What are your thoughts on the recent insulin pricing changes in the USA? Let’s discuss and see what else needs to be done to safeguard the new insulin pricing. BUT – this is not about me sharing my opinion on this (that’s just effing ridiculous because I have no clue!) I want to hear from you – let’s discuss in the comments!
Throughout March 2023, both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk (and since I wrote this, also Sanofi!) have announced insulin pricing reductions of 70-78%. (just in case you’ve been living under neath the rock in the diabetes community lately!) These three players make up 90% of the insulin production in the world. They are really the ones that can make a difference for so many people, including people like you and me, and everyone that do rely on life supporting medications such as insulin.
These recent insulin pricing changes are a fantastic first step! It’s so needed in the community. (However, let’s look forward and see where we go from here (more on that further down))
At the same time, I am wondering why these insulin pricing changes are only happening now? There’s been pressure on these big companies from many different sides in the US and internationally, not least through a T1International with Elizabeth Pfiester at forefront of the barricades, so to speak, fighting for this to happen. This is definitely influenced and done by diabetes advocates, such as you and me, sharing our opinion and signing petitions and sharing content that ultimately put pressure on these companies. We have something to be proud of, even the ones of us who are not in the US! We are still cheering you on from the sidelines, so happy for this development. In my opinion, these decisions were really pressurised by advocates, along with the development of biosimilar insulin producers (smaller companies that are in the process, or already are, producing insulins that work very similarly to the ones protected by the big insulin producers).
Furthermore, why stop at insulin? Insulin is, of course, the one thing that we do need to live. Technically, we don’t necessarily need insulin pumps, CGM’s and stuff. But what about pricing of these enormously helpful tools and technology? I realise that there is a lot of profit to be made from living with this lifelong condition – I get it. But why not try to alleviate the burden of living with diabetes further and change the pricing structure on these, as well? Insulin, YES, a fantastic first step! But let’s keep going.
In the light of that since 2002, these insulin prices have tripled. In 21 years, the price has tripled. To me, the notion and opinion that insulin pricing legislation is needed in the US, only makes sense as a next step. I do believe that is something that we will see – hopefully pretty soon! Realistically, I think it might still take some time.
Another question that I’ve seen floating around is whether or not the discount cards for the different insulins will be removed or if they’re going to be kept? This is, and I guess remains closely linked to the status of health insurance in the US, which is a very complex, highly complex matter (especially in the eyes of a very, in comparison, privileged European resident.)
The recent insulin pricing change will definitely save lives. Every person with diabetes who is insulin dependent in the US, will see the effect of this and it will make sure that they do have a fairer access to their life saving medication. I do hope for the sake of these big companies that the new insulin pricing is not just a PR stunt, that it is actually real, and they will help to save lives.
On the other hand. one can’t deny that the high insulin pricing has cost a lot of lives, effort and energy. These pricing changes won’t bring back the people who have passed away due to rationing their medication. Who had to not get the insulin because of the costs, and instead had to prioritise other costs. No matter the actions made now, there are so many forever heartbroken parents, siblings and children who will never get that significant person in their life back. However, at least this can maybe prevent many more from going the same way.
While the insulin pricing point is lowered by 70-78%, respectively, we have to remember that the production price of a vial of insulin is $3-6. In the future, paying $50-60 for a vial of insulin is still (ridiculously) much profit for these companies. I’m certain we won’t see any bankrupts happening with these pricing changes! (At the same time, I have been wrong before, so let’s see what happens.)
I’m trying to share my picture here. But I am also very far away from the US. I live in Europe in a very privileged country when it comes to insulin pricing. While I both sympathise and am empathic with the insulin pricing there, I will never understand exactly how it is. I live in Europe, and in Switzerland more specifically. I am almost ashamed to say how cheap my insulin is! For a five week supply, the full list price is the equivalent of $40, of which I pay 10%. So I personally pay $4 for five weeks of insulin, very much thanks to the private health insurance system that we do have here. (It’s mandatory for everyone to have a private health insurance in Switzerland. Of course, you pay a lot but on the other hand, you do get a lot back in return.) Same in for example, our Scandinavian counterparts, where I originally am from, or the NHS in England, where they have an universal healthcare system, where all medications are for free. Canada and Mexico aren’t affected by similar insulin pricing to the US. I wanted to highlight that there are still huge differences, even with these pricing changes in terms of what and how we can access it.
