My A1c History

Hi, I eat not very many carbs, what do you consider low car diet? Also, when you exercise, do you do temporary basals ow what? That is what I do, especially since joining the DiaTribe fitness challenge and doubled my amount of exercise each day. I find I burn more carbs, have to compensate. Can you elaborate? My a1C is 6.1 and I have been a Type one since 2005, am 71 years old and feel great, have no diabetes related issues.

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Hello Suhen. My average carb count is currently 140 per day. That is not really low carb, but it is much lower than it was in the 1990s.
I do not use a temp basal because my schedule varies, and the kind of exercise varies too. I test and eat some fast acting carbs, so that my BG will be 120-130 before exercising. Sometimes I don’t need to eat anything.

My A1c is also 6.1 now. You are doing very well. Keep up the good work.

Way to go Richard. That gives those of us who have wondered if there is hope of no complications after many years of T1D a good feeling. Very impressive scores the past 20 years. I’ve only had T1D since 93 (age 31). Reducing variability is the key. I’ve noticed better control and A1Cs since reducing carbs some and doing regular daily exercise. But like you, I’m not completely on a no- or low-carb diet. I also avoid the Brazilian steakhouses. Those are terrible for high glucose all night long. CGM and and pump have been great for me - especially now with my Apple watch and dexcom CGM. Also lets me watch my sugars real-time during marathons and ironman races.

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Way to go Richard.

I was diagnosed at age 2 and have had diabetes for 52 years now. my story is quite similar. I started on a pump in 1995.

I have aA few questions if you don’t mind.

  1. Was the low carb diet also low fat or was it like the 40/30/30 Atkins type diet? When I have tried that I always have trouble going high like 6 hours later mostly due to fat content I’m sure.

  2. Have you had many problems in the past with wild swings (ranges) of BS readings? I am quite brittle and can swing wildly so I never seem to be able to get much lower than an A1c in the low 8’s to upper 7’s.

PS - you should write a book. There seem to be more of us living longer. It would be interesting to get details about their lives and routines.

Thanks, Roger in Phoenix

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The average number of carbs per day is 140, which is not really low carb, but it is much less than in the 1990s. I get along very well with that, and am not overweight. I do not eat low fat, but I don’t have very much of it most days.

I had many wild swings in the past with many highs and lows. Things improved a lot when I had a meter to test blood sugar. After starting to use a pump, there are fewer highs and lows, but I still have them occasionally. I keep a chart of all my blood tests, arbs eaten, insulin dosages, and exercise. Watching the chart and adjusting as needed helps my control.

I wrote a book in 2010. I am not a very good author, but many people did buy it. Many parents of type 1 kids liked the book. My having type 1 for 71 years, and not having serious complications, gives the parents hope for their kids. I have met some of those kids at the Friends For Life type 1 conference in Orlando. I was a speaker there in 2015.


You are an inspiration, seriously! My great-grandmother and grandmother lived good, long lives as insulin-dependent diabetics, and died in their 80s and 90s. It is amazing to me that my great-grandmother, Mommy Keene, lived such a long and good life (she died in the 1980s) with such primitive treatment options compared to what we have today. As you describe, she took one or two insulin shots a day and had hard candy to hand for when she went low (which she did, sometimes). I don’t know if she ever tested: my grandmother was horrified when her doctor started making her use a glucometer in the 1990s, and insisted on sticking all of her kids and grandkids so we’d know just how bad it was.

Regardless, it gives me hope that with the tools we have now, I’ll be able to also live a good, long, healthy life with minimal complications. Thank you for showing us youngsters the way!


What was your book called Richard? Is it still available?

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My book is “Beating The Odds” with subtitle “64 Years Of Diabetes Health”. It was published in 2010. It is still being sold this year on Amazon.


This post makes me happy and I keep rereading it. Thank you thank you for posting. :relieved:


Thanks for sharing this Richard. It was quite encouraging to read and gives me and I’m sure a lot of people hope that it’s not a given that we will get all of the complications we are always being warned about.

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Amazing,reminds me of how things have progressed.
My history is not the same but my A1Cs dramatically improved after I
stopped taking NPH.
And The expectations for high bg and low bg were somewhat different.
I would go to the doctor and he would advise me that all I could do was my best,but after I switched insulin’s I could maage it a bit better.

I find it interesting what you were able to maintain before the pump with a low carb diet.I am on a similar path right now but i wounder if I should look into getting a pump.
Ive thought of it before but wasn’t certain if it would be right for me.

I bet it would improve things for me

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A pump would be nice but a continuous glucose meter would be much better. It provides safety while it educate you about how your unique glucose metabolism works. It’ll make your treatment decisions so much better informed. Better decisions lead to better outcomes – feeling better physically leads to feeling better emotionally. That drives motivation to sustain your good habits.

If you can get both, I would get the CGM first. That way you’ll be a better pump operator right from the start. The pump, if used well, takes fundamental knowledge in carb counting, carb ratios, correction factors, insulin sensitivity factors, and duration of insulin action. A pump is simply a fancy syringe and success depends on the smarts of the operator.

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What Com do you suggest?
Do you use one and which kind?

I’m not sure my Medicare through government would cover supply but my extended benefits through employer might.

I asked my endocrinologist about the device before but said it was more of a doctor’s tool meant to be worn for a week or two so the doctor could evaluate patients

Where can you buy one?

If you’re in Canada as your profile indicates, then no province in Canada covers CGMs, to my knowledge. Some employer insurances do, but not many and it can take a few appeals to get it. (It seems easier to get insurance coverage for CGMs in the States, from what I’ve read.) The Dexcom (G4 or G5), Animas Vibe, or Medtronic 630G are the choices for CGMS (the first a stand-alone unit, the second two integrated into pumps).

I’ve been using a CGM full-time (paid for entirely out of pocket) for over two years and it has been life-changing. It’s improved my control, lowered my stress level, and kept me safe. It’s expensive, but there are ways to cut down on the cost, and in my opinion it’s one of the best, if not the best, diabetes decision I’ve ever made.

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I didn’t realize that you lived in Canada. @Jen’s comment may be more germane than mine.

I use the Dexcom G4 with Share system. It’s pricey to finance out of pocket but some people do. As far as where to buy one, I suspect that you could read through this Dexcom Canada website and get more details.

It costs abou1p0 bucks for 7 day thing and þhe unit is about 300
Gonna go and check the pharmacy tomorrow
They only recestarted selling in Canada

A bit expensive but I should atleast look into it

ßorry bout the spelling errors,using phone

It totally makes sense.that way I would always know and it would never get away from me

Wow Richard! Great job! You’re an inspiration!

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I’m paying out of pocket like Jen. With the Dexcom (the only standalone CGM system in Canada far as I know, and the best one anyway) you can get 2-3 weeks out of a sensor even though it says they only last 7 days, so that makes it more economical. I almost always get 2 weeks and anything after that is a bonus, so expect to pay at most about $170/month and then for new transmitters when they die. You will be spending enough that you should be able to expense everything on your tax return depending on what your income is, and there is a Disability Tax Credit that type 1s are eligible for that you can apply for and receive for up to 10 years back, which makes it a lot easier to self-fund a CGM. If you are thinking of getting a pump you might want to look into the Medtronic system though. I don’t know what province you are from, but many (including Ontario) will pay for the entire Medtronic pump and CGM system up front, and after that you will just be funding the CGM sensors yourself. It is a bit cheaper since you don’t have to pay for the transmitter, and it integrates with the pump. However, many people don’t find it as reliable or that the sensors last as long.

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