What seems to be working for me

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Hi,

Starting at 90.4Kg and very poorly. HbA1c 130. Diagnosis type 1 (later retracted), complete confusion and panic, i found this web site and the forums. Such a lot of useful information. Such a lot of people confused too.

I learned very early on that diabetes is all about carbohydrates, and so I decided, quite reasonably, to reduce my carb intake. But what was it and reduce to what? I had to write an App so I could 'see' what I was eating. With the carb data visible for every food and every meal, control of carbs became possible. I could have downloaded an App or found a useful web site but I figured that I would engage with my diabetic treatment better if I engrossed myself in App writing.

I decided to that I needed to reduce my weight, so included calories in the App and I decided to split my meals from 3 larger meals up to 7 smaller meals each day to reduce hunger pangs.I am sure I read somewhere that we are supposed to eat more small meals and less larger ones. I can see the sense in that as it being less stress on the bodys endocrine and digestive systems.

Then I included protein into the mix as I was concerned about my daily meals being balanced nuitrition.

The App rules my life (ok , guides my l8fe). I can organise and plan my days meals and see the cals, carb, protein content. Together with the guidelines on quantities for the three aspects from here and elsewhere, I found it possible to balance the different things reasonably well.

Does it take all day to arrange and plan the days meals? Nope, just a few minutes. So, if you can use an online App and have your own nutrition guides, then it may help you.

I suspect that some may become discouraged if they have to write everything down or don't know what they are aiming for. That is where an online App and this web site might really help.

I summise that some of you use Excel and that is what I use, but many may not be able to use it, so, again, an online App (or website) can really help. I know that if I had to write everything down every day, I just would not bother, or I might make many mistakes. And I certainly could not rearrange the days meals as I might want to do.

I don't suggest that everyone rush out and master programming in Excel, but finding a way, any way that makes the food you eat very visible in terms of calories, carbohydrates, proteins is important.

I am a bit of a cheat in that I was diagnosed as a type 1 but then that was rescinded, and I may not be diabetic at all, but the jury is out on that one. But the point is, taking personal control of diet is essential and to do that you need visibilty of what is planned to eat.

Coming out of hospital with insulin to inject and no information on diet was a guaranteed on-going disaster. My ensuing panic ensured that I tried to work out what to do in very short order.

Information is your best friend.

And whilst I am on a roll, none of the diet information would really have helped me if I had not tested my blood glucose several times a day, every day too. I could then see if what I was doing was making things better or worse. If you do not test your blood glucose levels then I recommend that you do. Its more useful, no, essential information. Can't get a tester on the NHS? Go out and buy one (one where the test strips are not too expensive). One thing I have found is that using 33G lancets reduces the pain of drawing blood considerably.

I started in panic. Right now I feel really well. HbA1c 46 after 2 months. So something is working.

No idea if any of the above is of any use to anyone, but you never know...

I have attached a graph of the data that I have been able to gather. The blood glucose part is very interesting to me as it shows complete chaos at the start throughout November before my App started to work, but once I started using it, the BG levels settled well. Later, in the chart it shows where I started to really try to get the three main aspects to their own targets. The effect of this is a bit to early to tell except that it has not created anything bad.
 

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Veenorthants

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Well done, I wish I was clever enough to write an app. I do start an excel spreadsheet but ended up with a traditional pad and pen that I keep on me at all times
 

Vonny

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Impressive result after 2 months! I agree that monitoring is essential if you really want to get a grip on what you can eat. It's great that you've been motivated enough to write an app! I just rely on my trusty pad and pen like @Veenorthants. It's nearly full now, but I have several months worth of data in it, and have reached my target weight so I'll just leave a couple of pages free for as yet un-monitored food.

Keep up the excellent work :D
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
I don't have the patience to write stuff down all the time and my hand writing is appauling.

But the worst bit about pen and paper is the inability to juggle and adjust things easily. The App is specially useful if something unexpected turns up too.