So in conclusion (and I think we’re all ready for this now!), I am following this with a huge interest. I’m hoping, and my positive little mindset is telling me that this could be a potential start of a huge domino effect. To other diabetes tools and tech and into other condition areas that are affected by high priced medications, as well as into other countries and ensuring accessibility. I’m hoping this is the first step to that!
Also, I can feel in my pinky toe that there will be a US legislation about this quite soon. Senator Sanders & Co just launched another initiative. Let’s see what happens (as similar things have been shut down before). Nevertheless, we are we’re waiting and watching with excitement.
Everyone in Europe and beyond are cheering you on in the US, we are so so happy for this great success. Well done to all advocates and everyone who have helped make this happen.
But yeah, what are your opinions? What are your pluses and minuses? Good, bad, ugly, something in between? frustrations, happiness, tears of joy?
Disclaimer The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
What is it? What are the signs? How can you get out iof it?
Although the term “brittle diabetes” is wildly discussed and can come across as very negative and blaming, it’s a concept many people with diabetes (unfortunately) are familiar with. Perhaps you’ve been labeled “brittle” in your medical file, just lika I have in the past?
What can you do about it, then? Is it just to accept it and trry to live as peacefully as possible with it?
Brittle diabetes can very well be dealt with, and removed from your life, too. It all depends on what the cause if for you. A few common causes of brittle diabetes are medication troubles, stress (blood glucose killer number 1!) , eating disorder, gastrointestinal issues, gastroparesis or insulin sensitivity, to mention a few.
Once you know this, try to look at what lifestyle changes would apply to you – nutrition, medication, movement, mindset, stress management… are a few points to keep in mind.
Share your experiences with me! What’s your number one trick for brittle diabetes?
Disclaimer The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
I recently had a six week break from my insulin pump, and I’m not going to lie, going back to MDI (multiple daily injections) wasn’t as easy as I thought!
In this episode of #type1thursday, I share my reasons why, pros and cons of MDI, getting back in the pump, as well as my note-to-self for next time (hint: all of it exciting, none of it smooth…)
Share your experiences with me, about pump breaks, MDI vs pump or what you’re most comfortable with?
DISCLAIMER 1: I wasn’t sponsored by any one or any company for this, and paid for all of it myself (with the help of my health insurance, obvi) DISCLAIMER 2: This is just my own, personal experience. I can’t speak for anyone else, or their experiences. DISCLAIMER 3: The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website are provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
What brought this on was a very unfortunate ad by the police in Hamburg, Germany, where they appealed to people to call the police of they saw someone injecting themselves. With the headline “Insulin or Heroin?” Wow. Ouch! (see the image below!)
I share a few instances of my own experience with diabetes & discrimination, perhaps you can relate to some of them, too?
The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
Today’s question is from Taylor, and she asks: “how to prevent high blood sugars while working from home? And not only by increasing insulin?”
Tricky, tricky indeed! And welcome back to another episode of Type 1 Thursday!
Essentially, what’s at the root of this question is how to improve your insulin sensitivity. And luckily, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to improve exactly that (even without necessarily just upping your insulin). And a lot of it comes down to prioritizing yourself.
As a note insulin requirements, however, is that you need the insulin that you need. Period. Whatever the situation, changes in routine, stress etc that makes your blood sugars run higher than normal, your body needs more insulin. I know way too well how hard this can be to accept, I’ve been there. Many times! But in order for your body to run optimally, it needs varying amounts of insulin at varying times. Try to meet this need with compassion and curiosity (and the necessary insulin, of course)!
