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Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for inspiring others who come to this community for advice and to know they’re not alone. Here is what we learned from the 3 most popular questions of March 2022!
Do you bolus for caffeine?
The most answered Question of the Day in March showed that about 28% of respondents bolus for caffeine at least sometimes, if not more often. The responses to this question highlighted the different ways people may be affected by caffeine, with some people bolusing a few units for technically zero grams of carbohydrates, but some people having no noticeable rise in blood glucose after consuming caffeine.
Some community members wondered about the research around caffeine and blood glucose levels. One person shared their helpful insight on this topic:
“The literature around caffeine is a little confusing, because a number of issues get blended together. There is a nice discussion of this here: https://www.levelshealth.com/blog/does-coffee-raise-blood-sugar and another here: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-and-caffeine. Punchline: caffeine can raise BG due to increased resistance to the effect of insulin and thus increased liver production of sugar. But unless you have T1D and are on CGM or check post meal BG levels after taking in caffeine with no milk or sweeteners, you might not realize that this is happening. There are lots of relevant variables: amount of caffeine, if consumed with something else like creamer sweetener etc., and individual sensitivity to caffeine. In life, you see what you look for; this is a good example.”
Here are other popular comments for this question:
- “No, never have. I drink my drip coffee with 1/2 & 1/2, now limited to only 2 cups in the morning. I bolus for the breakfast I eat while drinking the coffee, but have never added carbs for the coffee or 1/2 & 1/2.”
- “I drink my coffee black and caffeinated. I bolus for 8 grams – always.”
- “Coffee = yes, Diet Soda = no”
- “I only have a cup of coffee most mornings and save eating until later or even lunch. I always need to figure coffee as about 15 carbs. (Endo and I suspected it might be my body/brain gearing up for the day the same way a stressful meeting at work will raise my bg levels, but I went a week once drinking tea and did NOT need to bolus at all, even though it was also caffeinated)…”
- “Some people’s sugar rises with caffeine and others do not. If you bolus or not for it depends on your bodies reaction to it. I am not an endo, but I think medical people would say it just depends on your individual situation.”
For CGM users: How long have you been using a CGM?
Our second most answered question of March looked at years of CGM experience in our community, and emphasized the improvements in technology over the years. A little more than half of respondents to this question started using a CGM within the past six years, another 25% began using a CGM 6-10 years ago, and another 20% have been using a CGM for more than 10 years.
Here is what some folks in the Online Community shared:
- “I started in 2011 with the Dexcom SEVEN and then with G4, G5 and now G6 with the Tslim integration. Wonderful advancements!”
- “2006, starting with the hellspawn Medtronic harpoon.”
- “I started using sensors in 2008, initially Medtronic 3-day sensors (stretched to 7) which were fair. Then upgraded to their 7-day Enlite which were awful. Switch to Dexcom G4 for a couple of years. I then went back to Medtronic’s current version. Approved for 7 day use, I try to stretch them out to 10-14 days.”
- “I had a horrible experience with the Enlite. The results were all over but never close to reality. It drove me crazy.”
- “Started with Medtronic Enlite then switched to Dexcom G5, G6 for a total of 11 years.”
- “Technology advancements have been great. When will the cure come?”
- “I started on an Enlite from Medtronic in 2008 when insurance started covering them, but fingersticks were absolutely necessary – sensor was not reliable! 5 years on G5-G6.”
On a scale of 1-5, how much do you think your blood glucose levels impact your overall mood? (1 = the least impact, 5 = the most impact)
March’s third most answered Question of the Day demonstrated the many ways mood can be impacted by blood glucose levels – and the many ways that blood glucose levels can be impacted by moods.
Many commenters pointed out that for them, mood changes are often an early signal of a low or high blood glucose level. Whether they personally notice the shift or they are gently nudged to check their BG levels by a loved one, mood shifts can prompt them to take action.
Here’s what some community members shared about their experiences:
- “I live alone so my CGM tells me “go eat something” or go take a correction. The day I tried to give up coffee, I couldn’t get along with myself! Life is filled with highs and lows, especially when a T1D. It can be your mood, your sugars, blood pressure, bank account, your family news, but loss of life of loved one or even watching the Ukranian apocalypse makes me SAD with tears. My faith promises better time ahead.”
- “The crying happens occasionally to me as well if I am low. Sometimes I get lovey-dovey and my husband just looks at me and says: go eat something ☺”
- “Sometimes I wonder if it is the out of range BG level affecting my mood, or just knowing my BG level is out of range that affects it.”
- “Most often low or high blood sugars affect my sleep and that’s what affects my overall mood. But I am more likely to be irritable when my blood sugar’s out of range (as I’m sure anyone is when they’re feeling under the weather) and when it’s severely low I’m prone to crying for no apparent reason.”
- “I feel my BG levels affect me all the time. Whether I’m in range or not, it just becomes exhausting to manage it. When I’m low I get frustrated that I did something wrong to create the low…But I know that DM has a mind of its own, yet I still become frustrated.”
- “I don’t consider what happens with low blood sugar as a “mood change.” It is an impending train wreck and all my energies are spent on getting back on track. Other than that, I don’t think I am crankier than anybody else around me.”
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