Diabetes is a condition that you have to put effort into daily. When you take the right precautions and live your life in a diabetes-friendly way, you can manage your condition. One tool that you can use to manage your diabetes is a diabetes log book. With a glucose log sheet, you can track your numbers to find patterns with your blood sugar levels. You also have options that allow you to track things like your diet so that you can see how foods are influencing your glucose levels.
WHEN IS A GLUCOSE LOG A GOOD IDEA?
A glucose log is an easy way to see where your numbers are at, over the long-term. It is easy to check your sugar at least once a day to see what your lifestyle is doing to it. When you keep this information in a blood sugar log, you can look back and find trends in your numbers. This makes it easy to see if you need to make changes to your diet or medicine regimen to see if there are better ways to bring your levels down. The following situations would benefit from using a diabetes log book:
• Despite your best efforts, you are having trouble keeping your glucose within range
• You have gestational diabetes, or you are at risk for it
• You are controlling your glucose using insulin or an insulin pump
• While you do not have any noticeable symptoms, your sugar levels are often low
• Your glucose levels are consistently high, causing you to have ketones present in your urine
HOW TO USE A BLOOD SUGAR LOG?
Exactly how you use a glucose log will depend on the format that you choose. However, the general steps are the same. You will want to input a daily date or a date range, depending on the format of the log. Take note of the ranges that your doctor wants you to strive for and put this at the top of the log pages for easy reference. Now, you want to write down your glucose levels when you check them with the time. It is also ideal to make a note about whether the level was checked when you were fasting or after you had a meal.
Most logs have a space where you can write down the foods that you eat. When you are writing these down, you should also track the carbohydrates and sugar in each of the foods because these two nutrients have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. Make sure to write down everything, including things like condiments and dressings. Most people don’t realize that several of these can have a high sugar content. You also need to make note of what you are drinking since many drinks, such as fruit juices that seem healthy, can have a high sugar content.
TYPES OF DIABETES LOGS
When it comes to using a diabetes log book, you have a variety of options. You can find several types of free printable blood sugar charts online. Just print these out and put them into a binder or a folder to keep them in the right order. With so many types available, you can find one that uses a format that you prefer. It is important that you like the format and find it easy to use so that you can keep it filled out each day.
You can find weekly, monthly and daily formats for these logs. If you need to track your blood sugar three or more times daily, it is best to choose a daily one. This will give you more space and flexibility with the frequent checks that you need to do. If you only need to check once a day, a monthly log can work for you. A weekly log is a good balance and it makes it easy to write down your blood sugar levels and the foods that you are eating so that you get a full seven-day picture of what is happening with your glucose levels.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTROL YOUR GLUCOSE LEVELS
You must control your blood glucose levels to avoid the potential complications that can occur if your sugar levels get too high. The first thing you need to be able to recognize are the symptoms that occur when your blood sugar is high. For some people these are not as noticeable as others, so make note of these possible symptoms so that you can be on the look out for them. The symptoms of high blood sugar include:
• Frequent urination
• Unexplained weight loss
• Blurry vision
• Frequent infections
• Increased thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Ketones present in your urine
• Feeling irritable
• Sores or wounds that are slow to heal
When high blood sugar levels are not brought down quickly, you are at risk for a variety of health complications. Some of these are irreversible, so it is important to do what you can to avoid experiencing them in the first place. Some of the complications can result in issues like needing a kidney transplant or a limb amputation. The following are possible complications of high blood sugar:
• Nerve damage, especially in the feet and legs
• Eye damage
• Skin conditions
• An increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
• Cardiovascular disease
• Kidney damage
• Foot damage
• Hearing impairment
CONTROLLING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
When you are filling out your printable glucose log sheets, you can input the foods that you are eating. It is important to keep an eye on the carbohydrates that you are eating. The complex carbohydrates can help to stabilize your levels while simple carbohydrates can cause sudden spikes and crashes. Just make sure that the complex carbohydrates that you are eating have plenty of fiber as this nutrient also helps you to maintain proper glucose levels.
Keep your sugar intake low to avoid spikes and drops in your blood sugar. You can eat fruits and other healthy foods that contain natural sugars but remember that these too can increase your glucose levels, so you will want to monitor your blood sugar when you are eating them. Healthy fats and protein are also important for people with diabetes. Overall, a balanced diet is best to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients while also controlling your sugar levels.
You should also monitor your levels on a regular basis. Your doctor will provide you with information about how often you should be testing your blood. Approximately two hours after you eat, your levels should be 180 mg/dL or lower. When you have been fasting, your sugar levels should not exceed 125 mg/dL. Your doctor will provide you with the details regarding the levels that you should be striving for based on your individual blood sugar needs.
If your blood sugar is running too high, there is a significant risk of complications. Because of this, you should always know where your numbers are at. With a diabetes log book, you can easily track your blood sugar levels. Refer back to the book when you want to explore possible trends in your glucose levels. This will help you to determine if something like your diet is negatively impacting your numbers so that you can start making changes. Please share this article on social media and post a link to it on your website.