High sugars and low carbs

Jennifer Runyon - Contributing Columnist

I hope you all are having a wonderful school year. The start has been a little rough for us, but we’ve worked out the kinks (at least I think so.)

Let me back up. Jackson broke his arm three days before school started! As if starting a new school year with type 1 diabetes isn’t tough enough, he (we) now had the added burden of a broken arm.

Our first day was awful! Jackson ended up in the nurse’s office because he wasn’t feeling well. His blood sugar was over 400. I got the call and we created a plan. I then hung up and broke into tears. “Why can’t he just have a normal first day like everyone else?” I wondered. I was a mix of sadness, anger, disappointment – just pretty much an all-round hot mess. I told myself it was just first day anxieties (not to mention could that broken arm be affecting his sugar somehow even though it hasn’t the past three days? Who flippin’ knows?!)

The next day, he was high, but never hit 400. Okay, so things were getting better, right? Wrong. We hit 400 the next two school days!

It was time to make some changes! I increased his morning basal rate and started doing low-carb breakfasts. Last year, we did low-carb breakfasts on testing days, but this year we’re doing them every day. The results have been awesome! Well, let me pause and say that the first week of low-carb breakfasts were awesome. Then, because diabetes is a huge jerk and can’t ever go along with you when you think you’ve got it figured out, he started waking up higher than he had been, which threw everything off. I try to go by the rule that if something happens three times in a row, you’ve got a pattern and a pattern means that changes need to be made.

I adjusted his early morning basal rate, increasing it to avoid the dawn phenomenon. Seriously, there is such a thing as dawn phenomenon. To get your body ready to wake up, many hormones are released, including growth hormone and cortisol. These cause blood sugar to rise. This is called dawn phenomenon. It happens to everyone, but is problematic for diabetics because our bodies can’t make the extra insulin needed to cover it like non-diabetics can. It doesn’t happen the same way every day, which can lead to insanity in someone trying to control it!

Luckily, the change I made to his early morning basal rate is doing the job — so far. I say so far because of course, it’s going to change! Diabetes has to keep you on your toes! It can’t ever let you think you’ve figured it out. But so far, so good. It’s so, so beautiful to see green, straight lines on Jackson’s Dexcom glucose sensor (His readings get sent to a website and I can see them on my phone or computer). I’m sure we’re in for more changes soon because diabetes will definitely throw a wrench into things, but I’m enjoying the good times while we’ve got them.

Interested in trying low-carb breakfasts? While eggs and meat are definitely great choices and ones that we use often (thank God there are so many ways to make eggs!), I thought I’d share a pancake recipe that we love! I just made up a batch to have for the week ahead. Pair two of these with a 1/4 cup of Log Cabin sugar-free syrup (this sugar-free syrup is actually really good) and you’ve got a great breakfast for only 12 carbs (just two carbs per pancake and eight in the syrup). And it’s by far the easiest low carb concoction I’ve made!

Here’s the recipe from the website Low Carb Yum:

Put two cups almond flour, four eggs, ½ cup water, ¼ cup oil, one teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, and three to four packets of artificial sweetener (I use three tablespoons of Stevia) in a blender and mix. Let sit 15 minutes. Pour onto hot griddle or pan over medium high heat. Flip when edges start to look dry. Yields 24 silver dollar-sized pancakes.


Jennifer Runyon

Contributing Columnist

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at jrunyon@woh.rr.com.

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at jrunyon@woh.rr.com.