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Blood Sugar Realities: How Good Are Your Sugars?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Guillermo.Martin, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Guillermo.Martin

    Guillermo.Martin Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I'm relatively new to the forum, although I've been checking in on-and-off over the last years to check a handful of specific threads.

    I'm 23 years old and was diagnosed with T1 at the age of 4. Until around 13-14 years old, my sugars were managed well I'd say. As I moved into high school, I feel that I lost a bit of control over my sugars, especially when it comes to managing post-lunch highs. This has largely persisted in my teens and early adulthood, and now at the age of 23, I find that my days consist of several highs and lows (outside the range of 4-8).

    I'm recently seeing a huge boom in social media posts about diabetes positivity and people sharing their lives with diabetes. But, as is often the case with social media, I personally have spent the last few months comparing myself to the standards I see online, and this has led me to suffer from quite significant health anxiety (partly because I know I could do a better job with my sugars, and I fear the worse, especially with all the scary complications associated with diabetes). So, I want to know, how do people manage their sugars? Are your levels predictable on a daily basis? How many highs or lows do you have per day/week? How often does your sugar go above, say, 16?

    My sugars exceed 15 relatively regularly although this often comes down to injecting right before eating so my sugars spike a bit more than they should, and then drop as normal later on. This happens to me, especially in the mornings. My HBA1c for the last 5-6 years or so has consistently remained at around 6-6.5, despite these fluctuations.

    Any insights as to your definitions of sound blood sugar control would be hugely appreciated! Looking forward to hearing what people have to say :)
     
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  2. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @Guillermo.Martin I am sure you will get lots of support from Type 1s with lots of experience. It may be helpful to tell us which insulin you are on, if you use a pump or pen. And wether you carb count.
    I am six years in and now 60 years old so did not have to manage as a young person. From what I have read, hormones that arrive around this time understandably muck up control. It all comes at a time when you are moving towards independence and wanting to live a carefree existence. So do not look back with regret or frustration. You have done well. Social media can be both good and bad. What I will say is just because someone posts something we don’t necessarily know how close to the truth it is. Please do not measure yourself by others. Your HBA1C is good so you are doing well.
    In answer to your question no my levels are not predictable on a daily basis. Sometimes I miscalculate and have a high. Sometimes I go high with out rhyme or reason. Lows I find easier to work out why. Some weeks are better than others. If I have an issue I try and evaluate why and work to avoid it. However, I do not beat myself up. Every day is a new day I start again and do my best.
    I am sure others will come on to talk about pre bolusing and basal tests.
     
  3. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Also, read the Type 1’s stars R Us thread it shows the day today realities. Feel free to join in. All welcome.
     
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  4. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    50 years T1 here and that hba1c is awesome. The only time I have achieved those figures is during pregnancy, when they were accompanied by loss of hypo awareness and some seriously scary hypos.

    I'm currently keeping my hba1c in the high 6s and am very happy with this, my main concern being the avoidance of hypos and hypers. But my definition of a hyper is above 12, though I'd prefer to keep below 10.

    My consultant assured me last year that I wouldn't go blind, lose a limb or have kidney issues. Maybe (or maybe not) my body is exceptionally good at coping with higher than normal blood sugars.

    In the past, where my hba1c was considerably higher, I've used my eye specialist as a barometer of diabetic control. Whenever she winged that my background retinopathy was getting worse I'd tighten up my levels. Still no need for laser treatment or whatever other torture they've invented in the name of preserving T1s' eyesight.

    I try to ignore the perfect diabetics who have control I could never dream of (OK, I'm jealous :)). Mine is good enough for me and as yet my body can cope with it. I aim for "under 10" and I achieve it apart from 10 and 20% of my readings (not the same as time, as I don't use a cgm).

    I'm happy with my current levels and I don't stress that they are higher than a non diabetic. They work for me.

    And my levels as a teenager were atrocious. I don't know how bad they were as it was pre glucometer, but I regularly became extremely thirsty and my hba1c when given my first glucometer was over 10.

    Above 16? Once or twice a week, if I'm doing really really well. But I'm happier with the control I've had in the last few years than I have been in previous ones .....

    Some people have perfect lives and perfect diabetes. Good for them. The rest of us get on with it and have OK lives and OK diabetes. Good for us.
     
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  5. Mad76

    Mad76 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been diagnosed less than a year, I also look at post s here and on social media and feel a bit down about my control, or lack of it.
    I aim to stay under 10, achieve it around 60 percent of the time according to my cgm.
    But I'm working on trying to improve this ...
     