👉🏼 What are your best tips to increase insulin sensitivity? Let’s chat! 👈🏼
Lifestyle choices that help insulin sensitivity include, but are not limited to, the following:
🌟 Stress management (try meditation, yoga, EFT, essential oils, bath…) 🌟 Movement (focus on body weight moves!) 🌟 Hydration (lots of clean water can help insulin sensitivity) 🌟 Sleep (both quality and quantity!) 🌟 Healthy and blood sugar friendly nutrition (low carb) 🌟 Any supplements? (Magnesium, Omega 3 & Vitamin D is a rule of thumb) 🌟 Find a routine that fits YOU
The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/46HighWorkFromHome.png7201280Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2020-06-18 21:00:002020-06-19 13:41:06“How Do I Prevent High Blood Sugars Working From Home?”
What on Earth is Double Diabetes? How does it develop, and who is at risk to get it? Are there ANY solutions to it?
Learn this and so much more from this week’s episode of Type 1 Thursday:
What is Double Diabetes?
Double Diabetes is when a person with Type 1 Diabetes develops severe insulin resistance. They may need to use medications that are traditionally used for Type 2 Diabetes, essentially having developed both types of diabetes – hence the term Double Diabetes.
The problem is that T2D can’t really be diagnosed in T1D, no glucose tolerance test or blood insulin measurements will be accurate. Instead, the clinical diagnosis goes a little something like this: do you need a lot of insulin? IS your BMI high (although BMI isn’t even a reliable measurement!), Waist to height ratio high? High blood pressure= Fatty liver? High HbA1c?. If you are T1D and do have these, you could be in the risk zone for Double Diabetes (and no, it isn’t double the fun!). Whether the insulin resistance comes from T1D, lifestyle factors or it’s genetic, the result is the same.
Are there any solutions to Double Diabetes?
We know from the T2D, some cases of it can be reversed with lifestyle changes. But T1D will always persevere. My top tip to cut down the insulin resistance would be to decrease the amount of carbs you eat. It works (and is an acknowledged treatment) for T2D, which is half of the issue!
I actually think I was a Double Diabetic before I changed my lifestyle in 2011. Since the term was coined in 1991, there hasn’t been much activity in this field until very recently, so I was never diagnosed. But I needed an almost obscene amount of insulin, along with the other symptoms mentioned above… 🤷🏻♀️
Have you heard of Double Diabetes before? Do you have any experience with it? Let me know in a comment!
The only purpose of this website and video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website and video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
Do you have frequent low blood sugars? Or high? And they all seem to come out of nowhere?
It could be something wrong with your basal insulin, dose or timing! Learn all about basal insulin testing in today’s Type 1 Thursday!
When was the last time you checked you basal insulin settings?
If you prefer to read all about basal insulin testing, you can do so below. Enjoy!
Basal Insulin Testing
‘I want to ask you this first, do you perhaps experience frequent hypos or frequent highs that seem to come out of nowhere? They are not really connected to when you’re eating and your bolus insulin, and it’s not really connected to anything else either. So maybe it is something else, could it be? (As we all know, with diabetes, chances are it could be…)
Butt first, hypos, or low blood sugars, never, ever happen because you’re not eating enough food! Hypos always, always, always happen because you’re taking too much insulin for that particular circumstance. That actually leads us back to today’s topic, basal insulin settings and how to check that your basal insulin settings, like your long acting insulin, or basal settings on your pump, are correct for you. Not for anyone else, never ever compare insulin dosages with anyone else. It is what it is for you and if it is correct.
Basal insulin is really key, either is dose or the timing. If you are on MDI, timing of the basal insulin could be a problem. So let’s figure out what it is, how we do it and all this stuff when it comes to basal insulin testing. It’s not necessarily fun, but hey, you know, it needs to be done if you want as good of a control as you can have on your Type 1 Diabetes. Having your basal set properly also helps you bolus correctly for your food or it makes it a lot easier to calculate.
What is a basal insulin test?
The point of basal insulin is to keep your blood sugar stable when you’re not eating, when you’re exercising when you’re not doing anything. It works the same in healthy people, the ones that don’t need to add insulin from the outside. Basal insulin is there to keep your blood sugar very stable during the whole day when you’re not eating, not exercising, not doing anything of the few things that actually help lowering your blood sugar, or any of the 42 or 45, or whatever things that can increase your blood sugar.
