What We Learned from the Online Community in April

We learn something new every day from the T1D Exchange Online Community’s Question of the Day responses. Here are the 3 most popular questions of April 2021!

What was your most recent A1c?

Our most popular Question of the Day in April might look a little familiar! We asked this question a few months ago but wanted to see if there have been any shifts in the A1cs reported by our Online Community as more people join and through different seasons of the year.

The distribution of responses to this question were nearly identical to when this question was asked in early January, with nearly half of the people who answered this question reporting an A1c in the 6’s. Similar to the January responses, only a bit over 1% reported an A1c above 9.0, and another 1% reported an A1c below 5.0.

Here are some comments that resonated with the community:

  • “More importantly than A1c, I’m in range >80% with <4% low and no serious/very lows. It is possible to have an A1c <7 without serious lows or lots of them.”
  • “Last one was right where we want it. My medical team & I have decided what is best for me and anything around 7 and no less than 6. Been right in the middle for a couple years now. And now using Tandem Control IQ, it is never an issue. And not much work involved!”
  • “For many years my A1c hovered around 6. My endo insisted that I needed to raise it because of too many lows. Now that I’m using a Tandem pump with Control IQ, I have far fewer lows and am comfortable with a 6.3/6.5 A1c.”

2. For people with T1D who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine: Did you have any of the following side effects? Select all that apply to you.

The second most answered Question of the Day this month had 378 people responding, with an average number of 2.33 options selected per person. 15% of respondents to this question had no side effects at all with their vaccine doses.

The comment section for this question reflected feelings of relief, some commiseration and, most commonly, gratitude. Although some folks had more severe side effects than others, many commenters acknowledged that the side effects they experienced for a few days were worth it to help prevent COVID-19.

Here’s what some community members had to say about their experiences:

  • “I’ve had both shots of Pfizer and had no side effects from either dose.”
  • “I’ve had 2 Moderna doses. First one, nothing. Second one, soreness (but not pain, redness or swelling) at the injection site that evening. Nothing the following morning.”
  • “Moderna vaccine times two. I experienced a sore arm with #1, chills overnight following #2. I am very thankful to have received the vaccine!”
  • “Moderna, 2nd dose: very achy, but no fever. Subsided with ibuprofen. Gone within a day.”
  • “I had no symptoms with the first shot. The day after the second shot, I felt tired, ‘blah’, a little achy, and a little chilled. The second day after my second shot, I felt good as new! Remarkably better.”
  • “I had the Moderna. ‘Tiredness’ does not begin to describe the utter exhaustion plus fever on day 2. However, having symptoms like this for one day is well worth the [lowered] risk of getting COVID. I feel such a sense of relief now and still wear a mask and am as mindful as ever of keeping social distance when I’m possibly not with others who have been vaccinated.”

3. Do you most often bolus before, during or after you eat a meal?

Although no two boluses are the same, we asked our community whether they most often bolus before, during or after their meals.

When we’re first diagnosed with T1D, we’re told that boluses should be given 15 minutes before eating, but in real life that is often easier said than done. However, with more than 70% of people answering that they most often bolus before meals, the comments of this question have inspired us to try a little harder to remember to bolus before a meal!

Here’s what our community had to say:

  • “Before I take the first bite, but almost immediately.”
  • “I bolus during my meal because I want to be sure I can eat my entire meal. Also, I’m a slow eater and don’t want to have to worry about going low…but reading all your comments is an encouragement to me to take my insulin sooner; I know it would help reduce the spikes.”
  • “All depends on what my BG is doing before start of a meal, and what kind of food I am eating for the meal.”
  • “I try to dose 20-25 minutes before a meal with carbs that spike like breakfast cereal. Much better post-meal control!”
  • “Depending on BG level. Usually 15 – 60 minutes before meal.”
  • “You would think that I’d remember to do it before I eat, but unfortunately I don’t always get that done. It’s usually during my meal that I remember to enter my carbs and bolus.”

Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for sharing your experiences. Your words inspire others who come to this community for advice and to know they’re not alone.

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