I've been in a heated discussion on a previous post that led to carb counting. I guess some people claim they don't do it and it really confuses me beyond belief. So I wanted to establish a few facts.
I do not claim these to be true but to the best of my knowledge they are.
I really wish there was a doctor or dietician that could weigh in but here it goes.
What I believe are scientific facts that should be established and known for all Type 1 Diabetics in these forums and elsewhere so we can avoid debate and get down to taking control:
1. Non-Fibrous Carbohydrates are the only thing that raise your blood sugar. (Basically if a carb passes through you, it can't raise your blood sugar nor can fat or protein.)
2. Four things can lower your blood sugar.
c. Excretion - usually in the form of urine filtered by the kidneys.
d. Supplements - (I'm really not concerned into getting into a debate about which ones do and which ones don't but let's agree that there are things out there.) including things such as cinnamon, chromium, various herbs, etc.
3. If #1 is true and number #2 is true, taking a certain ratio of bolus insulin to non-fibrous carbohydrate intake needs to be established while taking into factor
a. basal amounts of insulin
b. rate of digestion of eaten carbohydrates
c. amount of exercise in the past 12 hours (this includes stress levels).
d. supplements taken
e. your body's ability to process/use the insulin (basically are you sick or not)
f. (Ok, I know there may be other factors but for sake of argument let's leave it at this unless I'm missing an obvious one)
to keep your blood sugar within a normal consistent range.
If these facts are found to be true, there is no option other than carb counting to consistently maintain normal blood sugar ranges.
Can you guess all of the time? Sure but that does not make things consistent and you'll be going up a down like a yo-yo and . . . it's just a lame way of carb counting.
Can you eat the same thing day in and day out and maintain a military like type schedule? Sure but that is just a boring way to carb count.
Can you test your blood sugar religiously and take insulin based on your meter readings? Sure, but you are just carb counting in a very backwards manner because your blood sugar is only going up from carbs. So if it's high, you've under guesstimated your carb count to insulin ratio and if it's low, you've over guesstimated your carb count to insulin ratio. It's like waiting to see the answer on a test then filling in the blank.
Anyway you slice it people, carb counting is not an option. The way you approach doing it is. Figuring out how to do it and paying attention to your body offers the most freedom. Is maximum freedom a goal for everyone? Maybe not but it makes life easier for us and others around us and helps all diabetics in educating others how our bodies work.
Is carb counting an exact science. Yes, but who has time to do it. Well, you should. You have Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes doesn't have you, right? It's all about maintaining your lifestyle. I'm a person first and a diabetic second. Personally, I never get it right all the time. I carb count like most people, when I'm out to eat, I look at my plate, draw upon my knowledge of studying food labels and research and take a shot. After many years, I'm pretty dead on in most situations. I still get frustrated when I guess wrong and I'm totally confused about certain blood sugar readings but that's why we're all here supporting each other.