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Letter to a New Diabetic: Lowering Blood Sugar

Dear Concerned:

Welcome to the wonderful (and head scratching) world of blood sugar prediction. What works once may not work again the next time and what works for one person may not work for another. That's because reducing a high blood sugar is part science, part art and part luck.

The science is in doing the calculations. If your blood sugar is 200 and you want to lower it to be at 100, you need to know how much 1 unit of insulin will reduce your blood sugar (value of "x"). Then just take 100 / "x" to get the number of units to take. This is a fairly simple algorithm that you and your Endo (diabetic doc) can determine by fasting and doing food/insulin tests. You probably have a "basic" rule for reduction but the more you can do to make it specific to you, the more accurate and hence the better.

The art of treating a high blood sugar comes from knowing how YOUR body reacts to insulin, particularly when your blood sugar is at a higher level ( i.e., 1 unit = x reduction, but if the blood sugar is over 300, 1 unit only = 1/2 of x.) The only person that can take the time to figure that out is you. The other aspects that you have to consider include what you are doing at the time, e.g. exercising, moving, sleeping; how you are feeling at the time (as sometimes being sick = high blood sugar); and when and what you last ate and the amount of food still being digested in your system.

As for the luck in lowering your blood sugar, well, there is a dash of that as well. Sometimes you do everything right and "by the book" and then look at the numbers, scratch your head and wonder if it was all just a waste of time. It's not, of course, but it can certainly be frustrating.

Keep in touch,

Niko

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