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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all! I have been prediabetic, per my labs, for several years. In March, my A1C was 6.9 and my fasting glucose was 160, so I was diagnosed as diabetic.I am retired, and a former shift worker, and I only sleep about 3 hours a night. Weight loss and exercise are two areas where I can focus on improving my health.
I just joined a gym, and I am hoping that some cardio might induce me to sleep. My physician initially started me on ER Metformin 500mg, twice a day. After some gastro issues, he changed it to 500mg immediate release twice a day. I have had dietician guidance but I still crave carbs, especially at night.
My fasting test in the am is running high, 140 to 160. Are there any insomniacs that could give me some tips on how bring down my fasting numbers? I am excited to learn from others in the forum.
 

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Welcome, seagypzy! We're glad you're here. I'm a fellow insomniac, too.

As you will discover, there are many factors that make diabetes a little different for each of us. What we can eat and not eat, how the condition affects our bodies, all will be a little different from the textbook cases you can read about.

Let me ask a few questions, though:
  • What does a typical day's menu look like? Are you eating the standard diabetic diet (about 125-150 grams of carbohydrates a day)? Do you have a snack before you go to bed? If so, what do you eat?
  • Is the insomnia recent? Is three hours of sleep enough for you?
  • When are you exercising? There have been studies that indicate that the time of day you exercise alters your body's metabolism and hormone levels (diabetes is a hormonal condition).
  • When do you take the second Metformin dose?
  • How often are you testing your blood glucose?
With this additional information (and questions others may ask as they welcome you) we may be able to zero in on ways you can lower that fasting BG. Be aware that that number comes down slower than the others -- but it should be able to come down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the good reply!
I am trying to follow the recommendations for carbs (125-150). I have to force myself to eat breakfast (usually a protein shake) and I haven't been able to find a decent bottled shake that isn't full of carbs. For lunch I have curried chicken salad on sandwich thin bread and a salad. I also might have a greek salad.
For dinner I usually have broiled chicken, peppers and a quarter cup of wild rice. Snacks are apple peanut butter, cottage cheese or celery with yogurt dip. I have stopped my bedtime snack but it hasn't affected my blood sugar.
I was a nurse for 30 years, working nights as a single Mom, so 3-4 hours a night is usual for me-then I wake up and try to force myself back to sleep without success.
I just joined a gym and have started going when they open, around 630am. I have been testing my blood sugar only for fasting. I am on medicare, and my Dr wrote for only once a day. Medicare pays for strips but anything more than amount prescribed is out of pocket. I have a contour next one machine, but I am going to buy the cheaper monitor at the grocery store because the strips are very inexpensive for me to buy out of pocket. I will do my post prandials on that machine and maybe have a better idea what is happening to me. I will use my contour next for my fasting, since that is what my Int Med Dr seems to want documented
I think my sleep habits are hurting my fasting numbers now that I am now retired and not walking the hospital hallways, caring for patients.
I am also ravenously hungry in the middle of the night. I am drink water to keep from eating.
I take my metformin at 10am and 6pm
I appreciate any input, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to my fasting numbers.
 

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Welcome, seagypzy! Glad to have you here. You've come to a great place for support and encouragement. Unfortunately, there is often no rhyme or reason to diabetes.
I found that the recommendations for carbs was too many for me, but we're all different. It does take some time for the numbers to come down after changing diet and taking medication. The morning numbers are usually the last to come down!
 

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seagypzy, a few thoughts:

You could consider tweaking your meals a little. Our bodies do not need 125-165 grams of carbohydrates a day to function properly. So you could cut back on the carbs and bump up the amount of protein and fat you eat to keep your caloric intake the same. Protein and fat don't contain many (if any) carbohydrates and satisfy your hunger for longer than carbs do.

That might help the midnight munchies, too. It sounds like you've tried a snack before bed but I wonder if you might get different results from a no-carb snack like a piece of cheese or some salted nuts or such. I will note that some foods contain surprising amounts of carbohydrates, like cottage cheese (being unflavored cheese, I wouldn't expect more than 1 or 2 grams of carbs per serving) and some nuts (like peanuts and, by extension, peanut butter). If you're not reading labels, you might consider checking a few.

