Back to Basics

I believe that fundamental to stable type 1 diabetes management is controlling the primary elements; blood sugar levels, insulin and carbohydrates. When things aren’t working for me I like to “go back to basics” and try to breakdown each element which then allows me to remove outside variables and get things set again.

As an engineer I like spreadsheets and this is my go to format for this back to basics approach. I will start with a daily diary in which I record all activities; BSLs, insulin doses and food, and include comments on each element to note when/why things happen. A key to the success of this approach is blood testing and I will test around 20 times per day or use a continuous glucose month to track my BSLs.

Daily diary with BSL, insulin, activities and food/drink recorded

Daily diary with BSL, insulin, activities and food/drink recorded

When you really start looking at how each day tracks it is easy to see patterns and identify where you can make changes to lower or raise and stabilise BSLs through insulin doses and meal timing. I would usually expect the process to take one to two weeks with the diary being kept for the duration including noting the changes which are made.

It is important when making changes to only change a single element (basal rate, bolus dose, training time, amount of food, etc). This way you will know if you have a positive or negative response to any one change.

Through consistency, patience and keeping to a daily plan I am able to pull things back in to line quickly and get on with the things I enjoy most without worrying about diabetes issues.

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