Wearing a Continuous Glucose Monitor: What I Learned

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I’ve discovered time and again that well being and wellness is more and more customized! I largely credit score my transformation to addressing trauma… and determining the customized food plan/way of life strategy that labored for me after years of experimenting.

The newest in my quest for customized well being is carrying a steady glucose monitor.

As a inhabitants, we devour over 10x extra sugar per day than we did 100 years in the past, so glucose is changing into a much bigger and larger deal.

We All Must Determine It Out…

Many within the well being world have found out methods and approaches which have labored for them, and whereas I feel we will study from all of those, we’re every chargeable for discovering what works finest for us individually.

We’re every our major healthcare supplier, and long run well being comes from experimentation and personalization. That’s why I’m such a giant fan of information!

Why a Steady Glucose Monitor (CGM)?

By experimentation and meals sensitivity testing, I’ve a superb grasp of what meals my physique prefers and what I must eat to really feel my finest. After I get sufficient protein, keep away from eggs (my one remaining sensitivity), and don’t eat after darkish, I are likely to really feel higher.

I knew my fasting glucose ranges from utilizing an at-home finger stick meter and sometimes additionally examined my post-meal glucose, however was excited to get extra detailed information.

A steady glucose monitor attaches to the again of the arm with a small filament going into the arm (no ache!). A person wears the monitor for 2 weeks with out eradicating it and has a steady window into blood glucose throughout this time. The monitor and app I used (extra on this beneath) additionally permits you to enter meals consumption, exercises, and different notes to see developments and study from the information.

Why Does Glucose Matter?

We all know that what we eat straight impacts blood glucose ranges, however the response to particular meals can fluctuate from individual to individual. Stress, sleep, sickness, train, and different elements may also make a giant distinction.

As a lot as 88% of the U.S. inhabitants has at the least one marker of metabolic dysfunction, based on current analysis. Metabolic dysfunction is linked to or underlies nearly all power illnesses, so it is a massive deal!

We all know some broad generalities with regards to blood glucose:

  • Nobody wants giant quantities of refined sugars and carbs, and over time, these appear to impair common insulin and glucose ranges.
  • Not getting sufficient sleep impacts blood glucose in most individuals.
  • Stress and sickness can change the glucose response.

Past these primary glucose “details,” there’s loads of personalization concerned.

As an example, many individuals profit from consuming some quantity of carbs, however the quantity and kind can fluctuate drastically from individual to individual. As I’ve reached a wholesome weight and am figuring out extra, I must devour some carbs to really feel my finest.

The continual glucose monitor helped me pinpoint the carbs that appeared to work finest for my physique and gasoline restoration finest.

Discovering My Glucose Equation

Drastically simplified, right here’s how glucose works…

Carbohydrates break down into the straightforward sugar glucose within the bloodstream. When glucose enters our blood, the pancreas releases insulin, which indicators cells to soak up glucose. If we want vitality, our mitochondria use it to kind ATP (mobile vitality).

If we devour extra glucose than we want, the physique shops the additional within the muscle mass and liver as glycogen or can convert it to triglycerides and retailer it in fats cells.

However right here’s what occurs:

When the physique has to deal with an excessive amount of glucose over time, it overproduces insulin and turns into insulin resistant over time. Glucose then has a more difficult time entering into cells, so blood glucose stays larger. When insulin is excessive, the physique doesn’t use saved fats as vitality. Extra glucose within the blood may also result in irritation and oxidative stress.

In brief, glucose isn’t dangerous. It’s gasoline. However an excessive amount of could be a dangerous factor, and massive spikes might be damaging and result in oxidative stress.

Since glucose response varies by individual, carrying a monitor helped me pinpoint my glucose equation.

What Are Good Glucose Patterns?

Glucose response is one space the place “regular” doesn’t essentially imply optimum. Customary measures think about fasting glucose beneath 100 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl two hours after consuming to be a wholesome vary and something above that pre-diabetic or diabetic.

In accordance with Dr. Casey Means, optimum metabolic health consists of:

  • Fasting glucose between 72-85 mg/dl (mine averages 74)
  • Publish-meal spikes that don’t exceed 110 mg/dl
  • Common glucose of 100 mg/dl every day
  • A minimal rise in glucose after consuming
  • Fast return to baseline after consuming

How I Examined With a Steady Glucose Monitor

I used the continual glucose monitor from Ranges Well being (you will get one right here).

I used to be so excited to see the information and needed to make use of the monitor as an opportunity to check all kinds of meals. The primary week, I consumed meals I’d usually eat and, as anticipated, had comparatively steady glucose ranges.

The following week, I made a decision to experiment rather a lot and consumed much more carbs than I normally would from numerous sources to observe my response. Confession: one meal included a complete bag of Siete chips, and my physique handles a pint of natural ice cream fairly properly *ahem*…

I additionally used the monitor as an opportunity to look at my glucose ranges reply to a 5-day water quick and was considerably stunned how low my ranges bought in a single day.

