Standard Deviation and Average Blood Sugars

There’s some recent buzz about the importance of looking not only at A1C’s and average blood sugars but also at standard deviation. It’s basically how far from your average blood sugar you stray on any given day. Does anyone have any experience with what is realistic when looking at standard deviation? I’ve heard you want to try to be no more than 1/3 of your daily average.Check out this website - for more information on standard deviation.

Sigh. Such a big investment in the numbers. I used to calculate my SD, just out of curiosity, ands it was pretty high even though my averages weren’t too bad. I think there is ongoing research that supports the fact that wide swings in bg can be very irritating to the blood vessels. Yet, how far can we go to get to the appropriate number?
I guess it’s an interesting tool, but very easy to get caught up in.

Bg average and SD are independent risk factors. Everybody is all over bg average because it is so easy to measure. There is almost no thread without mention of A1C. SD is hard to measure. I am not aware of a lab test. I bet if bg average was hard to measure and there was a lab test for SD then everybody would talk about SD. I see a danger in using A1C as the gold standard because A1C numbers can be improved with lows. It would be better if there was no incentive for being low. I try to keep my bg in the normal range as often as possible. I don’t see anything wrong with that. As for the specific question of what is realistic when looking at standard deviation: It depends on the tools that you have and the nature of your D. My D is well mannered and I have a CGM. I think I could do better if I had a pump too. My bg average is 100, SD is 30. But these are not the numbers that I am after. I am interested in % time spent outside my target range of 71-130. I am about 15% of the time too low and 15% of the time too high. These are the 2 numbers that I want to get down.

Common sense dictates that a lower standard deviation would be better because it would be low in a non-diabetic.

I suppose it could be used as a measure of how well you match insulin and carbs.

I used to look at it a lot, but not so much anymore.

I think I am going to download my pump now.

This is GOOD coaching/mentoring DAVE from a person living with diabetes 30 years plus ?? And I agree …almost 27 years with diabetes and no side effects , other than having GREY hair :slight_smile: …do the best you can !

I am appreciative of one-uppers. They spend a lot of time researching how to push the limits. They demonstrate what is possible and document how they do it. I think it is cool when someone shares how he programs his pump so that the bolus is a good match for pizza. Without this knowledge people might just avoid pizza or experience unnecessary highs.

Not mentioning any names Dave…do you mean Lloyd? :smiley: He has Great numbers. ALL the time. And yes, he goes on about the SD. Oh well, it helps to keep him motivated.

My oculist mention that a large spread or large SD (highs and lows) is also to avoid, just as a high A1c etc…
I think you don’t have to be a doctor to understand it stresses your body more, even if your average and A1c is good… but like said before… try to keep the blood sugar within range and all the rest (A1c, SD, …) is just a consequence…
I never calculate the average or the SD… just try to keep my BS within limits, which is already hard enough as a type 1. I follow the philosophy of Dave: don’t obsess on the numbers…

Fully agree… it’s no use…