TEN STEPS TO BETTER SUGAR CONTROL
- Be aware that sugar intake and blood sugar levels are important, but that minor, short fluctuations are unlikely to have a longer term impact.
- Check your sugar status: Is your fasting blood sugar level normal? Does anyone in the family have sugar diabetes? Was there ever a time when your blood sugar went out of range?
- Are you overweight? There is some linkage between obesity and the likelihood of developing myeloma in the first place. In addition there is a higher tendency for acquired secondary type II diabetes especially with steroid use.
- Are you taking dexamethasone or prednisone (both steroids) as part of your anti-myeloma therapy? If yes, discuss with your MD plans to track your blood sugar over time.
- If your blood sugar becomes elevated, review your options carefully:
- Steroids can be decreased or stopped, if feasible, without having a negative impact on treatment response.
- Conversely, a drug such as metformin can be used to control blood sugar, and continue the needed dose of steroids.
- If you were overweight and/or you have gained weight during therapy, look closely at your diet. Getting the myeloma under control is always the top priority, but weight control will make you healthier across the board. Be especailly aware of sweet soft drinks which contain fructose and other chemicals such as glutamate.
- Don’t go overboard! Try the best you can. Be aware that an occasional indulgence is okay. It is the longer-term pattern that counts – chronic glucose intolerance – sugar and insulin levels that are out of sync.
- Figure out which doctor is going to help you with these issues. Sometimes the hem/onc will help. Other times you will need to seek out an internist or dietary specialist.
- Talk to other patients to find out what works and what doesn’t work. Get the support you need to make changes.
- As always, be in touch with the IMF!
- Call the Hotline
- Go to the website
- Use IMF publications to guide you
International Myeloma Foundation