What is a basal test? Well, it’s basically to determine what your proper basal setting is, whether you are on a pump or taking long acting insulin. Without the influence of food and without bolus insulin, without exercise.
How to basal insulin test?
How do you do it? Well, trick number 1 is to start at a normal blood sugar level. Don’t start if you’re too high, don’t start if you’re too low, start at a normal that is the baseline of basal insulin testing.
You can either do it in two ways. Either you fast the full 24 hours and get it all out of your system and you have done in one go or you divide it up on 4 days and divide the 24 hours into 6 hour increments, where you fast for 6 hours and then check your blood sugar’s hourly to see what happens to them.
This is also where a CGM is very helpful, although I would not trust it to be exact for all of that, I would also prick my finger a couple of times in those 6 hours or those 24 hours, just so you can actually see what is doing what. If you choose to do it in four days, then you do overnight in one go and then you do a morning session, followed by a day session and then an evening session, so that you get those 24 hours all checked.A suggestion is that you basal insulin test one week and then the next week you do the same, to just double check and fine tune and really tweak your basal insulin (because this is really key for good blood sugar management)
Do & Don’t when Basal Insulin Testing
Don’t eat or take insulin (bolus) 4 hours before you start the test.
You can have water and herbal tea during your fasting hours, anything that’s not caffeinated and nothing that will do a number on your blood sugar. Anything that is neutral is fine.
Don’t eat unless you go too low, if you’re having a hypo. Also, don’t correct unless you go too high. (If you go too low during your your basal insulin testing, it means that you’re taking you’re taking too much basal insulin, whether it isn’t a pump or injections. If you go too high, your basal insulin is sett too low.)
Make sure you’re not sick or on your period or have something going on that you know influences your blood sugars.
It is completely okay to break the test if you have to! If you have a hypo, you have to correct it. It’s fine to break the basal insulin test, you just do it another day instead. And the same if you go too high, it’s fine to break the test, you have a bolus and get on with your day. The main point is that you take care of yourself! The basal insulin test can be done another day instead.
Also, one, one very important tip, is to write down the results, so you have them on paper. It makes it a lot more easy to overview instead of having it in some app and you have go back and forth between resources. Good old pen and paper works the best in this case, I would say.
What are the results of basal insulin testing?
If your blood sugar drops too much, you’re taking too much insulin. You’re taking too much basal for your needs. If your blood sugar goes up too high during the basal insulin test, you’re taking too little basal insulin, and you need to increase it.
If you are an MDI and notice something could be better during these 24 hours, perhaps you need to split to your dose? This is something you can discuss with your doctor. And if you’re on a pump, remember that it’s usually the basal setting that is about an hour to 2 hours before that impacts your blood sugar’s right now, so you have to be a little bit flexible in adjusting this, if you need to.
That was my very short run through on how to basal test your insulin properly.
I want to know from you, when was the last time you basal tested your settings or your dose or timing for that matter?
Let me know in a comment below. I’ll be so happy to chat with you there.
How often do I have high/low blood sugars that need treatment? 🤔 A question from the audience!
Learn how I attempt to avoid the high and low blood glucose readings (that are, more or less, a part of life as a Type 1 Diabetic).
What about you? How often do you have highs or lows that require treatment? Let me know in a comment!
If you prefer to read the information in the video above, please find a written version right here:
High or Low Blood Sugars?
This week, I have another question from the audience. And it’s a personal one-ish. Well, I don’t want to get your hopes up, it’s not that bad. Actually a normal question, but it is more personal natured one. So I’m looking forward to answering it. Because this person writes:
How often do you have a real low or high blood sugar that you need to correct? Is it rare, or is it part of everyday life?