Designing and writing (and testing) the App kept me very focussed and at times, very challenged. Which in turn has helped in treating my illness. It also forced me to 'research' things which helped me learn about my condition.

The only real problem with Excel is that it does have a few quirks and different versions operate differently. What that means is that what I write using my version of Excel then it may not work on someone elses computer with a different version of excel. There are ways of checking and adjusting for this, but as I only use my Apps on my computer, I haven't botherec.

Writing the App is only one half of it though, I also have to have the discipline to keep using it. One missed data point wrecks things. I hate graphs with gaps. And Of course I stick to what I have entered (otherwise its a bit pointless). It sounds very inflexible but it is not. I can and do adjust things regularly....and then stick to it :)

Me being me, I just couldn't cope without it or something like it. But, as always, it comes down to 'what works for you is best for you'.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@Gwynn, by app, do you mean you have put together an excel file to record and analyse your data? If so many on here do that. I started that way finished up putting together an access database to do the job.

Mind you, I still keep my notebook and trusty Mont Blanc pen next door to my BG monitor to write everything down!
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Not quite. I WRITE VBA code to help me record, analyse and report on the data. It just makes my life easier (once it was working ok). Its about 4.5Mb of code and sheets. Its a sort of hobby (sad, sad, sad). :-(
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Hmm access would be a lot better, but I haven't dabbled in the specific VBA for that, and yes, each MS Office program has its own syntax, embelishments and restrictions in VBA.

The Excel App works ok. I suspect that an Access App to do the same job might work better as we are really dealing with databases.

There are some clever people on here that is for sure. I just never bothered with Access and once I had started down the road of using Excel for this particular App, I just kept going.
 

helli

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
has helped in treating my illness. It also forced me to 'research' things which helped me learn about my condition.
These couple of sentences interested me (sorry if I am over-analysing) because you refer to diabetes as your "illness" and your "condition".
I wondered how others describe it.

I just describe it as a "condition". Maybe when my blood sugars go hey-wire they make me feel ill. I have also seen it described as a "disease" and I guess Type 1 is a "chronic disease" but that sounds too harsh to me and I don't want to be a sick poorly person. Using the right language is important to helping with my mental well-being but maybe I am a bit obsessive about it.

Your Excel app sounds cool and a great way to motivate yourself.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Out of interest, what things do you report on? I have;

1. A graph of BG vs time since I started together with overall means and std deviations

2. Graphs of waking and bedtime BG's again with overall means and std deviations.

3. Graphs of BG over the last 30 days and 60 days, again with overall means and std deviations

4. A graph of average BG vs time of day with an upper 95% confidence bound.

The good thing about using Access or any other database is when it comes to data entry, just a couple of boxes (time of day and blood glucose reading) to enter and then clicking on a few buttons to get the reports. The downsides are that you have got to have a good idea of what you want out before you start and you have to learn the operators and syntax for whatever database you are using. Spreadsheets are much better for experimenting with.

Well you gotta find something to do. My brother, who is rather good at this sort of stuff, describes it as adult sudoko.
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Interesting, Helli. The language used IS important (I think). Disease seems a bit harsh and a bit off the mark. I feel that diabetes is a 'condition', and perhaps 'illness' is a step too far too.

As you say Docb, I have to find something to do, and fighting Excel has whiled away many dull hours.
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Hmm a couple of boxes... well, I record BG, weight, pulse, temperature, oxygen saturation, and BP, oh and calibration results....just a couple more than a few boxes.

In addition I have added all my meds and a timeline so as not to forget when to take them or that I have taken them.

The fun part is creating the month report directly to Word, along with summaries, lists and graphs. A report usually takes about 25 seconds to create. It is so satisfying to click a button and out pops a fully fledged report.

The hard part is bug fixing. Thankfully I am very consistent with naming things and structure, so finding and fixing bugs is ok.

