Q: I was diagnosed with diabetes two years ago. My doctor prescribed glipizide (brand names Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL) but did not tell me what I should eat. If I have a bowl of oatmeal or rice and beans, my blood glucose shoots up into the 300s. If I have cucumbers and eggs, it still goes up, but only to the 200s. Would you be able to educate me on this, please?
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A: As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Almost everything we eat can cause blood glucose to rise. The response depends mainly on the carbohydrate content of the food. The more carbs, the greater the impact on blood glucose. Oatmeal, rice and beans are much higher in carbs than cucumbers and eggs. Everyone’s tolerance for carbs is different, so it might be best to meet with a registered dietitian (preferably one who is also a certified diabetes care and education specialist) for some assistance with your meal planning.
Given how high your blood glucose levels have been even after eating a low-carb meal, it is possible that the medication you are taking is no longer working sufficiently for you. Glipizide tends to become less effective over time. There are many types of diabetes medications that work differently — some even help with weight loss. When you contact your physician for a referral to a registered dietitian, it might also be time for a re-evaluation of your diabetes medication.
Want to learn more about managing after-meal blood sugar levels? Read “Strike the Spike II,” “Dealing With After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? Don’t Skip Breakfast,” “Managing Your Blood Glucose Ups and Downs” and “How to Lower Blood Sugar? Take a 10-Minute Walk After Meals, Study Says.”