I thought this question was very, very interesting. And I guess I’m not that open, perhaps, with my blood sugar levels online, because I frankly don’t think it’s very interesting to share them. If you want me to, I could share more of my day to day values. (If you do, please leave me a comment so that I know because I cannot read your thoughts out there! 😃)
High and low blood sugars are of course part of living with Type 1 Diabetes and no one can deny that. The frequency of them, however, can greatly and amazingly be influenced by different lifestyle factors, for example. For me, for example, a low carb lifestyle has really helped to eliminate most highs and lows. I no longer get those extreme highs followed by extreme lows, because I simply follow the law of small numbers so I don’t have that much insulin in my body. And also not that much insulin required, that I get those quick drops. Furthermore, I don’t eat that much sugar and carbs so that I get the high highs. You can do a lot with lifestyle factors!
It’s also a question of definition. For me is low is below 3.2-3.5 mmol/l, which is about 65 mg/dl, and my highs are already around 6.5 mmol/l or 117 mg/dl. It’s really a question of definition. Do you mean those super-highs of 400 mg/dl and then down to 20 (22 mmol/l to 1.3)? Or, do you mean this sort of gradual, just on the verge kind of sugar surfing highs and lows? It differs from person to person.
The number 1 thing that I would advise people in this situation is to check your basal settings. Whether you have your long acting insulin or an insulin pump with a basal setting, make sure that those dosages are correct. That can save you a lot of trouble! This is something that I do on myself, as well, I make sure that my basal settings are correct (or as correct as they can be because life happens and things go up the wall sometimes) If you want me to do a video about how to basal test properly, then also let me know in a comment!
If your basal dose is correctly set, you also need less corrections to get the results you need. If you’re too low or borderline too low, for example, and your basal isn’t too high so your blood sugar won’t keep going down much further. With the right settings for you, you only need very little carbs to get you back up into a healthy safe range. Same with highs, if you are borderline high, you don’t need that much insulin to get yourself into a nice, safe healthy range again, because your basal insulin is correctly set.
I correct before there is a high or a low. Of course when I can, things like sleep, illness, travel, stress and things like this too much work (guilty as charged!) can of course make this a little bit trickier and hinder me from keeping that level of control. But whenever I can, I do react before it the low blood sugar or the high one is a fact.
Managing this before they’re a fact, I cannot say enough that a CGM, a continuous glucose monitoring system, really is worth its weight (well, really is worth its value) in gold, because they’re quite expensive. They’re small, but expensive things. Anyway, they are worth absolute gold so that you can react before there’s a high or there’s a low blood sugar.
CGM’s are of course not exact. I don’t know of any CGM system that is absolutely exact. Especially when my goal range is so small, it is very, very annoying that it is more most often 1-3 mmol/l (18-60 mg/dl) off. It’s not really exact, but it is invaluable to see the trends! Where is your blood sugar trending? If your blood sugar is steady and starts to trend downwards, then you can already treat so that you need a lot less and the the hypo doesn’t become a fact. Or, if you see that you’re trending upwards, you can play with either temporary basal if you are in a pump, or wait it out and see what happens ,or correct with insulin. For the trends, and the CGM is fantastic and I could not recommend any more!
Reacting in time actually also helps the Standard Deviation of your blood sugar, as well as your Time In Range, which is what reacting in time will help. This will also help your HbA1c. That little trifecta is a fantastic measurement of health for diabetes. And that also is helped by reacting in time so that you don’t go high and don’t go low, but you can react before it is a thing.
Doing it this way, reacting before a high becomes a high or low becomes a low, makes them very rare. It actually makes them more rare than then it would be, if I, for example, added a ton of sugar, or the recommended amount of carbs for example. This is true for me, and I’m not going to talk about anyone else. But for me if I added that, I would have many more highs and I would have many more lows, because I would have to fight the carbs as well as my body with the stress, work, illnesses, and all of the other 45 things that always influence our blood sugar.
This is my Dexcom G6 24 hour curve from 20th February, and I’ve marked where I used my method and reacted before a high was a high and a low was a low:
I want to hear from you:
Do you have highs and lows often and that you need to react to? Or are they rather rare for you? Let me know in a comment. I’d be happy to chat with you there.
Ps! Join me live next time, Thursday’s at 6pm CET on my Facebook or Instagram for another episode of Type 1 Thursday!
Type 1 Thursday is here with another question from the audience:
“Hello, I notice that you don’t drink any protein drinks or shakes? Do you think they are unhealthy?”
