I've been posting about this on the 6-weekers thread but thought there might be others who would benefit from the information who aren't on that thread. (If you on on 6-weekers, some of this will be repetitive... bear with me).
The last two times I've had blood work done my A1c has been "borderline" at 5.7 or 5.8. I have a very strong family history of diabetes, so my health journey for years has had as a primary goal to manage my weight and other risk factors so I could avoid this disease. To that end, I asked my doctor if she thought self-monitoring my glucose levels would help me discover why my A1c remains borderline when I eat what I (and most people who know me) consider to be a healthy diet. So, armed with the basic information that my fasting glucose should be under 100, and my reading 2 hours after eating should be under 120, I got a meter and other supplies and started testing.
My basic testing for this month is once in the morning after getting up, and 2 hours after each meal, for a minimum of four times a day. After doing this for a few days I did some research online about glucose testing and learned that glucose levels generally peak an hour after eating, and that a reading at that time should be under 140. I've added this 1-hour test a few days, along with the 2-hour. A discussion on one website about when to test elicited the comment from the writer, "You will learn something every time you test, no matter when it is". So I've decided to test whenever I'm curious about it, being mindful that each test costs me 36 cents for the test strip, so I'm not going to get too crazy.
Another question in my mind was whether Hoe Downs really do cause one's blood sugar to drop. I've heard it here on the forums, and heard others say that it did for them, but would it work for me? I mentioned HDs to my doctor and she said it should work, as any exercise will lower your blood sugar. (She even had me show her what a HD was). So far I have experimented with this four times and each time my reading dropped. What I did was tested at my normal 2-hour mark, got up and did 2 HDs, then tested again immediately after doing the HDs. (I'm only trying this when my glucose reading is over 100, as I don't need it to drop if it's under 100).
So far my results are
121 to 111 (ten point drop)
109 to 103 (six point drop)
162 to 143 (19 point drop)
148 to 111 (37 point drop)
This isn't scientifically accurate, as there are margins of error for the meter itself, and I haven't tested twice in a row without doing HDs to see if the number would drop regardless of the HDs. But in spite of possible inaccuracies, over time I should be able to get a feel for how different foods and exercise affect my glucose levels and can then make adjustments to keep them more stable.
If anyone else has experimented with this, I'd love to hear your results and what you learned. I'm just two weeks into my own personal experiment and hope to continue at least another two weeks of daily testing. At that point I'll decide what I want to do. In three months I'll get more blood work done, hoping, of course, for an improvement. But if not, I'll have some data so the doctor and I can figure out what needs done.
And by the way, at the same time I started this experiment I joined up with Michelle's GM/MM thread and have made some adjustments in my eating habits in general. It just seemed to all come together to help me learn what my body needs. And maybe in the process I'll finally get rid of some of this stubborn, stubborn belly fat! (I hope, I hope. )