Season Two: Episode Four

FEBRUARY 22, 2021

I have to schedule doctor appointments! So much fun. I need one with my PCP for this week or next week, one with my endocrinologist for whenever, and one for next year with my foot doctor. I haven’t seen my Endocrinologist in a couple months now and while money is still a bit tight, I really need to my A1C checked because I don’t think it’s doing great but I need to know where I’m at.

Apparently, my foot doctor no longer takes my MedQuest insurance so I have to change to another provider under MedQuest. Whenever I do that, if I can do that, then I can schedule my foot exam for next year. Hopefully, we are able to change our provider.

I just got off the phone with my Endocrinologist’s office and I have an appointment for next month set and I need lab work done so I’m glad the ball is moving on this because I can feel my diabetes is not getting better and I think it’s time to take that other insulin. It’s the only way I think.

I’ve managed to lose a little weight but it’s not enough and that’s so frustrating! I’m still eating less rice than before but I guess everything else still affects my blood sugar and that’s also VERY FRUSTRATING!!! I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t been able to do a regular exercise regime or anything.

On an upside, last week a marketing copywriter for an app reached out to me and requested if they could do a guest post on the blog. That’s so exciting! So this Friday I will post my very first guest post! I am totally open to guest posts and I don’t mind if they promote themselves because I want to help everyone in the diabetes world. There’s not enough helpful information out there and I think more information should be available.

The guest post is about a diabetes app and I just downloaded it today. I plan to post a review about it next week so I have a whole week to check it out. It seems really cool so far and I can’t wait for you folks to get your hands on it too!

Other than that, I’m struggling to get my life and diabetes under control, but I’m still living life to the fullest!

Blood Sugar and Mental Health

You may have noticed when your blood sugar is too high or too low, your mood suddenly shifts. I know I certainly have. What I didn’t know was what is the link between blood sugar and mood or mental health.

The usual symptoms of low blood sugar are:

  • confusion
  • agression and irritability
  • difficulties concentrating
  • hunger
  • difficulty with coordination and decision-making
  • personality or behavior changes

Some symptoms for high blood sugar are:

  • difficulty thinking clearly and quickly
  • feeling nervous
  • feeling tired/low energy

Fluctuations in your blood glucose can result in rapid mood changes. Low blood glucose readings can cause you to be slightly euphoric. The body compounds this pleasant sensation by releasing adrenaline in an attempt to convert any available glycogen in the liver back into glucose to boost levels in the bloodstream.

There have been some links between diabetes and mental health issues. Scientists have identified a mental health condition in diabetics called diabetes distress. It shares some elements with depression, anxiety, and stress. Most diabetics don’t show severe enough signs to be diagnosed as either depressed, anxious, or stressed but these symptoms can still affect our quality of life.

Did you know that 30 to 40 percent of diabetics are diagnosed with anxiety? Did you know 1 in 4 diabetics have depression and that women are more prone to depression than men? 

If you don’t believe the science, believe the experience. I have been going through anxiety, stress and depression related to my diabetes. How does it manifest? I’m stressed and frustrated that my blood sugar still isn’t within range. It’s more consistently out of range than within range. Because of my high numbers I’ve been getting depressed and overwhelmed that I may never get my diabetes under control. The price of my medications has given me anxiety that I may not be able to afford my insulin and diabetes pills and I have a fear of getting in trouble with a low blood sugar incident in public.

All of these things pile up on my mind and overwhelm me every day, but I’m trying to push forward every day. One day at a time, one hour, and one minute every day at a time.

You may also be feeling these things too. Stressed and powerless when trying to control your condition. Believing you’re not doing a good enough job managing your diabetes.

Maybe you’re anxious about going too high or too low and not being able to recognize when you go low causing a social embarrassment or danger while driving or sleeping. Maybe your rigorous insulin regimen and constant glucose checks could interfere with social interaction or employment.

Please remember, managing your mental health is just as important to your overall health as your diabetes treatment plan.

SOME TIPS FOR COPING

  1. Follow your diabetes treatment plan. Especially when it feels overwhelming, keep taking your medications, keep exercising and eating healthy.
  2. Check your blood sugar regularly. Especially when you feel a mood change, then you can see what causes your irritability and you can correct your sugar level accordingly.
  3. Automate your plan. If your trouble is not taking your medication on time (this could cause insulin distress), setup an alarm for your medication.
  4. Plan your meals. Plan out your meals ahead of time, by the ingredients you need when you need them, prep your ingredients ahead of time, and always have a set meal schedule. Eat healthy and regularly to keep your sugars in check.
  5. Seek out help. This is so important. There are so many resources out there for you to utilize. Go to your doctor, find a diabetes educator, go to a diabetes management class, seek out a therapist, keep a strong support network. If you feel like you have no one to talk to that understands you, you can try reaching out to me.

You are not alone in your diabetic journey. You always have someone to talk to. Take care of yourselves today. Remember to love yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself today. Safe journey and blessed be.

Metformin in Management

Information

These are what my metformin pills look like at 1000mg.

Metformin is one of the safer, effective and inexpensive drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes. It is an oral medication that helps to control blood glucose. It comes in multiple forms such as a pill, extended release tablet, and liquid. Usually you’re advised to take it with a meal.

Of course metformin doesn’t work on its own, you have to commit to a lifestyle change. A healthier diet and more exercise will help the user lose weight and lower blood sugar levels. These changes could possibly hold off diabetes in prediabetics for up to 15 years.

Metformin reduces appetite, affects how the body stores fat, and lowers resistance to insulin making your body use your own insulin more efficiently. It can also reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 30-40%.

Side Effects

Usage of metformin can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency that could lead to anemia, neuropathy, memory loss, and fatigue.

If you need a CT, MRI, or angiogram that requires the contrast dye you may need to temporarily stop taking your metformin. The contrast dye can cause minor, short term changes to kidney function.

Metformin should not be used if you have severe kidney disease, metabolic acidosis, or diabetic ketoacidosis. Also metformin shouldn’t be used with alcohol.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body can’t create enough insulin to control the blood glucose levels which leads to gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes require insulin injections to help control the blood glucose levels. In women with Type 2 diabetes, that gap grows exponentially with pregnancy. The body is in need of more insulin than can be provided with injections. Studies are being performed to see the long term effects of metformin during pregnancy to see if metformin can be used in tandem with injections during pregnancy to safely keep blood glucose levels in check and see if there are any affects on the baby.


When taking metformin, you’ll see greater results if you also change to have a healthier diet and more active lifestyle. You could potentially hold off full blown diabetes with this medication if you have prediabetes. Watch your health while taking this medication, look out for any side effects and let your doctor know about them as they happen.


Related Content

What is Blood Sugar and A1C?
How to Support Your Diabetic Loved Ones


References

Drugs.com
Diabetes Self-Management, May/June 2019, p. 30-31.


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