Screenshot showing my CGM graph with high blood glucose

High Blood Sugar and Self-Care: Navigating Diabetes with Kindness

Living with diabetes means navigating a path filled with ups and downs, especially when it comes to managing blood sugar levels. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is a reality many of us face despite our best efforts. It’s essential to approach these moments with kindness towards ourselves, embracing self-care, acceptance, and love as foundational principles of our management strategy.

Understanding Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, the medical term for high blood glucose, is a condition where blood sugar levels exceed the normal range. The word “hyper” signifies “over” or “above,” while “glucose” refers to the sugar in our bloodstream. Recognizing that glucose is a vital energy source for our bodies, its management is crucial in diabetes care.

My Strategies for Dealing with High Blood Sugar

❤️Acceptance and Self-Love ❤️

One of the most important steps in managing diabetes is to avoid self-blame and negative self-talk. Diabetes management is complex, and high blood sugar episodes are part of the journey, not indicators of failure. When faced with hyperglycemia, it’s important to observe, learn, and move forward without harsh judgments towards oneself. Remember, experiencing high blood sugar does not reflect failure; it’s a natural aspect of living with diabetes.

The Trio of Management: Insulin, Water, Exercise

Insulin

Utilizing my insulin pump’s auto-correction feature has been a game-changer. It might result in a slightly longer duration of high blood sugar, but the pump’s conservative approach ensures safety. The pump’s learning algorithm adjusts to my body’s needs over time, providing a balanced correction that avoids rapid drops in blood sugar. This method aligns with the philosophy of not over-correcting, or “rage bolusing,” to avoid the risk of low blood sugar, (hypoglycemia).

Water

Simple yet effective, increasing water intake during high blood sugar episodes helps the kidneys flush out excess glucose. This natural detoxification process is an easy and effective strategy to aid in lowering blood sugar levels.

This is the reason that being thirsty is a common symptom of diabetes. Your body needs more water to flush out the glucose.

Exercise

Physical activity, such as a brief walk, can significantly impact blood sugar levels. Exercise encourages the body to use glucose for energy, naturally lowering blood sugar. However, it’s important to balance exercise with insulin levels to prevent too rapid a decrease in blood sugar. Always keeping fast-acting glucose nearby. See Mayo Clinic’s article on diabetes and exercise to learn more about staying safe.

It’s a Continual Journey

Remember that your insulin needs can change anytime. If you are dealing with frequent high blood glucose, talk with your healthcare team about how to adjust insulin. If you’re a menstruating woman, learn how the menstrual cycle can impact your insulin needs.

Dealing with high blood sugar is an inevitable part of diabetes management, but it doesn’t have to be a source of stress or self-criticism. It’s not uncommon to have spikes or unexpected highs. You will learn with time how to manage.

Let’s approach ourselves with the same compassion and understanding we would offer a dear friend, recognizing our efforts and celebrating our successes, no matter how small they may seem. Together, with the right strategies and a positive mindset, we can manage diabetes with confidence and grace, making room for a fulfilling life beyond our blood sugar levels.

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