After 4 weeks of carrying a steady glucose monitor, these are a few of the issues I’ve discovered…

What I Discovered from My Continous Glucose Monitor

Sporting a monitor confirmed some issues I anticipated, like that refined sugar or processed carbs trigger a reasonably fast glucose spike. However I came upon some thrilling issues I wouldn’t have in any other case recognized. As an example, I can eat two candy potatoes with nearly no glucose spike, however one small white potato or a handful of grapes will spike my glucose!

These are a few of my essential takeaways and the way they’ve led to way of life modifications:

Not All Carbs Are Equal

Sarcastically, my glucose experiment has led to me consuming MORE carbs than I used to be earlier than. I’m cautious to get sufficient protein, which frequently results in satiety, so I don’t sometimes eat many carbs.

The monitor helped me notice that I wanted extra carbs, particularly on exercise days, to maintain vitality ranges up. I used to be capable of experiment with quite a lot of carbs and located that my physique did properly with:

  • Candy potatoes
  • Cassava (together with cassava chips and baked items)
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Most winter squashes
  • Lentils
  • Berries
  • Lemons and limes
  • Natural potato chips in avocado oil

However didn’t deal with these as properly:

  • White potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Rice
  • Meals with white flour (sprouted flour and sourdough had been advantageous, although)
  • Oats
  • Most dried fruits

Like I stated, particular person response varies. I’ve talked to individuals who noticed spikes from candy potatoes however not rice and berries however not grapes. Information helps!

My Takeaway: I stored a log and now have about ten moderate-carb meals that I can devour with no massive glucose spike. These are my go-to meals once I must replenish after exercises.

Protein Provides a Lot Extra Leeway

I’m already cautious to devour sufficient protein as a result of this helped me drop extra pounds, and I do know I really feel higher once I do. It was fascinating to look at the impact of protein consumption on blood glucose.

Consuming carbs earlier than protein appeared to result in larger spikes than consuming the identical meals, however consuming the protein first. Consuming at the least 30 grams of protein per meal stored glucose in a more healthy vary on common.

I additionally discovered that consuming sufficient protein early within the day helped preserve glucose in a superb vary all through the day and the following morning. As Ranges explains:

In a single examine, consumption of 23 grams of protein and 17 grams of fats 25-Half-hour earlier than carbohydrate ingestion considerably decreased post-meal glucose elevation in nondiabetic people and people with insulin resistance.

My Takeaway: This strengthened that I would like at the least 30 grams of protein per meal and at the least 100 grams per day. I now get extra protein early within the day on the first meal I devour and eat protein with any carbs.

Sleep Issues As A lot As Meals

We all know that even just some nights of impaired sleep may cause an in any other case wholesome individual to have diabetic or pre-diabetic glucose ranges. (Yikes for early motherhood).

Limiting sleep to 4 hours per evening for simply 5 days has considerably decreased glycemic management and metabolic health. In a single examine, this quantity of sleep deprivation led to the next glucose response to particular meals and a 40% decrease charge of glucose clearance from the blood throughout a glucose tolerance take a look at.

I noticed this play out on my steady glucose monitor too! On days I bought 8+ hours of sleep, my glucose would rise much less from the identical meals than it did on days once I bought much less sleep. On days after much less sleep, I wouldn’t reply as properly even to meals that I’d beforehand dealt with properly.

My Takeaway: Attending to mattress earlier than 10 pm and getting longer, higher sleep made a measurable distinction in glucose response. In different phrases: extra sleep = extra carbs with out the glucose spike!

Time-Restricted Consuming Helps a Lot (Cease Consuming After Darkish)

Time-restricted consuming (TRE) and intermittent fasting (IF) are each strategies of consuming in a shorter window. I used to be already a fan of this strategy primarily based alone experimentation and on the work of researchers like Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

As anticipated, these had an influence on blood glucose. Research present that the impact might be fast and fairly drastic:

One examine in chubby, non-diabetic people confirmed that even participating in time restricted feeding for simply 4 days can decrease fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and imply glucose ranges considerably.

and from Ranges well being:

Intermittent fasting means proscribing meals consumption for longer durations, normally for twenty-four hours or extra. A current small case report in three people with sort 2 diabetes confirmed intermittent fasting may meaningfully reverse diabetes in as little as seven months. These individuals did24-hour fasts, 3-4 instances per week.

My Takeaway: I do properly with TRE, however my glucose ranges are even higher if I eat earlier within the day and cease consuming earlier within the night. I eat in an 8-hour window and now eat my largest meals earlier within the day. Usually, I don’t devour energy after darkish, however I drink black espresso and natural teas exterior of this window.

When and Learn how to Hydrate

Everyone knows we’ve got to remain hydrated. We’ve seen the images of how simply two weeks of correct hydration can influence the pores and skin and make somebody look a lot youthful. Water is essential, however I discovered that timing is important!

