Personalized Glucose Response

We are such a diverse community. And we always say Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV). But for the first time research suggests that we all have a personal glucose response to foods and that may response may differ dramatically from person to person. Below is a chart showing the glucose response of two different people to cookies and bananas.

In the top, participant 44 had a glucose surge from bananas but a cookie with the same amount of calories was totally inert. Surprisingly participant 644 had the opposite effect. This study, which was reported in the journal Cell was unique in that it analyzed the microbiome of participants (gut bacteria) and found that the response to foods could be predicted with an algorithm based on the bacteria in your gut. The study also found that food response varied for an individual based on whether consumption was preceded by exercise or sleep.

So we are all different and yet we are still the same. What do you think about this result. Will you drop that carb counting book and develop your own personalize counting book?


Thanks for posting this, @Brian_BSC. I saw a summary on one of the news sites but these graph really gets the message across! I have to say the results make sense to me based on what I read here and also as a new CGM user. My CGM experience has taught me a lot about how my body processes food!

It’s good to see in print what we in the DOC have been clearly witnessing for a long time. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to almost any aspect of diabetes management, food selection/response certainly included. This example shows two very different food categories, but I am sure we have all experienced unexpected results even within the same food group (for me, rice vs. potatoes, for example). Frequently, what works “great” for one person spells disaster for the next.

The carb counting books are a good starting point, but each of us has to experiment on our own and see how our bodies respond to each thing - food, medication, exercise, etc. - that we try on our journey. It will be interesting to see if any kind of “diagnostic tool” or new treatment options come out of the results of a study like this.

That’s a very interesting study, @Brian_BSC. It only underlines the value that a determined CGM-user derives from watching post meal trends and responds accordingly. In some case where the post meal trend is so unruly the user could abandon that food choice. In other less extreme post-meal BGs, the user could alter the meal insulin regimen (insulin dose size and duration as well as pre-bolus timing) and find the dependable antidote.

The gut microbiome science seems to be coming into its own these days. I learned that there are ten times more cells in the gut that there are in the rest of the human body. I also learned that the quantity and proportion of the various gut bacteria determine the strength of the body’s immune system.

I suspect that the cookie-banana study could be extended over time and the post meal curves might also vary by time of day, from week to week, and as a person ages.

I followed the link and found this animated YouTube video that explains the study in a very accessible way. It runs about five and one half minutes and is a nice summary of the study.

Usually, one’s blood glucose will skyrocket if that person eats something they are allergic to. I have seen this correlation between allergy testing and glucose trending.


Do you have any data that you can link to? I’ve heard this type of statement from other people as well. I have a lot of allergies and numerous allergy-related conditions and have been seeing an allergist for years. While I’m no doctor, I’ve done quite a bit of my own research on allergies and related conditions, and have never read anything about food allergies causing blood sugar spikes.

Awesome study! Its like an early Christmas present out of Israel. I put a link to the full study here. Happy to see Terrys link that condenses the info. After doing lots of bolus meal testing, where I ate the same food over and over, with highly variable results, I stopped counting and am functioning off intuition, with somewhat better results. I find better results working off experience than simple, quantitative rules that don’t always adequately describe the complex system that we work with. It seems that modeling complex systems is much more of an art than a science. This mathematical model is half of the battle for describing system behavior. Thanks, btw, Brian_BSC, I think you originally made a recommendation about testing for gasteoparesis. That was a good thing to rule out and I was unfamiliar with the condition. And, thanks to Dexcom, for allowing access to data that made many of us aware of the fact that the traditional paradigm of our illness was broken, burning, and lost at sea. Lets start reforming it! Link to Full Study