Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diabetes + Steroids = A Huge Challenge

In my last post about prednisone and its side effects, I mentioned how it wreaks havoc on my blood sugar. Controlling my glucose levels is critical, not just for the obvious reason that diabetes is very damaging to the body but also because I'm still battling metabolic syndrome.

I've discovered a great tool to help me track what I eat and blood sugar levels/insulin use: www.livestrong.com. The nutritionist at my endocrinologist's office gave me daily goals for calories, fat, carbs, fiber and protein, and when I record my food consumption on "My Plate" on the site, it provides a detailed breakdown of these components and more. Using the basic "My Plate" tool is free and for an affordable annual fee, you can get even more services. The website offers much more information related to health, diet, exercise, you name it.

One of the biggest eye-openers for me in this process has been discovering the benefit of fiber in my diet. Before I began taking steroids, I had noticed a significant correlation between fiber consumption and blood sugar levels. Fiber helps control blood sugar levels and much more: An aritcle in the August 2010 National Institutes of Health newsletter offers detailed information about the advantages of eating more fiber.

Photo by Rob Owen-Wahl

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