Dexcom, A Continuous Glucose Monitor From Integrated Diabetes Management
A month ago I rented a dexcom, continuous glucose monitor from Integrated Diabetes Management. Integrated Diabetes is where I have chosen to have my CDE, Judy Tripathi. They are located out of Philadelphia, but I work with Judy remotely from my DC area home.
I called Judy because I was having some unusual readings and we couldn't get a sense of why this was happening. So Judy recommended that I rent their dexcom for a two week trial. She sent me the dexcom and I wore it for 12 days, which was the length of time the sensor would work.
Obviously, I was thinking I would have some revelation about why my numbers were highs and lows and we would make adjusts to my current pump settings. But this ended up being validation for my choices of self care!
I've written about yoga, running, massage and reiki, being tools I use for self care and better diabetes management! But everyone has to take my word for it! I have research statistics from NIH I can point people to look at, but it does not say: excellent choice Ann! And then there are the doctors who feel it is a "feel good" opportunity, but does not have relevance for long term diabetes care.
Thanks, to my 12 days of dexcom management, I have numbers to show it does change the blood glucose numbers and in ways, I never knew! It's like a chance to peek under the skin!
I love the way running makes me feel and I love the way it makes my body look. But the dexcom showed me that running dropped my numbers fast and I would struggle to regain balance after. I think with the pump I need to have a lot of time to calculate bolus and basal settings to get a run where I don't plummet within the first 20 minutes and spike after. On the other hand, yoga, which I've long believed was my zen, proved to be just that!
In 4 classes my numbers were very telling about what it does for me! In my first class I had a 150 at the start and 67 by the end of class. The next class I ate sushi before and my post perandual blood sugar was 237 (very normal for me and rice) and 75 minutes later I was 85. With the third attempt I shut off the pump and had bolused half my normal amount and I walked in with 150 and left with 110.
What I noticed for couple days following yoga was very manageable sugars! I found that even after running, my blood glucose had fewer spikes. Belly dancing and Tai chi were less significant, but I'm still in the early stages of learning both and that may have been the problem. I didn't just mentally and physically relax.
Meditation was another interesting phenomena. Numbers would come down provided I let go of the "brain storm"! Meaning the constant thinking and control issues most small business owners have :), which added stress to my circuits. If I could quiet the mind and allow myself to enjoy the moment, I often lowered my blood glucose during the hour I was doing my meditation class. I talked with my colleague who does biofeedback and psychotherapy at my office about biofeedback and blood glucose and he had some interesting research on biofeedback and type 2 diabetes to share.
And of course the massage, because that has been my career! I experimented with massage. Sometimes I talk through my session and no significant changes occurred. But when I allowed myself to relax, meditate and receive the care my body needed, I found that my blood sugars fell as fast as when I ran! Like running I need to calculate massage and pump settings!
What I can glean from my 12 day experience is that these pieces of healthy living do make a sufficient difference to continue my direction! I need to share these results with my endo she can understand the relevance they make for me and stand down on it being just psychological. And yes I will change my training methods to make better use of the pump and my insulin sensitivity. I am very clear that exercise increases my insulin sensitivity and I can't run without setting up my body and the pump first. No more spontaneous runs!
As far as mechanical issues, the device was a bit large for my frame. I had a hard time with both hips being loaded with diabetes management! But far more important, is the fact that I can do my own research for my diabetes management with a continuous glucose monitor! They are not flawless, but I think in a short time we will see marked improvements in size and easier sensors, and ultimately a vast difference in how we care for ourselves! If you are skeptical of what exercise can do for you, find a place to rent a dexcom and let the numbers tell your story!
I will be making an investment in a continuous glucose montior, but probably one that is integrated with my pump. That way I won't feel like I'm wearing a holster and packing heat!
for more information on my choices of exercise and research on it's effect on diabetes: