Are you newly diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes? It can be overwhelming and confusing at first. What affects your blood sugar levels? Keep a log to learn more. Set up a simple Excel sheet to track what is happening. If you use Excel, you can also make a chart from the information to show trends in blood sugar levels. A log can also be written in a notebook.
Disclaimer: This article only represents how to maintain a log, not what to eat or what to take. Consult your physician for specific instructions on diet, medications, and supplements.
Every day, write down everything you eat and the results of your daily blood sugar level tests. Include everything! Example:
breakfast (such as bran cereal, blueberries, coffee)
lunch (such as sandwich on whole wheat, cheese, beef, mayo, ice tea)
dinner (such as salad, salad dressing, baked chicken, green beans, milk)
snacks (such as 1/4 cup nuts, apple, sugar-free yoghurt)
morning blood sugar test level
evening blood sugar test level
Changes in health, lifestyle, and medications also can affect blood sugar levels. Include these in the log. For example, document diabetes medication, other prescription medications, vitamins or supplements, stressful events, illness, surgery, and exercise.
List what time of day you take medications, vitamins, or supplements. List how much exercise you did each day, or when you are ill or stressed.
First get a baseline. Keep everything pretty standard for several weeks, then try one change like a new food to see what happens. If you change too many things at once, or too much is going on at once (like having a cold and eating different foods), it is difficult to pinpoint what causes higher blood sugar levels.
The log helps you see how diet, medications, and life events have a positive or negative affect on blood sugars. Everyone is different, so the log provides information specific to your situation.
You won’t have to do this forever. At some point you will have a good idea of what does and does not affect your blood sugar levels. Continue to test per your doctor’s instructions, and contact the doctor’s office with questions if numbers alert you to issues.
A log is also a terrific way to discuss your progress with your doctor. Use it for three months then print it out and take it with you on your next doctor’s visit. It can be reviewed to see progress and determine how to make improvements in your diet or medication.
Sources: personal experience maintaining a log as recommended by our doctor