My Continuous Glucose Experiment

As most of you know by now, I have a large interest in human metabolism and how it helps or hurts your health. One of the most common metabolic disorders in my practice is Obesity which is linked with Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease. There are actually many more disease states linked with the above issues, but that would take a few books to go into.

So instead I will hopefully be putting out a few posts on my own experiment. I decided to have my glucose (sugar) levels checked every 5 minutes for one week. I guess I will have pretty sore fingers from all those glucose checks???

Actually I will not.

Why you ask???

I contacted our regional sales rep from Dexcom. Dexcom manufactures a portable continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that you insert almost painlessly just under your skin on your abdomen (belly). The (CGM) monitor checks your glucose levels every 5 minutes and sends the readings to a receiver. In my case my IPhone has an app that acts as the receiver. So all I need to do is look at my phone or my IWatch for my readings. Yes I think my neck will be sore from staring at my phone all day.

So on April 20, 2016 at about 2PM, I had my CGM inserted. The insertion pinch was less than giving blood and was over in a split second. There is one caveat. To calibrate the CGM, you must still perform a fingerstick blood glucose twice a day. I have not performed this on myself since my medical school training and was a bit apprehensive. But even that was a piece of Paleo cake and virtually painless. I used a Freestyle glucometer borrowed from Stines apothecary, {{ shout-out}} a local independent pharmacy in Hainesport NJ.

So what do I hope to learn from this experiment??

I hope to track food intake as well as exercise and sleep patterns to see how they affect my glucose readings. I am not a diabetic but how close am I? If Prediabetes is truly a precursor to heart disease I want to know, right??

Will this be a tool for others in my practice to use to engineer their own Prediabetes/diabetic state and thus prevent progression towards heart disease and other metabolic complications?

Can we use this to track if fasting causes hypoglycemia or if fat burning keeps energy and glucose up?

How long after I start eating does it take to see the rise in my glucose levels?

How long til the glucose levels plateau?

How long til the glucose levels return back to baseline?

Does exercise play as big a role as we think in keeping glucose levels in a healthy range?

Will I be able to find my carbohydrate tolerance level? I define this as the amount of carbohydrates I can eat without raising my glucose levels too much.

How much is too much?

Does dehydration play into this at all?

There will be many many more questions I will have as this process unfolds. If you have any others, please ask them in the comment section below.

Wish me luck!!

DrH

  • Mark

    Very interesting approach. I have been keeping a diary of the foods I eat and how they effect more overall being. I have determined what works and what does not for my body/metabolism. Since I started modified Paleo and the diary I am down about 50lbs. I look forward to seeing your results.

    • DrHorvitz

      There are many ways to skin a cat they say. There are just as many ways to watch and control your diet to affect positive change.
      Your system appears to be working very well for you. Mucho applause and hand clapping on your success!!
      DrH

  • Sparks

    I look forward to your results. This is so intersting. Good luck Dr. H

  • Chris

    Looking forward to the results, especially the carb tolerance results as I seem to function better with a little more carbs. I’m also curios if you have an eating/fasting plan to test out various scenarios. Lastly, if you truly are fat adapted, what effect does that have on your results.

    • DrHorvitz

      It is Day 6 as I answer this.
      It appears I do OK in response to non-starchy natural carbs like veggies and salads.
      But starchy carbs like potatoes and rice raises my glucose.
      Tonight was cole slaw which being sweet must have had lots and lots of hidden sugar in it.
      Hopefully my glucose drops as quickly as it rose.

      Thanks for the question/comment!!

      DrH

  • http://www.thejerseyfarmscribe.com Erika

    I’m SO incredibly excited to see how this pans out. Thanks Doctor H! You may have saved me a few finger pricks myself!