As a short answer, no, I don’t think they’re unhealthy. But I do think there needs to be a need for them, as protein needs are individual. Check out the whole explanation here!
I want to hear from you, do you drink protein shakes? Or do you get your protein from other sources? Let me know in the comments! 🙌
If you prefer to read my views on whether protein shakes are good or not, you can find a written version here:
I am so excited, because there is another question from the audience today that I will be answering. If you have any questions that you think that I should be answering on these live chats (that we have every Thursday 6pm on Instagram, and Facebook), please do let me know in a comment somewhere on the interwebs and I’ll be happy to answer them.
To today’s question, it reads like this: “Hello. I noticed that you don’t drink any protein drinks or shakes is that because you think that they are unhealthy?”
Protein is a very individual
Protein threshold is very individual, especially on low carb, but also generally. Maybe on low carb you give a little bit more of a damn about the protein amount, especially if you have read #*#. Richard Bernstein’s book and checked out his Diabetes University. Protein needs are very individual and it can range from anything, for very sedentary people something like 0.8 grams of protein/kilogram body weight, which doesn’t mean 0.8 grams of meat but 0.8 grams of protein, to something more normal, if you are a little bit more active, maybe something like 1.2 grams per kilogram, or maybe 1.3, 1.5. But it can also go as high as something like 2.4 grams per kilogram, up to five grams per kilogram, if you are a super active athlete.
If your main fuel is protein and amino acids, then it is very individual how much you should be eating. This is why I personally don’t need to drink any protein shakes. I am not a very active athlete, well, I try to keep active but not that active. I’m also not a growing child. So I don’t need as much, and I can cover my protein needs with real food. You have to determine for yourself how much protein you need in your individual case.
Protein in Meat
All meat generally contains about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of meat. Not all meat is protein, and not all protein is meat. Only one-fifth of the meat is actual protein and amino acids. If I eat 400 grams of meat a day, which is possible, not in one sitting, but if I have two sittings, lunch and dinner, which is normal for me. I don’t really have breakfast so I don’t have to pay attention there. If I have two sittings, and I have 200 grams of meat or protein filled food per sitting, that gives me 80 grams of protein for a day. And that would mean that that is 1.3 grams per kilo of body weight that I have (now you can count how much I actually weigh) Personally, I just prefer to get my protein from real foods because I can. And because I don’t have that extra need for protein shakes that you may have, as I said, if you’re a growing child or a very active athlete.
Need for protein shakes?
The short answer to your question is; I don’t think that protein shakes or drinks are unhealthy, per se. I just think that there needs to be a need for it. And in my case, I don’t have that need. Perhaps, in your case, because you are asking, there is a need for it and then you have to determine if that’s true or not for you.
If you do need a protein drink or a shake, I would recommend something that is clean without any sugars and any added stuff. Flavours is one thing, but you can also flavour it with other things like natural cacao powder or something. You don’t have to buy the ready mixed flavoured stuff, but something that is clean without sweeteners and without dextrose, please, because that will mess with your blood sugar, all the ways till Sunday. If I had the need for protein shakes, I would go for something like an egg white protein or a whey protein.
So, in conclusion, no, protein shakes and drinks are not inherently unhealthy. But there needs to be a use for them and a need for them. Thank you so much for your question!
I would love to hear from you – what are your experiences with protein and with protein shakes? Do you drink them? Or do you get the protein that you need from real food? Let me know in a comment below, and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/HDE-T1T.png10801080Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2020-01-30 19:04:012020-01-30 19:04:03Why No Protein Shakes?
How does Low Blood Sugar Affect Weight Loss? 🤔Does it have to? What factors do you have to look out for?
Type 1 Thursday is here!
Do you have experiences with how blood sugars impact weight loss? Share them in a comment!
Thank you so much for watching. Please let me know if you have any questions!
If you prefer to read my thoughts on this, here’s a text version on low blood sugar and weight loss:
Blood Sugar and Weight Loss?
This week I’m excited about the new audience question! (If you have any questions that you want to hear my answer to, then please let me know!)
