sun, sand and seriously good blood sugars

As the Summer season is starting to draw to a close, it's an interesting time to reflect on how it has effected my blood sugar's. I believe that people with diabetes do quite a lot of reflection in this way, as this is how we move forward and improve them which is usually the goal.

Over the year's I've always found that the sun can effect my blood sugars, it's often been a family joke that if I lived abroad I would only have 'mild' diabetes because the sun always has such a positive effect on lowering my blood sugars. I'm not sure whether this is because the insulin breaks down and works faster in the sunshine or because the heat increases my heart rate which drops my blood sugars. But either way the sun usually means lower blood sugars for me. And this Summer was no exception.

This summer with reflection I started to notice a pattern in that before my lunch and before tea or exercise my blood sugars kept dropping to hypo level. It only really started when the weather started getting warm, but as you can imagine having hypos twice a day was getting really frustrating. I was aware that I could put a temporary basal on my insulin pump where my background insulin would be reduced by a percentage. But this didn't seem like a long term solution. I was also aware I could reduce my background rates, but as the issue seemed to be around food. I decided to speak to my hospital team and they suggested some changes to my overnight insulin levels, so I would wake up at a better level to put me in a good place the rest of the day.

But then a thought occurred to me that perhaps my carbohydrate to insulin ratios were too high. Before hand it used to be for every 1 unit of insulin I took I needed to eat 10g of carbohydrate. So after seeking the advice of my medical team again, we decided to try making my carbohydrate to insulin ratio that for every one unit of insulin I would eat 15 grams of carbs instead. So for example for two pieces of toast with 30grams of carbohydrate in them I would have taken 3 units of insulin before. But now with the new ratios I take just 2 units of insulin. And thankfully for the time being this had the desired effect of reducing my hypos.

However, I appreciate that once again this is not a long term solution because I have a feeling that as soon as the weather changes. My carbohydrate to insulin ratio may also change back to what it was before. We have already found that on days where I don't exercise in the evening, my ratio has to go back to 1 unit per 10 grams of carbohydrate. My hospital team believe that the real long term solution is to do a fasting blood sugar test. Where under hospital supervision you test the back round rates of your insulin by fasting from food for a short period of time. Traditionally I've never been very good at these tests- the reason being that if I've exercised the night before my muscles are more sensitive to insulin the next day and not eating makes me hypo, which scupper's the test. But for now as long as the sun is shining the hypos have gone for the most part and I'm left to enjoy the remainder of the summer.

It's also worth me mentioning once again that I would always advise seeking the advice of your hospital team before making big changes to your diabetes care. After all you know your diabetes but they are the experts in medication so it never hurts to get their help. And the advise that was given to me might not be suitable to everyone because as we all know... everyones diabetes is different.















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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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