Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

I am 33 years old and I have had diabetes for 6 months. At first I was controlling it with diet, exercise & oral medication, but I started a new job and slowed down on my exercise and now my sugars are consistently in the 200's. My Dr. put me on insulin. I have been on insulin for 5 days and it still hasn't dropped very much. I have been eating mostly protein. I never have been able to eat what is on any of the diabetic diets, like oatmeal or juice. Is there something else I should be doing, is this normal?

A:

It's difficult to answer as to what "normal" is. Certainly exercise can increase your insulin sensitivity -- the degree to which your cells can take up sugar from the bloodstream. In some individuals, a 20 minute walk at a comfortable pace can lower blood sugar 100 points. Each person's metabolism is different. High amounts of protein, depending on the type, can elevate blood glucose 24-48 hours later. Without the specific contents of your intake, it's difficult to address how food may be directly affecting you. An immediate course of insulin does not necessarily mean the right amount has been determined. I would assume you are checking your blood sugars at least 2x/day. Eating legumes and lots of vegetables can create a good balance when carbohydrates are being reduced. Exercise may be a key for you; a good walk will work!!

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