This week’s question comes from Joe, and Joe writes, “how do low blood sugars affect weight loss?” Thank you for the question!
Are you insulin dependent?
A lot of it depends on if you are taking external insulin or not. Because weight loss happens when a) the blood sugar is stable and b) there’s no excess insulin in the body. There are different theories of weight loss, two main ones as I see it, which I’ve talked about before here on Type 1 Thursday. One is the good old calories in vs calories out which we know is maybe not as applicable as they thought that it was. The other one is that it is actually hormone regulated, mainly with insulin as it is the master hormone in the body. If you don’t have excess insulin, and your blood sugar’s are stable, weight loss will occur.
In diabulimia, which is a very, very serious condition to have, which is when you take no insulin to lose weight. But that is not the point of this. This is about healthy, happy weight loss, if that is necessary. This is not an eating disorder thing that I’m talking about. Just to clarify that, and I find that very important because it is a terrible, terrible condition to live with. So, none of that, just healthy healing, healthy weight loss if necessary.
What is a low blood sugar due to?
A low blood sugar is because you took too much insulin for that particular circumstance. For that particular food, for that particular mood, for that particular weather, whatever it is that is influencing your blood sugar, you took too much insulin for that. That’s why you ended up with a low blood sugar, because nothing else lowers blood sugar like insulin does, and nothing else can lower blood sugar lower than it should be in a normal human being than insulin. So, if you are treating diabetes with insulin, does that mean lows are equal to excess insulin? Which then means that it will be a slower weight loss?
Well, actually, not necessarily. It depends on how stable your blood sugars are. If they are jumping like a roller coaster, so that it’s super high and then goes super low (which means that you then have to treat it and then go super high and super low. Again.) That’s a completely different thing than if your blood sugar is really stable. And then sometimes it trends downwards and dips minimally and you can correct it very easily. I’s a completely different thing than if you are all over the place in terms of blood sugar, and are struggling with it. Balanced blood sugar is the key, not a jumpy blood sugar. That’s what we should aim for. And that usually also aids weight goals.
Low Blood Sugar anyway?
You know, we all end up there no matter how good (or whatever) we are as people with diabetes, no matter how well we take care of ourselves, circumstances do change in the body. And lows do happen. They happen to me, they happen to everyone I know who are normally quite well controlled.
The key here is how do you treat it? Do you choose to eat the whole kitchen? So you grab anything from grapes, to peanut butter, to that sugary candy you have in the back somewhere, to snacks, to yoghurt, to honey, to you know the whole nine yards which will end up on this rollercoaster blood sugar ride, which is quite detrimental for your health. And it feels, first and foremost, really, really frickin terrible. So try to avoid it for that reason alone! Or, number two, do you treat low blood sugars targeted with an exact measurement of glucose? Because that doesn’t create the rollercoaster rides. It creates an even curve, even if you do dip a little bit you take a gram, or two grams or three or four, depending on how much you need (and that you need to do a trial and error with). You just come up a little bit again, and then you’re fine. Again, you don’t get those big swings. So that is really important how you treat the low when it does happen.
Correcting a low is of course, necessary, it can and definitely does save your life. So don’t skip it, even if it would potentially kick you out of ketosis, if that is your goal. I’m not saying that ketosis and keto and low carb is everyone’s goal, but if that is what you’re worried about in this question that treating a hypo will kick you out of ketosis or something, don’t be! You really need to save your own life in that case. It doesn’t matter if you get kicked out of ketosis or not. If you are fat-fueled in that way, or you can burn both fat and sugar, you will get back into ketosis very fast afterwards, so don’t worry about it. It really is key that you do take care of this.
The short version of my answer to your question, Joe, is that low blood sugars do not have to affect weight loss at all. It depends on how you treat the low and depends on how stable you are blood glucose is normally and that you don’t have excess insulin in your body.
Hope that helps!
If you have any questions, do let me know. And also do let me know your experiences of blood sugar and weight loss? Have you managed to lose weight, or maybe you don’t manage to lose weight although your blood sugar’s as good as perfect? Let me know in a comment, and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.
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