Type 1 diabetes is a tricky balancing act! Here Dr Clark is teaching patients to balance the effects of insulin to food, exercise and stress to maintain stable blood sugar control.
Type 1 Diabetes is not easy to manage, I know after having lived with it since I was 11 years old. Here are my principles for long term health and wellness when living with T1D and ideas about how to achieve them
IMPECCABLE GLUCOSE CONTROL
There are many ways to achieve this. Here are some considerations:
Automated insulin pumps--this combines the use of a pump and continuous glucose monitor. Insulin delivery is adjusted based on the glucose level. The pump must be properly programmed and adjusted as needed based on changing metabolic needs. This is especially true during growth.
Low carbohydrate diet--carbohydrates spike blood glucose quickly and are hard to manage with even rapid insulin. Many who achieve the most impeccable glucose control limit their carbohydrate intake and instead get most calories from protein and fat. The traditional ways of dosing insulin for carbohydrate no longer apply. Small doses of insulin are required to cover meals but with fewer carbohydrates and lower doses of insulin, both the high and low glucose swings of T1D can be reduced. One can choose this as a lifestyle or simply as a tool to employ when stable glucose control is needed.
Inhaled insulin--maybe you love carbohydrates or even the occasional sweet treat but find it hard to manage the glucose spike that results. Now imagine using inhaled insulin dose with the meal and achieving a flat glucose profile! It is possible with inhaled insulin. Inhaled insulin is a unique and remarkable tool but using it does require significant education to be able to incorporate it successfully into one's regimen.
Knowledge--the goal of Chicago Diabetes Experts is to teach each individual to understand the tricky balancing act that is T1D. This requires a detailed understanding of all of the variable that impact blood glucose. This includes how insulin works over time (both rapid and basal insulin), the effect of different food types on blood glucose over time (proteins and fats are not free!), the effect of exercise (different types can increase or decrease glucose), and the effects of stress of many types. Once one has a detailed understanding of how all of these things work, then one can balance the effects of insulin, food, exercise and stress in order to achieve more stable glucose control. We want to make you your own Diabetes Expert!
Other medications--did you know that there is a non-insulin medication that has been FDA approved for use in type 1 diabetes? This medication is meant to stabilize glucose control and in some cases also promotes weight loss. There are additionally medications that are used in type 2 diabetes that are appropriate in some "off label" uses of type 1 diabetes. These medications likewise are meant to stabilize blood glucose and often promote weight loss. We are happy to consider if any of these are appropriate for you.
BE LEAN BUT NOT FRAIL
EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE
FIND THE CALM IN THE STORM OF T1D
Dr Clark is the proverbial needle in a haystack of endocrinologists. We found him through a friend who's son is also a T1D, and have never looked back.
We were tired of the quick 15 min check in with the doctor and spending most of the time with the CDE (nurse), which didn't amount to much more time. They also didn't know all the intricacies of this disease to help guide parents who have been doing this for years now.
Dr. Clark is a T1D himself and has done boundless research as a physician with Johns Hopkins University. He has literally tested every new thing on himself, and is able to make informed recommendations. He stays on top of the market and is always able to guide us with new technologies, meds, etc. And very importantly, he can relate to our son so well. He doesn't seem like your typical doc, and can talk to our son on his level and help understand his needs, challenges, and pain points. Our son was never keen on a "therapist", but Dr Clark in a way fills this role, and will spend whatever time that is needed. Yes the concierge service model affords this, but with such a chaotic and ever changing disease like Type 1, we felt it was the most beneficial approach to our son's care. And no one knows T1D like Dr Clark, both from a provider and personal perspective.
We thought we would do a one time consult (he offers this before signing on to the concierge fee structure), or maybe stay with him for a year...and then feel empowered to go it on our own. We do feel empowered, but here we are 3 years later and this relationship with Dr Clark is invaluable. He is our go-to with our son's care and he is very responsive and proactive. He delves into the finer details of the Clarity reports and is able to provide (quickly) insights into changes we can make that I may have not even seen. And I am an RN with diabetes advanced education.
I could go on and on...he is that good. But trust me, signing on with Dr Clark is way beyond worth what he charges. He is a true gem!
January 15, 2022