How I told my pancreas who’s boss

Weeks ago I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I had accomplished what I thought was impossible. In just 3 months I brought my already decent A1C down an entire percentage point to 5.8! This beats my previous record of 6.2 which was my first A1C on the pump.

A few people asked me how I was able to do this. The major component to my new found glycemic perfection was my new CGM. I have been able to see how all kinds of things affect my blood sugar, especially foods. I had no idea what some things (like pizza) were doing to my blood sugar! I was honestly shocked and appalled that I was letting my post prandial blood sugars spike up so high. And I didn’t even know it was happening! To fix this problem I’ve actually cut out a few things. Or modified them at least. For example, I have always loved bagels! But now that I am able to watch my blood sugar spike up after one I’m not really a fan. However, I have discovered a great alternative. Whole wheat bagels! They are packed with fiber which is great for the heart and the blood sugar. Instead of an intense spike, I slowly creep up a little and my blood sugar tops out at a much lower level. The same goes for bread and pasta. You will not find white bread in our house anymore!

I really think the other major reason why my A1C has improved so much is that I’m not as scared of lows, especially at bed time. Before getting my CGM I was constantly worried about going low and not waking up. If I had any hint that my blood sugar might drop even close to low, I would eat something. Now, I feel more comfortable going to bed with a lower blood sugar as long as I have a flat line. My CGM does a pretty good job of yelling at me until I wake up and test! All this being said, I was having some more frequent lows. For some reason right before dinnertime was the worst spot. And I was still having some lows overnight here and there. However, I’ve done some basal testing and fixed things up a bit. Most of those lows are gone and my blood sugar average is still in the range of a 5.8 A1C. Hurray!

I definitely cannot stress enough how useful this CGM has been for me!

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3 Responses to How I told my pancreas who’s boss

  1. chris says:

    Hi, Congratulations on fantastic improvement on an already impressive A1C.

    Sounds like you have really benefited from the CGM. What unit are you using? I am looking at the DEXcom, but i am a little concerned that the CGM doesnt actually test your current BG level. From what my endo said, it tests the interstitial fluid which lags behind what your actual bg level is.

    have you found that as well and if so, how were you able to overcome this obstacle?

    • cgstrauch says:

      Thanks Chris!

      I’m using the Minimed Real-Time System. I’ve been using Minimed pumps since I started pumping so it just seemed like the right fit for me.

      The CGM numbers definitely tend to be about 15 minutes behind. I don’t know if I’d really call it an obstacle though. I think the real advantage of CGMS in its current state is being able to see the trends, not necessarily the current numbers. I do use it for catching lows. I have my low alarm set at 80 so it will usually catch my lows when they’re in the 60s. I try to keep an eye on the graph too because a lot of times you can tell when you’re going to be low by how you’re trending downward. I know the Dexcom will alarm you if you’re trending up or down quickly. So you’ll definitely have an advantage there.

      I’m really looking forward to my next upgrade. I have 2 years left and CGMs are just getting better and better so there will hopefully be something even better out by then. 🙂

  2. chris says:

    Yah, I am with you there, hard to imagine what the technology will be like in a couple years..There are definitely some interesting developments in closed loop systems, and the JDRF funded study in New Zealand with the pig islets transplants.

    Thanks again for the helpful post, I am getting my trial dexcom on Thursday, excited about the info it will provide.

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