High A1C

My A1C is 8.8 and I am on the pump. Does anyone else have high numbers or am I the only one on the pump who has failed to bring down my numbers. Sometimes
I feel like I’m the only one on earth with such high numbers.I’ve gained about 50 lbs since being on the pump. I’m on pump about 5 years now. Since the pump I feel like i can eat anything and any amount. Should i try chromium or something. I’m so tired of everything. I’m diabetic 30 years …


No. Have a chat with your internist/Endo about Symlin. It works by delaying food dumping into your system thereby slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, gives you a feeling of being full for a longer period of time and can make you feel a bit bloated, but folks get used to this part after a few days.

The pump helps your body to store and use energy more efficiently, and so you will gain weight. You are vulnerable to weight gain like a non-diabetic in this regard. We simply can NOT eat what and how much you want without the consequences that others will pay too. Push away from the seconds, and the fats, and act like a non-diabetic on a ‘diet’… They have to eat less and work more to lose weight as well.

Hi Dennis!

I went on the pump and my A1c went higher! I have been on the pump for over three years and just got my A1c lower than it was before the pump (now under 7). To do this, there were three MAJOR changes that I made:
(1) basal testing (we all hate it, but if you do it for a few days it can make MANY days better!)
(2) CAREFUL carb counting
I bought a good scale and ate at home as often as possible weighing foods. If I was eating somewhere else, I tried to only get food that I could guess the carbs with some confidence
(3) bolusing 20 minutes before eating
Though I was always told that I should bolus when I eat (or even afterwards), I learned on this site that for humalog and novolog (I’m not familiar with Apidra) you can have NORMAL post-meal blood sugars by bolusing BEFORE eating. I usually only do this at home-- bolus then set the kitchen timer so that I don’t forget to eat on time. It is dangerous if you might forget to eat, but effective!!
I used to be over 200 after every meal! Now I can often avoid that!

Check out the group: Out of control pumpers– perhaps there are some people and ideas there that could help you! Also, I would check out the book “Pumping Insulin”. It has a lot of useful ideas and good suggestions for basal testing.

Hope that you are able to make the pump more effective for you! You are definitely not alone! For me the pump made my control worse too! But it can get better… then I realized that I love the pump!

Thank you all, I picked up good tips from everyone. I forgot how to test ones basal rates ?

Thanks again, Dennis

Here are some links with information about basal testing, but I think that the BEST resource is John Walsh’s “Pumping insulin” book. Check if it’s in the library or buy it, it’s definitely worth the price!

Link 1

Link 2

Perhaps others have useful links about basal testing? Good luck and pace yourself… it can be tiring to do basal testing day after day.

Thanks Kristin, for the links they look good ! Flo, I’m not that good of a carb counter I kinda estimate and guess the number of carbs. If anyone has any tips on counting carbs I would apreciate it.


Kristin, how do I get to the page, “out of control pumpers”?


The Out of Control Pumpers group is located here:
Out of Control Pumpers

The Calorie King site that Flo sent is really the best! There is also a book available if you prefer to have it in that form (especially for the times when the internet is not nearby!)
CalorieKing book

I was told that one of the benefits of going on the pump was a drop in a1c by about 0.5 to 1.0 for most people. I turned out to be one of those people for whom there was no overall change, but I did manage to keep the a1c stable while reducing my frequent lows.

About a year ago, I started aggressively carb and calorie counting and lost 45 pounds in 5 months. I also got my best a1c’s ever, finally breaking through 7.0. Unfortunately, my diligence waivered, and my last a1c was a big step backwards. I’ve gotten back to the diligence, so hopefully the next will be better.

For carb counting, calorieking is the best. The book is small – I have about 6 of them in various places and always have one with me. The website is better because it has so many different ways of measuring most foods and it does the calculations easily. There are also scales that have various food values plugged into them, so you just put the food on the scale, type in the code for the food or the letters, and it gives you the information. I had one for a while, but did not like it because everytime I wanted to weigh a banana and get the info on it, I had to go past Baby Ruth and other things that I did not want to see.

Also, a good set of measuring cups and spoons helps the process. It all makes meal time feel like calculus class, but it works.