Soduku? I think its a bit more like 'Twister' (if I am thinking of the right game)
 

NotWorriedAtAll

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I decided to that I needed to reduce my weight, so included calories in the App and I decided to split my meals from 3 larger meals up to 7 smaller meals each day to reduce hunger pangs.I am sure I read somewhere that we are supposed to eat more small meals and less larger ones. I can see the sense in that as it being less stress on the bodys endocrine and digestive systems.
I read that somewhere once too.
Then I researched thoroughly and discovered it is actually worse for the body because the liver is constantly 'on duty' and it is better to eat three meals a day if you can manage it or even better just one meal a day - however that is without diabetes because potentially eating once a day may cause too much of a lurch with blood sugars dropping - so three sensible meals a day is better. Especially very low carb/keto meals which is what I do and maybe with a small snackerel here and there. The body lives with circadian rhythms and that is how it prefers things and the physiological systems all have their cycles and so introducing something like a constant-ish feeding cycle is not good for it as it defeats the cyclical nature of the 'active' and 'rest' periods that the systems tend to work best.

The best for the liver and endocrine system is three small meals a day rather than lots of them/three large meals.
 

Fagor

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Well done for recording your data AND then using it to improve your BS etc. It sounds impressive.

I have a spreadsheet with virtually every BS, QA units (base + correction) and LA units for last 15 years. Along with meds predictor and lots of other things, but pretty basic in comparison. It isn't world-beating but works for me. Originally Excel (available pre-retire) and now use OpenOffice so have never managed to write VBA code to access it. But I find it very easy to get so involved in working with the numbers I forget the original purpose.

@gwynn No hobby is a sad hobby if it keeps you motivated
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I can get by very simply, eating twice a day.
I can manage 40 gm of carbs a day, and have around 10 gm in the morning then don't eat for 12 hours - it frees up so much time. Life is just one long hobbying these days
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Notworriedatall: thank you. Very interesting, and I too will look into it further.

An interesting point there, liver switched on at a low level all the time or three more intense bursts of activity during the day. Which is better? Which strains the liver more? Just questions. I don't know the answer personally. Intuitively I feel many small meals sounds better, but, I also know that I could be very wrong too.

I will let you know what I find out.
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
Oh dear. Oh dear.

The NHS says that it is likely to be more beneficial to eat less but larger meals.

The American ADA suggests the opposite.

I suspect that it may come down to personal body type responses in the main.

So far, on 7 smaller meals a day, I have lost almost 20Kg and my BG is smack on the money. However, I may have been mis diagnosed! No matter, I needed to lose some weight anyway.

Its got me thinking though, which is good. I shall read some more.

Thanks
 

NotWorriedAtAll

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Oh dear. Oh dear.

The NHS says that it is likely to be more beneficial to eat less but larger meals.

The American ADA suggests the opposite.

I suspect that it may come down to personal body type responses in the main.

So far, on 7 smaller meals a day, I have lost almost 20Kg and my BG is smack on the money. However, I may have been mis diagnosed! No matter, I needed to lose some weight anyway.

Its got me thinking though, which is good. I shall read some more.

Thanks
I don't follow NHS or other large organisation recommendations - I find reputable scientific studies and well qualified academic expert practitioners who have made contributions to their field and who have significant data built over a good length of time. I have a bit of a background in science and studied medical sciences at university level so I am careful about getting my information from reputable sources. Sadly the NHS etc can be a bit behind the newest information and their advice is not always the best as they move slowly as huge organisations often do.
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
That makes it even more interesting and important. Thanks for the reply.
 

Gwynn

Well-Known Member
I mentioned the issues raised about multiple meals vs few meals to the Extensive Health Team nurse who visited yesterday. His response was that 'dismissing multiple meals was completely wrong' and that 'many, smaller meals is less stressful on the endocrine system and better for you in general'.

I find this quite normal in the NHS and in life too, ask 20 people what is best in some topic or other and you may get 20 different 'definitive' answers.

No wonder people are confused.

It inspires me, however, to learn more and try to eek out the truth (if there is one)
 
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