood Sugar Levels
I don’t test every day, but I’ve tested enough to recognize patterns in my blood sugar level trends. I do this by testing when I wake up, a few hours after I wake up (post-coffee), before/after workouts, before/after meals, and before I sleep. Typically 1.5 to 2 hours after a meal is when my blood sugar peaks. I should have a continuous glucose monitor, but I haven’t got around to testing one out yet.
One thing I noticed was that if I drink 2-4 alcoholic beverages or more, my blood sugar levels always dip. This has to do with the insulin secretion that occurs when drinking.
Tough Fingers: Make Sure You Get a Good Pinprick
Because I do a lot of pull-ups and grip strength training, my fingers are thick-skinned. There have been times when I’ve wasted 3+ blood testing strips because I didn’t get enough blood. I now set the setting to the max and make sure I really bleed enough so the test doesn’t fail. Having to prick your finger multiple times to get a single reading is annoying as hell!
Devices I Use To Test Blood Sugar
To test my blood sugar, I use the On Call Express brand. It has decent reviews and is cheap and easy to use. I’m sure there are better ones but that’s the one I chose initially and I haven’t had any major issues with it.
You can click here to Find On Call Express blood glucose monitoring tools. All you need is:
- Testing meter
- Lancets (the needle that goes in the meter)
- Testing strips
Articles and Research on Blood Sugar and Effects On Health
- The link between sugar and Alzheimer’s disease
- Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
- Risks for uncontrolled blood sugar levels (heart disease, stroke, nerve/kidney damage, etc..)
- Diabetes and cancer connection
- Reversing diabetes treatment through fasting and nutrition
Why Blood Sugar Matters
The goal isn’t to treat diabetes but to prevent yourself from getting diabetes in the first place. In the past, it was believed that some people were destined to get diseases like diabetes and cancer. While there is a genetic component, it plays a smaller role than most think. Many diseases can be preventable with proper nutrition and exercise. Diabetes is no exception.
Blood sugar is one metric we can measure with existing tools. Blood sugar is also an important indicator of health. Knowing what activities and foods trigger exceptional rises or drops in your blood sugar can help you decide what diet and lifestyle changes are optimal for you.