Worrying About Blood Sugar

worrying about blood sugar







As a diabetic, we definitely need to pay close attention to blood sugar.  There are legions of diabetics that don't really pay much heed to this, and end up facing some pretty gruesome consequences.  The ravages of high blood sugar are well documented, and we ignore these warnings at our own peril.  

I see people both not being concerned enough about this and being what we'd fairly call being too concerned about it.  These are the type of people who insist on normal blood sugar, and even cause themselves a fair bit of grief over it if things don't go as well as they hope.

The grief itself here isn't healthy, stress levels can affect both one's health and one's blood sugar as well, and in fact they particularly affect one's blood sugar.  While some people just have a tendency to worry too much, in a very real sense, being overly concerned with your blood sugar makes this worse in all cases.

What we should be striving for instead is looking to manage the risks.  Everything we do has an element of risk in it, and what we need to do is to properly assess these risks and use that to manage our life and our health.

So the risk here is on a continuum, with normal blood sugar representing the lowest risk, and then seeing it go up from there to where blood sugar levels and the risk are both extreme.

We do not simply choose what level of control we seek, like for instance do you want normal blood sugar as a diabetic or are you happy with something a bit higher, and so on.  We may choose a range we're comfortable with but there's more to this than just choosing it, and often a lot more to it.

The first thing we need to consider is seeking to balance the comfort of a certain blood sugar level with the comfort with the means to achieve it.  For instance, there may be a level of dietary restriction, certain medications, or whatever, that some people might just not be comfortable with, and when you place yourself in such a position, this is actually pretty irrational.

Second, you may be increasing your overall risks to your health by reducing blood sugar, this is going to be something that may be a little hard to grasp by people who only think about blood sugar, but this risk is real and it's simply unwise and even harmful to ignore real risks to your health.

It seems to help to ignore these other risks, and pretend they don't exist, but that's no way to manage your diabetes or your health.  We need to look at all considerations, and even more importantly, take into account the real risks here, unlike some people who think that, for instance, it's all over if your A1C (a measure of what your blood sugar is doing to you over time) goes above 6.

In actual fact the difference in risk between 5.5, 6, and 6.5 is very slight and even above 6.5 it doesn't even get scary until a fair bit higher than this, even being in the 7's isn't really all that more risky.  The higher you are, the more risk is involved, but if you're going to tear your hair out it's best to wait until it's called for, or anything of the sort.

So I've had people wonder how I could even put up a site on diabetes given that I don't just feel everyone should seek normal blood sugar no matter what, but this just indicates a very simple minded approach to the disease, and is in fact foolish, and I'm out to try to reduce foolishness, not promote it.

My saying this is by some people's standards pure sacrilege, like Socrates corrupting the youth, I'm surely corrupting the diabetics, but the truth is that the standard view is what does the corrupting, I'm just looking to provide some alternative viewpoints, and people will always decide for themselves anyway, but it's certainly good to hear from both sides of the debate, and I'm certainly not afraid to tell this side of it.

So what blood sugar range should you shoot for?  It depends, it depends on a lot of things actually. 

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