Posted by on Monday, 7 June 2010

And there was evening, and there was morning...

Just a quick update on the ongoing Lantus experiment... If you've popped by before you may have read that I recently changed the timing of my Lantus injection to combat fairly frequent, low-level morning hypos.

After the initial euphoria of my new-found pre-breakfast bg stability had worn off, I began to notice an unfortunate side effect of the new system. True, I was no longer waking up hypo 3 times a week, but I began to find that after breakfast my blood glucose levels would 'spike' - rising steeply and peaking way higher than I'd like.

When I'd suggested shifting my Lantus dose to the mornings to the DSN at the hospital, she had said that in her experience it merely 'moved the problem'. While this wasn't exactly true in my case (as I wasn't having consistent late afternoon hypos) it did appear that I'd simply swapped one problem for another.

My overall control has always been pretty good. A few swings here and there, but on the whole, fairly respectable HbA1c's (the test that reveals how 'normal' your blood glucose levels have been over the previous 12 weeks or so - below 7% is the guideline). One of the things I'm noticing about my renewed focus on tighter control is that you quickly move your own goalposts. I know for sure that one of the ways I've kept my HbA1c's in check is by having rather too many low-level hypos to counteract the high readings over the same period. Good control is not about constantly swinging from high to hypo, but as with all average-based assessments the HbA1c can hide the true picture.

In short, I was not happy to constantly spike after breakfast especially since I was now missing all those pesky morning hypos that would have kept up the illusion of good control in my HbA1c.

So for the last week or so I've been splitting my Lantus dose, half at about 10pm and the rest at around 7am the following morning. My reasoning was this... Lantus takes a good 3-5 hours to get going (this is why it is often recommended that you take the dose last thing at night). It also lasts around 18-26 hours, depending on the person - I think it's around 20-22 hours for me. What I think was happening with my breakfast time dose was that yesterday's had run out, and today's wasn't kicking in until mid-morning at the earliest. This meant that my breakfast bolus was having to cover basal requirements as well as whatever I was eating. By injecting half and half I now have two activity curves running out of phase so that the onset of one is covered by the activity of the other.

I have to confess that the timings of the doses are based more on convenience and the likelihood that I'll remember them than any complicated graph-based calculation of perfect timings, but for the last week or so both fbg (pre-breakfast blood glucose level) and post breakfast readings have been pretty much bang on target.

Well apart from the day I forgot to inject that is... but that's another story.


Update: Basal driving me bonkers

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