Thursday, March 1, 2012


Change is the one constant in life that is inevitable. Be it the weather, relationships, jobs, homes, and the list goes on. Change can be self induced or in some cases imposed. It can be predictable and unpredictable. Change in any of the above scenarios can also wreak havoc on our diabetes control.

Fluctuations and Change are one of the things us folks with diabetes must contend with daily. The past few months we (my family) have gone through some Change. The change was imposed and we were forced into a decision and subsequent change. Regardless of what the change was, I just want to share some observations related to blood glucose control through this period of change.

Imposed change (to me) results in more stress when compared to self motivated change. I react emotionally first then intellectually second. It is the emotional reaction that messes with my diabetes control. Emotions tend to evoke a physical reaction, and before you know it my glucose levels become more difficult to control.

Why is that? It's that damn "Stress Response" I tell you it may have been handy for our Neanderthal ancestors, but it sure sucks for modern day folks.

In summary; I get emotional, my brain responds buy telling my adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline which basically tells my liver to produce more glucose and also conserves the glucose I have floating around, which as you can well imagine sucks for us diabetics. We don't need the extra energy (glucose) to run from the tribe up the river trying to steel our food - which was likely the scenario our ancestors faced on a frequent basis. Point is stress = crappy high sugars.

Needless to say that when the change passes the glucose gets easier to control and insulin requirements go back down to pre-change levels. I guess what I continue to tell myself and my kids with Type 1 is that change will happen, so test more often, correct more often, and listen, discuss, and address your emotional response because not doing so seems to make the physical response more turbulent.

I notice this (change - emotions - physical) reaction with many things. Sleep deprivation really messes up my emotional regulatory system or more easily put make me a very moody or as my kids would say a very grumpy dad. Sleep, I've learned is crazy important not only in stress reduction, but in decreasing insulin resistant, which is not as important to type one diabetics. We just crank up the dose to accommodate.I have also learned that getting enough sleep is the only solution to getting rid of that stubborn fat that hangs over the belt buckle.

If faced with change, and feeling emotional, get it out, talk it out, it will pass like all other things, and most important of all,  test that blood sugar A LOT.



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