From Indiana, USA:
I am a 19 year old insulin dependent diabetic who is having great difficulty regulating my blood sugars. I was diagnosed when I was 11. I have had problems ever since I have started high school. I was wondering if there were any support groups to contact via e-mail or phone that could offer encouragement and or advice on how to correct my blood sugars and increase my control.
It sounds as though you have not kept up with all the recent developments in managing diabetic control. To put this right you will need some personal determination as well as quite a lot of help from your diabetes team and perhaps also a firm conviction that good control really is important in order to avoid or delay the vascular problems that can be a part of long term diabetes. A support group might help you in matters of determination; but specific advice needs to be both professional and available to you on the telephone when it is needed.
You should start by making sure that your insulin dose and diet are appropriate and that your technic for doing blood sugars is correct. After that you need to embark on a period of doing lots of blood sugars. Ideally you might set yourself a target period of say three weeks during which you would try to do a blood sugar before every meal and before your bedtime snack and once or twice at 2:00 A.M. and in relation to any vigorous exercise that you take. This may be a bit ambitious; but do the best you can. Once you've collected the data or better still every week you might fax the results to your diabetic team and find out if they want to suggest any modifications of your regimen. An alternative is to print out the data stored in your meter's memory (you may have to get this done in the doctor's office if it can not be done on a home PC). The print out should be able to plot blood sugars versus time by day of the week. If you then ignore all values that are between 80 and 150 mg/dl, you can start concentrating on the lows and the highs trying to work out why they occurred. Low levels, as you must already know, are usually due to missing a meal or a snack, to exercise or to an inappropriately large dose of insulin; high levels may also be dietary or due to some form of stress.
Getting matters right will not be quick or easy; but it will be worth it and it may also involve changes in the number of injections you take and the kind of insulin you use; but decisions of this nature need to involve your doctor.
Original posting 20 Apr 97
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