Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Blood Sugar Spike Correction Facility

Controlling diabetes can be an arcane art at times as there are so many variables to consider. In a non-diabetic person, the body is able to sense exactly when the blood sugar levels are getting too high and will instantly produce more insulin to ‘mop up’ the excess glucose in the blood. This can be extremely subtle, and it will switch off production the instant that levels are back in ‘normal’ range, so the levels don’t drop too low. A person with diabetes, however, does not have this fine level of control. Type 2 diabetics may still produce their own insulin, and not have to inject, but due to ‘insulin resistance’, it may be that the process is insufficient to ‘track’ and overcome the peak of glucose entering the bloodstream through food digestion. Those who inject insulin can have similar problems. They have to try and inject so that the peak action of the insulin being absorbed from the injection site coincides with the food digestion peak. If the timing is wrong, then the person’s levels can drop too low (if insulin ‘hits’ before food), or too high (if food ‘hits’ either before the insulin peak, or after – the latter being often the case with some foods).

Some people will counter this effect by testing their levels at 2 hours after eating, and adding a ‘correction’ dose of insulin if levels are too high. Sounds straightforward enough, except that there may still be active insulin from the original dose taken with the meal, resulting in an excess of insulin overall for the food consumed. This then has to be rectified by adding in a snack so the person doesn’t fall too low! Insulin pumps are particularly useful in these scenarios, as it is possible to either ‘dual wave’ or add in a correction dose without an extra injection. The dual wave splits the meal insulin dose so that there is sufficient active insulin circulating to deal with the late peak of glucose. Correction doses are also easier with a pump, as there are ‘wizards’ in the pumps that calculate how much insulin is already on board and adjust accordingly.

Welcome you inmates – and show some humility –
To the Blood Sugar Spike Correction Facility!
You’ve all been brought here, I think you know why,
For sending the blood sugar of people too high!

Pasta! Step forward! I don’t mean next week!
You seem to like dodging the Insulin Peak!
And you can stop sniggering Baked Potato and Beans,
You’ll be next to find out what the ‘Correction’ word means…!

Now, get in that stomach and don’t misbehave,
We’re going to subject you to a pump dual wave!
And Beans – on your own you seem to be fine,
It’s with Baked Potato you step out of line!

And all of you others – the Pizza and Cheese,
You won’t get away doing just as you please!
We’ll hose you with Insulin till you realise the futility
Of ending up here at the Correction Facility!

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