5 Tips For Diabetics Who Are Sick of Low Blood Sugars – Seeing The Trees For The Forest

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Here’s what I’ve noticed about my lifestyle as a Type 1 Diabetic as it pertains to consistent low blood sugars. The below are simply tips based on my own experience.  These are not necessarily universally applicable:

  1. My blood sugar goes low when I eat junk food. – I always end up over compensating for my junk food habit too much with extra bolus insulin.  I end up overshooting and my glucose levels crash into the bottom of the ocean. Therefore, junk food is bad. Period.
  2. When I ride my bike, all is well. – True story. When I ride at least every other day I am very consistent in my glucose levels and have much better days.  This is a result of actually taking less insulin and controlling things more naturally.
  3. Take extra supplies everywhere. – I live in the south, as in Alabama. We never get “good” snow that is fun, but not threatening to our way of life. However, we received a snow storm a couple of weeks ago that amounted to total infrastructure meltdown.  I was stuck in Atlanta at a friends house for three days. I almost ran out of OmniPods. I was really scared.  Always take 3 times the amount of supplies you think you will need on a trip.
  4. I wear my CGM(Dexcom G4) all the time. It has become a major player in my life. It saves me from a lot of stressful and awkward situations. I can say it has saved my life. This is possibly my biggest tip….that is, to get one if you can, as soon as you can.
  5. Using my OmniPod Insulin Pump is probably my second biggest tip.  Having an intelligent machine that can be agile with lifestyle and literally deliver insulin however and whenever I want is a game changer.  I cannot imagine life without it.

Anyone else out there with any similar tips from their lifestyle?

Essential Items For A Diabetic

You know that song, “All You Need Is Love”? Well, that’s garbage if you’re a diabetic.  The writer obviously wasn’t insulin dependent.  Nor have they woke up in the middle of the night to their CGM screaming at them or in a cold, drenched sweat because their glucose level was LOW.

Here’s a list of things you need on top of love(by they way, love is, of course, the most important….just for the record):

  1. Insulin – No brainer, I know…
  2. Insulin delivery system – Are you a pumper or a shot taker? Make sure you have your supplies
  3. Glucagon Emergency Kit – Have you SEEN The Panic Room with Jody Foster?Glucagon
  4. Emergency Snacks
  5. Water Bottle
  6. Extra Batteries for your Pump(if you use a pump)
  7. Extra supplies in case something malfunctions
  8. Emergency I.D. – I use a ROAD ID bracelet…it’s AWESOME!

What else? What am I leaving out? I know I’m leaving some pretty important stuff. What do you suggest?

Please comment and share with your peers too. Thanks!!

Diabetic Heresy – Chocolate Cake and Milk At 10PM

Diabetic Heresy – Chocolate Cake and Milk at 10PM

My gorgeous wife and I are celebrating our 10th Anniversary in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the BEAUTIFUL Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado. Santa Fe is charming with great food, art and history.

I particularly like celebrating with food…Lots of the wrong kind. If you’re a diabetic and you like to celebrate with food, that’s a challenge(worse than me trying to play tennis.). My insulin coverage has been like that of the Atlanta Falcons special teams…LOTS OF WORK LATELY. Check out my Dexcom CGM readings…all over the place.

Eating like a crazed lunatic.

Eating like a crazed lunatic.

I mean, last night at 10PM I had a massive piece of chocolate cake with a glass of milk. THAT’S CRAZY TALK IN DIABETIC WORLD. Crazy man. That’s asking for hyperglycemic terror. I basically disavowed having diabetes for five minutes and ate like I was a middle eastern oil sheik.  I, of course, increased my basal dosage for the rest of the evening with a health bolus too.  Again, Dexcom keeps me safe at night…

When we landed in Albuquerque, we were starving. I had a more tamed approach to food at that point. I hadn’t yet lost all will power. Santa Fe is about an hour outside, so we decided to check Trip Advisor for a quick lunch stop. We found The Grove Cafe and Market instantly and ducked off the interstate like a Nascar driver. I had a salad and split some unreal sweat potato and peanut soup with my bride.

The Grove Cage and Market in Albuquerque...I had a salad and split some unreal sweat potato and peanut soup with my bride.

The Grove Cafe and Market in Albuquerque…I had a salad and split some unreal sweat potato and peanut soup with my bride.