Particularly, I discovered that:

  • Ingesting 3-4 liters of water a day helped with sleep and protecting glucose in a tighter vary
  • My physique likes consuming lemon water to hydrate within the morning and ready at the least 30-60 minutes to eat after
  • Ingesting at meals led to a much less constructive glucose response, and I did higher specializing in hydrating between meals (that is additionally good for abdomen acid)

My Takeaways: I’m extra aware of hydrating now. Usually, I drink a quart of lemon water every morning once I get up, one other quart between every meal, and extra if I train or sauna.

Sauna and Train Influence Glucose

We already know that train is important for a lot of features of well being, together with glucose management and metabolic health. It was enjoyable to look at this play out in real-time on the monitor! Similar to with meals, train response might be considerably customized, however analysis has persistently proven a trigger and impact relationship.

  • One examine discovered that just one session of train considerably elevated insulin sensitivity the following day.
  • Many research have persistently proven that common train improves glycemic management and reduces fasting glucose over time.
  • Even brief bursts of high-intensity coaching improved glucose in diabetics and non-diabetics.

It did shock me to see comparatively massive glucose spikes from high-intensity train and sauna use. In researching this, I discovered that not solely is that this response regular, it’s additionally useful.

Right here’s why:

Excessive-intensity train and sauna (as an train mimetic) require gasoline (glycogen), which comes from glucose within the blood after which from shops in muscle mass and liver.

Once we do these actions, the physique mobilizes these shops to gasoline us, which ends up in a short lived rise. Over the 24 hours after these actions, the physique replenishes these shops by sucking sugar out of the bloodstream and resulting in decrease and steadier blood glucose total.

From my understanding, for this reason each sauna and train decrease blood glucose over the long run, however why there could be a brief spike that will solely be noticeable when frequently monitoring like this. It’s additionally why even once I eat a LOT of carbs submit intense exercise; my blood sugar doesn’t rise a lot.

My Takeaway: I already knew train and sauna had been useful, however now have extra information to see their profit over time. I additionally discover that I’ve a greater response from high-intensity sprints and lifting weights than prolonged cardio, however profit from strolling after meals.

Fasting Candy Spot

My physique appears to love time restricted consuming in an eight(ish) hour window most days, however I additionally needed to experiment with an extended quick to see what my glucose did.

I did one five-day quick whereas carrying the monitor, and my glucose was fairly steady for the primary three days. After that, it began getting fairly low at evening. My ketones additionally rose at that time, so I ended the quick proper earlier than the complete five-day mark primarily based on my glucose and the way I felt.

I don’t suppose fasting is useful or useful for everybody, but it surely has been a useful gizmo for me, and this offered some additional information that may assist with future fasts.

My Takeaway: I do nice with day by day TRE and with fasts as much as 3-4 days however my physique doesn’t appear to love longer ones proper now.

I Do Higher with Decrease Saturated Fats Consumption

That is one other very customized a part of diet, however I appear to do higher when limiting saturated fats consumption. I already knew this from a genetic standpoint, due to my Vitamin Genome take a look at, however the steady glucose monitor indicated the identical factor.

Research have proven that consuming an excessive amount of saturated fats can decrease insulin sensitivity, although the quantity appears to fluctuate by individual. I seen that my glucose ranges weren’t pretty much as good after meals with excessive saturated fats content material and, like I discussed above, had been nice with protein and monounsaturated fat.

My Takeaway: I do finest once I restrict my saturated fats consumption to 15-20% or much less of my whole fats consumption.

Dietary supplements Can Assist

Many dietary supplements declare to assist keep optimum blood glucose ranges. However do they? I used the continual glucose monitor to check my response to a number of of them.

Particularly, I examined Ceylon cinnamon, berberine, and Kion Lean. I noticed essentially the most profit from including cinnamon within the morning (normally in my espresso), taking berberine with meals, and taking Kion Lean at lunch (although this one appeared most cumulative).

My Takeaways: I now take BerbElite with larger carb meals to assist my physique deal with it. You will discover hyperlinks to this and the opposite merchandise I discussed beneath.

Steady Glucose Screens: Backside Line

Steady monitoring was a captivating experiment, and I’m so glad I bought the prospect to see this information in real-time. Since food plan is so individualized, I feel this could be a useful device, particularly for these making an attempt to work via blood sugar points or those that have food plan dialed in and need to enhance issues much more.

In fact that is simply what labored for me, however I’m sharing within the hopes it offers you a way of possession in your individual well being journey. I at all times suggest that you just work with a health care provider (as I do) to search out the best strategy for you!

Assets Talked about:

Ranges Steady Blood Glucose Monitor
Common Glucose Monitor and Strips on Amazon
BerbElite Complement
Kion Flex
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder

Have you ever ever monitored your glucose? What did you study?

Sources:

  • https://www.levelshealth.com/weblog/the-ultimate-guide-to-metabolic-fitness
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627766/
  • https://www.levelshealth.com/weblog/12-glucose-lowering-strategies-to-improve-metabolic-fitness
  • https://www.foundmyfitness.com/matters/time-restricted-eating
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3587394/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3587394/
  • https://medium.com/hngry/personalized-nutrition-deep-dive-with-dr-casey-means-of-levels-a5b5eabf3bf1