Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Hypo vs. Hyper November 13, 2008

Gestational Diabetes is nothing to mess around with. I’m sure any form of Diabetes is dangerous when the Diabetic ignores his or her diagnosis and diet. Right now, as I type this, I have gone hypoglycemic. It is a terrible feeling. Since I have started diabetic meds it is important that I eat regularly, including snacks, throughout the day.

I got home from picking up Brianna and within minutes I was shaking and dizzy. Uh oh. I took out the glucose meter to check my blood glucose levels. Before I left to go get her it was 99. That’s a check 2 hours after breakfast and it’s a good number. Just an hour later it was all the way down to 68. Not good. Hypoglycemia starts at 70 for a diabetic. I knew something wasn’t right.

Immediately I popped open the jar of mixed nuts and started munching. Then I got the strawberry yogurt out of the fridge and slurped it down as fast as I could. I’ll recheck my sugar levels in 5 minutes. If they’re still too low I’ll eat an apple or maybe a peanut butter cookie. I don’t want to spike it, but I also need to get a bit above 70.

It happens fast. If hypoglycemia is left unchecked a diabetic person can lose consciousness. That’s not in the mix for me. Who would help? It is important that I am aware of the signs at all times.

Hyperglycemia is a bit more dangerous as I understand it. This is what fits me in the category of Gestational Diabetic. When I don’t eat right and take meds my blood sugars are elevated. Two hours after each meal my magic number needs to be below 120. If I have 2 slices of pepperoni pizza, for example, my number is usually around 175 as a diabetic. That’s a major no-no. Pasta, potato, rice, anything high in carbs or white flour or sugar will all make my numbers escalate.

The problem with this, besides the dangers to my health, is that it could affect the unborn baby in one way or another. The most obvious is high birth weight. The other problems that are much more serious are low blood sugar in newborn infant, trouble breathing, and still birth.

So it’s a bit complicated and takes some getting used to. I don’t like checking my blood levels 4+ times a day. It hurts and it’s inconvenient. I’d rather eat a baked potato with my steak rather than a side of broccoli. I want the occasional sweet treat.

It’s not just my good health that is a concern. When the health of another person depends on you and what you eat and how you monitor “things” then a new determination surfaces and you gain a self-control you may not have realized you have.

Strangely, I’m sort of thankful I’ve had this disease 3 times now. I have learned so much about how the body uses food for fuel that the transition from being a pregnant diabetic to a non-pregnant woman who needs to lose 50+ pounds is smooth. This is why I love the South Beach diet. Its menu is centered around the glycemic index — a very important tool for a diabetic.

My number after all of that drama is 91. The nuts and yogurt worked like a charm and I feel back to normal now. Off to eat lunch — a healthy one of course.

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