Then we arrived at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado…what a little piece of Heaven. They have a great restaurant, Terra, that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate there today for breakfast. Later we plan on renting bikes and touring Santa Fe. I’m trying to mix in as much physical activity as possible without it feeling like training camp. Maybe I can keep a modest hold on my blood sugar levels by staying active. However, I do intend to EAT well while here. You don’t get a ton of opportunities like this. I’m pulling out every diabetic trick in the book in an effort to maximize this experience without struggling through lows and highs. I’m hoping I don’t induce a diabetic waterboarding experience in my mischief…

Four Seasons Rancho Encantado

Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Lobby Entrance

Little Art/Retail Gallery

Little Art/Retail Gallery

Eggs Benedict with Lump Crab

Eggs Benedict with Lump Crab

Egg and Sausage Omelette with Avacado

Egg and Sausage Omelette with Avacado

Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado

Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado

Beautiful Fireplace and Wine Selection in Terra Restaurant

Beautiful Fireplace and Wine Selection in Terra Restaurant

Cure For Type 1 Diabetes? Vaccine developing…

Cure For Type 1 Diabetes? Vaccine developing…

Sorry for two medical posts in a row folks, but this one kind of hit home. It appears that five strands of virus have been identified, one being the most likely villain, that causes Type 1 Diabetes. They are now at the human test phase, but wow, what would it be like if they had a vaccine that got rid of the enterovirus that shuts down the pancreas(basically)? Go Finland…read the article here.

Possible cure that kills enterovirus in pancreas.

Possible cure that kills enterovirus in pancreas.

Saturday Morning Ride – Wet and Chilly – Great Glucose

I rode solo this morning on what started out as a beautiful overcast fall day(coolest day yet)…then it started raining just when I was past the point of no return. So, I decided to tough it out and ride off the breakfast I had eaten without taking a bolus of insulin. Had I not, I would have been facing a severe hyperglycemic dilemma.  Still, I managed to set a couple PR’s while riding a route I’ve only rode twice before. The one particular challenge from today that I’m proud of is climbing a steep hill off of Cherokee Road that always looks down on me in arrogance each time I ride by. Today as I past it by once again, in fear and trembling, something came over me and I yanked myself left onto the foot of the climb. Once I had committed, there was no turning back.  I had to come out of the saddle once to push my way through the top half of the hill. It wasn’t too long, but it was deceptively steep.  Below are my stats and some pics from the ride. Enjoy.

Strava Stats

Not a long day, but a good hard burn.

Monster Hill

I tackled this hill today. Hurt so good.

From the top

From the top

Beautiful Mountain Brook Road

Beautiful Mountain Brook Road

Dexcom G4 Reading

I like to start out my rides a little above 200 with no bolus. Gradually increasing intensity sustains the blood glucose levels and provides a solid workout.

OmniPod Central Command

OmniPod Central Command

This is where it all happens for this Type 1 Diabetic. Central command for all things insulin, carb counting and blood glucose testing.

Although, I’ve been having some difficulties with the generation pods. Since August, I’ve had 9 pods go on the fritz while either wearing them or preparing them for use. Insulet, the maker of OmniPod, has been gracious and replaced all of them. The problem is that each time one stops functioning, it wastes insulin that is in the pods internal resevoir(I use Apidra insulin and love it). So, the burden falls to managing prescription refills and health insurance protocols…headache city.

Nonetheless, the tubeless insulin pump therapy that OmniPod offers is astounding. Lots of freedom. Better control than I’ve ever had over my blood sugar levels(A1C) and with little hassle while wearing them.

I strongly suggest insulin pump therapy if you are a diabetic and are still using injections. Ask your doctor about it. Life changer. There are lots of great pumps out there. I simply love my OmniPod.

New generation OmniPod is smaller and carries same amount of insulin.

New generation OmniPod is smaller and carries same amount of insulin.

Sunday Morning Ride – Great Blood Sugar and Great Route

My buddy Beej and I took a beautiful stroll around Mountain Brook, AL this morning burning a little over 1,000 calories. Blood glucose started out at about 135 after a trusty peanut butter and honey sandwich along with one of my favorite snacks, a Think Thin chocolate fudge bar(200 calories, gluten free). Glucose never rose above 200 and never went below 100. I didn’t bolus until AFTER the ride, and I took 5 units. All in all, I’d say today was one of the few days where I “nailed” it in terms of riding with Type 1 Diabetes. 

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