You've got the right idea in picking up a second meter for more frequent testing. I'm not sure why Medicare only allows about one strip a day. I'm also not sure why doctors never write prescriptions for cheap meters like Relions (Walmart) or CVS/Target or Walgreens. There are some excellent inexpensive meters out there. I was offered an expensive meter "for free" by my doctor but I bought my own at Target for $15-20 and use strips that cost just 25 cents each. In the beginning I was testing ten times a day. At the price of Contour strips I would not have been able to do that, but testing that often showed me which foods had stronger effects on my blood glucose. By the time I returned to my doctor for my next A1c, I had tested enough to predict my A1c level spot on.

And I would urge you to do what you can to get more sleep. You may be used to only a few hours, but your body's hormones react to that little amount of rest and can cause havoc with BG numbers. I tend to have higher readings on the days when I don't sleep enough. As etherea pointed out, we're all different. But sometimes all the differences converge on something that seems to be true for most people.

A few ideas of things to try. Let us know how they work for you, please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome, seagypzy! Glad to have you here. You've come to a great place for support and encouragement. Unfortunately, there is often no rhyme or reason to diabetes.
I found that the recommendations for carbs was too many for me, but we're all different. It does take some time for the numbers to come down after changing diet and taking medication. The morning numbers are usually the last to come down!
Thank you, Etherea, for the words of encouragement. I am hoping to find a good balance between healthy foods that I like to eat, and metformin keeping my numbers in a reasonable range. It feels as if my body has gone rogue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
seagypzy, a few thoughts:

You could consider tweaking your meals a little. Our bodies do not need 125-165 grams of carbohydrates a day to function properly. So you could cut back on the carbs and bump up the amount of protein and fat you eat to keep your caloric intake the same. Protein and fat don't contain many (if any) carbohydrates and satisfy your hunger for longer than carbs do.

That might help the midnight munchies, too. It sounds like you've tried a snack before bed but I wonder if you might get different results from a no-carb snack like a piece of cheese or some salted nuts or such. I will note that some foods contain surprising amounts of carbohydrates, like cottage cheese (being unflavored cheese, I wouldn't expect more than 1 or 2 grams of carbs per serving) and some nuts (like peanuts and, by extension, peanut butter). If you're not reading labels, you might consider checking a few.

You've got the right idea in picking up a second meter for more frequent testing. I'm not sure why Medicare only allows about one strip a day. I'm also not sure why doctors never write prescriptions for cheap meters like Relions (Walmart) or CVS/Target or Walgreens. There are some excellent inexpensive meters out there. I was offered an expensive meter "for free" by my doctor but I bought my own at Target for $15-20 and use strips that cost just 25 cents each. In the beginning I was testing ten times a day. At the price of Contour strips I would not have been able to do that, but testing that often showed me which foods had stronger effects on my blood glucose. By the time I returned to my doctor for my next A1c, I had tested enough to predict my A1c level spot on.

And I would urge you to do what you can to get more sleep. You may be used to only a few hours, but your body's hormones react to that little amount of rest and can cause havoc with BG numbers. I tend to have higher readings on the days when I don't sleep enough. As etherea pointed out, we're all different. But sometimes all the differences converge on something that seems to be true for most people.

A few ideas of things to try. Let us know how they work for you, please?
Thank you, Steve. Those are good suggestions. I do like cheese and nuts. I tried some string cheese tonight, so I will see if I can resist tossing and turning, thinking about food. Breakfast is my big meal conundrum. I don't usually eat breakfast, but I need to try. I like omelets and hard boiled eggs. Maybe I should add some turkey bacon.
I usually test at 6-7am, go to the gym between 630-730, and eat breakfast or meal shake around 9am
My Dr wrote for testing once a day, so that is why there is a limit on strips. My local grocery store sells a cheap monitor and strips, so I will buy that additional meter. I will be interested in my post prandial numbers!
Do you recommend any particular app for helping track your food and blood sugar numbers? I use my fitness pal for food, but it doesn't have any blood sugar interface.
I really appreciate the support and suggestions, and I am glad I that I joined this forum.
 

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We're glad you're here, too, seagypzy!

When I started I used an app provided by my meter manufacturer (Agamatrix). Then I moved that data into Microsoft Excel (I'm a long time IT type), which gave me more options in formatting and entering data (like what I had eaten that provided the really high reading hours later).

I hope others here can mention what they like to use.
 
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