Learnings from Actual Blood Glucose Measurements with Dexcom G6

Learnings from Actual Blood Glucose Measurements with Dexcom G6

January 15, 2020 1 By Jose Scott


The more you understand your body and
its reaction to different factors or situations, the better you will know how to
take care of it and stay healthy. One such critical element that affects your body is blood glucose level. I’ve been measuring my blood glucose level for a
while now, and, in this video, I would like to share my findings on how my body
reacted to different types of food and what I learned from that experience.
Coming up! Hi, Andrey here, welcome to Practical health! You might be asking yourself what is blood glucose. Well,
blood glucose or blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the blood. In the United States, Germany and other countries glucose is measured in
milligrams per deciliter and the international standard for measuring
blood glucose level is based on molar concentration measured in millions per
liter. The lowest acceptable health level of blood glucose is considered 70
milligrams per deciliter, while the highest level is not well defined and
depends on many factors. What most experts agree on though is that a blood glucose
level above 200 milligrams per deciliter is unhealthy. The good news for me is
that I’m a healthy person. Or at least I think I’m a healthy person. I try to
stick to a well balanced and healthy diet, get a good night’s sleep daily and
exercise about five times a week. But as a data-driven person, I wanted to know
more about blood sugar and decided to get a continuous glucose monitor and
measure my glucose for several weeks. This monitor attaches to my body and
sends glucose readings to my iPhone every five minutes or 12 readings per
hour. It’s not as often as I wanted but it’s probably the best we can achieve
with today’s technology. So, let me show what I discovered! Number 1. Let’s start
by looking at my blood glucose of a typical day. You can clearly see that it
goes up and down many many times. My average level of glucose during the day
was 104 with the highest level peaking at 198 and the lowest at 75. The first
peak was driven by my morning tea with honey and lemon, the second occured
following a breakfast of cottage cheese with dried cranberries, and another happened after a lunch of soup and salad (which is my typical lunch). Following a usual dinner of meat or fish and a salad, and sometimes a little wine or beer, there
were no significant spikes. One interesting observation is that, on
average, the glucose peak happened between 30 and 40 minutes from the start of my food intake. Number 2. If we string together several days’s worth of
glucose measurement data, there are a couple of clear takeaways – valleys at night and
peaks in the morning. Other than this, I can’t really draw any additional
conclusions from these graphs. Number 3. Now let’s talk about individual
food consumption and the impact on glucose levels. First, my morning tea with
honey and lemon. This is the first thing that I drink in the morning. I’m most
surprised by the fact that even a half a teaspoon of honey increased my glucose
from 108 to 173. Number 4. At lunch, I usually have soup and salad. I always
assumed that this is was a fairly healthy meal and was definitely surprised to see
the glucose jump from a base level of 80 to 100 up to 160 to 180. After analyzing
the situation, I realized that some of the salad components like sweet corn
beets and probably the dressing caused the spike. Number 5. My typical dinner
consists of meat or fish, salad and sometimes wine or beer. I was pleasantly
surprised to see that my glucose level stayed more or less flat. I don’t know
whether it was caused by the protein and salad or the wine and beer, or maybe a perfect combination of them all. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Number 6. Probably the most depressing discovery was that two mid-sized bananas resulted in a 100+ jump in my glucose level – from 111 to 224. “Healthy”
bananas are doing that to me? I also saw similar levels with sweet
apples where the glucose level went up uncontrollable. Number 7. Here we have a couple of additional non-food related measurements worth discussing. The first one is my typical one-hour, 7.5-mile run.
As you can see, my lowest glucose level – 65 happened at the end of my run, at
minute 60, and then during the next hour without any food intake, it returned to
my normal level between 90 and 100. Number 8. And finally, my 21-hour fast. The initial blood glucose peak and valley were caused by my morning tea with honey and lemon, and then the glucose gradually went down from 105 to 92, as expected. So, what are my key takeaways? First, let’s begin with a simple one – all candies,
sweets and cakes send my blood glucose through the roof, easily above 200. This
is not a surprise to me and I assume it’s likely not a surprise to most
people. Second, the impact of honey caught me off guard. Even just 1/2 a teaspoon of honey in my tea increased my blood glucose from 108 to 173. Third, bananas and apples also pushed my glucose above 200. I definitely
was not expecting an apple to do that; bananas – maybe, but not apples! Fourth.
What I realized from this test is that there is quite a bit of hidden sugar
everywhere. Sweet corn and beets are good examples, they have a lot of sugar.
Therefore, it makes sense that a cup of soup and the salad drove my blood
glucose up to in the 160 to 180 range. And, finally, I was happily to see that
wine and beer acted as glucose stabilizing drinks. Or maybe it was the
protein in the meat or fish that helped. I don’t know…
So, in summary, I was very surprised to learn that many of the foods that we eat
contain some form of sugar, even those foods that most consider “healthy,” and
this sugar can significantly increase blood glucose levels. So, what can we do to prevent major glucose peaks and valleys? Here are my thoughts: learn how your body reacts to different types of foods. Each body is unique, so the reaction of my body to a particular food might be different from the reaction of your body.
Stay away from sugar and foods containing sugar, and make sure that you have a healthy amount of protein in your diet. Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly
(I am sure that your parents told you that a thousand times growing up). This
gives your body ample time to release insulin. And lastly and the fundamental
concept – increase your insulin sensitivity by maintaining a healthy
lifestyle – which is what our channel Practical Health is all about. Again, please, remember that this is my results and that your results may be quite different
from mine. That’s it for today. I hope you got something useful from this video
that you can apply to your life. Thank you so much for watching, make sure that
you subscribe to our channel, share this video and hit that like button. See you
next time! Bye…