Why it’s Worth it to Work Out Your Ratios

It’s not easy to figure out the insulin-to-carb ratio and basal rates that work best for you. In fact, it involves commitment, communication with your diabetes care team, and solid carb counting skills. But the work is so, totally worth it, because your blood sugar readings can look like this:

These 12- and 24-hour graphs were the result of me kicking it into high gear with my diabetes management in recent days. I can’t explain how awesome it felt to achieve graphs like this. Yes, I dipped a little lower than I would have preferred a few times, but the main accomplishment here is that I avoided the sticky highs that were frustrating me in the afternoons and in the middle of the night. Just looking at those smooth, nearly straight lines overnight brings a smile to my face.

I’d like to note that I did this WITHOUT making any special changes to my diet. In a single day, I ate fairly high carb for a PWD: around 30 grams of carbs at breakfast, another 30 at lunch, and between 40 and 50 at dinner. And depending on what my blood sugar is before bed, I’ll have another small snack, between 10 and 15 grams of carbs. So I think the main factors at play that lead to these beautiful graphs are 1) I bolused for my meals 10-20 minutes before eating them, 2) I ate the right balance (for me) of carbs, fats, and proteins, and 3) My insulin-to-carb ratios are spot-on at this time.

As long as I continue to put forth the right amount of effort, I think I’ll continue to have graphs like this. Of course, I know I’m going to slip up from time to time – occasions during which meals are a little more difficult to predict, or periods in which I experience higher stress levels – but this is okay. I constantly remind myself that diabetes is not something that can be completely tamed, no matter how hard I try. I accept that mistakes will happen along the way, and the best thing I can do is to learn from them to avoid making the same ones in the future. This acceptance, combined with perseverance and a willingness to always learn more about how my body reacts to certain foods and events, will help me meet my blood sugar goals on a more regular basis, which makes it an incredibly worthwhile pursuit.

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