As for weight loss – there are two things that matter, in my view: calories in and calories out. I think it is a very simple equation. And, if I can do it, anyone can. Sit down with a dietician and talk about food choices – ways to get foods that are more filling with fewer calories, without having to eat lettuce all day long. There are lots of good ways to do it. Good luck!

I don’t use a pump, but I’ve been on insulin for many years. Last August, I weighed 316 lbs and could barely get out of my chair(which I didn’t try very often). I blamed every med I took, every person that could eat anything they wanted, my heart condition, my Drs, my wife, and my life. Oh, I forgot to add my depression. Then my cardiologist referred me to a new Endo that was very aggressive in his treatment approach to big D. I still resisted but the Dr wouldn’t let me use my excuses. He also finally got it through my thick skull that if I wanted to live for much longer I had to make a drastic change in my life. I now walk 5 to 7 miles a day, eat less than 150 carbs a day(probably closer to under a 100 carbs), and I have lost 80 lbs. I still have 50 lbs to go and I will get there. I don’t diet, I made life style change and stopped blaming everyone and everything for my problem. I now accept the fact that only I can make the change and it is my responsibility to do so. Enough of the lecture, I just want everyone to know that the challenge can be interesting and fun if you want it to be.
In the “Last Lecture” the professor made the statement,“You are dealt certain cards in life, and it is up to you to play the hand”.

Have a good one on me,

Thanks to both of you ! But Kristin, if you didn’t put up the link to out of control pumpers, how would I get there ?


Near the top of the page, click on “Groups”, then in the search box, type:
Out of Control Pumpers
(or any other group you want to search for)
and hit enter.

Groups are a good way to find people with common interests :slight_smile:

Thanks Kristin & Flo for all your help and tips !


Thanks,Jonathan, Patch, for sharing your stories. They make me feel less alone, and make me think that I can do it !
Also I forgot to thank Jenny, "thank you’
I’m glad I found this web site !


Have been a diabetic for 17 years. Never wanted to use the pump. My A1C are usually between 7 and 8. As low as 6.8, as high as 8.8. Back in November I went to a HS reunion and one of my old friends was a MiniMed rep. Her son is a diabetic. She told me about the continuous glucose monitoring system. I told her I’ve been waiting for this since two weeks after my diagnosis. I immediately went and got a pump and sensors (Insurance paid for pump, I paid for sensors). After 2 months of use my A1C was 6.6. I’m guessing now it’s below 6.5. The data gets uploaded to Minimed and they give you some useful reports. I average 94% between 50 and 170, 3% higher, 3% lower. If you’re serious about controlling. There’s no better way (IMO) than the continuous glucose sensor.


The pump allows you to dispense insulin in more complex patterns, but the it won’t really get the job done if you don’t have a really good understanding of how many grams of carbs are in your food.

I’d suggest buying a food scale at a cookware store and spending a few weeks measuring portions on the scale and looking up the nutritional information. I use software from Lifeform. Fitday.com is another good source of nutritional information online.

You may find that the slice of bread you’ve been estimating as 20 g and dosing for 20 grams is really 35. That makes a difference in how far the insulin goes.

If you eat out a lot, it gets even tougher. I’ve been known to bring restaurant foods home and weigh them, and invariably they are always FAR more grams of carbs than I thought they were.

Alternatively, once you know exactly how much carb is in a meal you eat, you may discover that your insulin/carb ratio isn’t what you thought it was (or what it was a year or two ago.)

I don’t use a pump, I use shots, but over a couple years now I have been impressed at how often my carb/insulin ratio changes.

I have also found that my insulin often weakens as I go through a vial and my numbers will creep up as this happens unless I log everything and notice that I’m suddenly 10 or 15 mg/dl higher after eating a known meal than I would have expected.

That kind of stuff adds up!

Finally, if you are trying to cover a lot of carbs, well, that’s tough. Most of the people I know who get very tight control with insulin seem to cut way back on carbs–exactly how far has to do with your unique metabolism. But I can’t cover more than 50 g at once with any kind of precision and I do a lot better with less than that.

Thanks Brian, and Jenny, for the stories; interesting reading them all.