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  6. karen8967

    karen8967 Type 1 · Expert

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    ive been diabetic for nearly 3 years now my consultant told me to stay within the 4.5/10 range which i achieve about 75%of the time i try not to get hung up on the numbers as long as i feel ok and have no related problems ,no matter how hard we try this condition is so unpredictable and i dont believe anyone is constantly in range 100% of the time ;)
     
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  7. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Have you looked into Fiasp insulin? For me, on NovoRapid, I had to inject 30 to 50 minutes before eating to minimise the spikes, now on Fiasp and I can simply inject and eat. That keeps me mostly in range, combined with choosing lower carb options for most meals, especially in the mornings.
     
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  8. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Antje77 I too was moved to Fiasp but still have to pre bolus up to half an hour before 2pm. After that about 10 mins. Also low carb.
     
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  9. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Thing is, (hi, btw!) that we all manage our diabetes differently - so combined with how different our bodies are, there’s very little point in comparing. Your numbers are good :) Time in Range is a better indicator of how you’re doing rather than HbA1c alone, as that’s just an average. Used together, you get a much better picture of where things could be looked at.

    FWIW, I manage my 22yo D-monster with a self-built artificial pancreas system, using the pump and CGM (Omnipod & Dexcom G6) prescribed by the NHS - I’ve just added a couple of bits and tweaked them to make them talk to each other. Combined with a very low carb, mostly vegan diet (I occasionally have a bit of fish, a little sheep/goat cheese and some duck eggs), I manage to maintain non-diabetic BG levels. Most people would find my food choices far too restrictive, but it really works for me. I did a fair bit of damage to my nerves and eyes in the last 20 years of not managing very well at all, but in the last two have healed all the complications I’d developed - so it’s worth it for me.
     
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  10. hyponilla

    hyponilla Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading Jordan Peterson's 12 rules for life atm and rule 4 states: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. It's the best starting point for progress.

    Social media is toxic and people tend to cherry pick their best experiences. It's easy to be under the impression that everyone else is fabulous. In the same way I'm not going to post pictures from that time I was throwing up in the toilet with a hangover while crying my eyes out because Mr Right left me (again), I'm not going to post my blood glucose disasters. Especially not if I'm writing a blog advocating my way of eating as the solution to all your problems, which a lot of these people do. Take it with a pinch of salt.

    I eat very low carb, so my numbers are usually good, but I hit the occasional 10 from stuffing myself with cheese and not taking enough insulin. When I first started dosing for protein I thought it was the magic bullet and I would never again go above 6.5. It wasn't quite as clear cut as that.
     
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  11. Guillermo.Martin

    Guillermo.Martin Type 1 · Newbie

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    So, just want to say thanks to everyone for the feedback, it's definitely encouraging to hear that most people agree that social media can change your perceptions of 'good' blood sugar control, and its made me a little more optimistic about my own levels. That being said no matter what I guess part of diabetes is always doing what you can to improve your sugars regardless of where you are at the moment, so I'm going to start trialling more low-carb and see what happens.

    I asked my doctor to see if I could trial Fiasp to replace my Novorapid pre-meal injections, just to give it a shot (note: I don't use a CGM or pump, and have been pen injecting Novorapid pre-meal for the last 12 or so years). It's been a week, and honestly, the difference has been staggering. I don't eat low-carb, so maybe this is where I get the most benefit with Fiasp. I used to inject Novorapid some 15 minutes before my meals, and would often find my sugars sky-rocketing after an hour or so, only to drop 2-3 hours after. The only way I could counter this would be to inject closer to 30-40 minutes, although I didn't enjoy the anxiety of injecting that far in advance and I couldn't help but worry that my sugar was plummeting while I was waiting to eat. I'm now injecting Fiasp 5 minutes before eating (just under 1:1 ratio), and my sugars don't go above 9/10 over the span of 3-4 hours, even when eating high-carb. Thanks, @Antje77 for suggesting this as I had no idea about this insulin and so far its done absolute wonders!! :)

    I think this combined with moving to CGM or at least something like the Abbott Freestyle Libre could further help my BS control. I did try the Abbott sensors for 2 weeks but I found that the sugars were very inaccurate (i.e. machine would say LO when my normal BG monitor would read <5.0, and would read HI once I reached 14-15). Not sure if anyone has experience with that?

    Hope everyone is staying safe and taking care what with everything going on at the moment!
     
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  12. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    What a nice message, hearing Fiasp works so well for you!
     
  13. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    your Hb is decent enough......and spiking for short periods isn't such a big deal......and it sounds like you do know how to improve those spikes if you really wanted to......

    So I think overall you're doing great......

    try not to buy in to the whole social media scene......it can be so damaging across so many different topics if you give it too much attention.....
     
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