Managing blood glucose levels
It is important to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal range as possible.
One of the reasons to do this is to help you feel your best and give you more energy. Aiming for ‘normal’ blood glucose levels will also help prevent or delay the development of the long-term health complications associated with type 1 diabetes. To keep your blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible you need to do the job of your pancreas. This means injecting or pumping insulin several times a day and regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels.
The good news about blood glucose
Research shows that people who check their blood glucose levels regularly and adjust their insulin, diet, and exercise to achieve better readings reduce their risk of developing damage to those organs vulnerable to complications.
Constant high blood glucose is bad for your body. Cells in your brain, nerves, eyes, kidneys and blood vessels readily absorb glucose when insulin isn’t present — these organs in particular are vulnerable to complications.
low carbohydrate eating
Low-carbohydrate diets can be very beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help to largely eliminate the spikes and crashes in sugar levels that are common on higher carb diets. Whilst low-carb diets may not be for everyone, those that maintain the diet tend to achieve very good blood glucose control and enjoy a renewed sense of confidence and well-being.
How low-carb diets improve control
A pioneer in the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets for type 1 diabetes is engineer-turned-physician Dr. Richard K. Bernstein.
Low-carb diets can also help people that are overweight to lose weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Bernstein’s approach is based around his ‘law of small numbers’ which states that that smaller doses of insulin will result in smaller errors of judgment and therefore improved blood glucose control.
To illustrate his approach, if you inject 10 units of insulin to cover your lunch but make up to a 25% error, you could end up injecting up to 2.5 units too many or too few which could lead to much too high or low blood sugar levels.
By contrast an injection of 4 units of insulin with the same error would result in on over- or under-dose of up to 1 unit.
In this case, any error won’t be as problematic or dangerous as it would be for the 10-unit dose.
• Prevents sharp spikes in blood glucose after meals
• Reduces risk of severe hypos
• Can make diabetes easier to manage
• Can help reduce HbA1c levels
• Can help reduce body weight
• May help prevent diabetes complications
Other benefits can include
• Reduction in tiredness through the day
• Less hunger between meals
• Improvement in clarity of thought
• Can help skin complexion