Type 1, Vegan and my numbers

I realize there are all different levels of control out there. But if not for hearing about what other numbers people aimed for years ago I would probably have a lot higher A1C average still. It is nice to know how people are successful in what they do. And there are plenty of people that have better numbers than me too!

It doesn’t mean every one can attain lower A1C numbers. Sometimes it’s our diet, sometimes work schedules and type of work, sometimes genetics and sometimes it’s different health conditions we have in addition to our diabetes. Many reasons can make it harder for some people than others. But the thing is if people don’t say what they have attained or do, other people don’t know sometimes that there is even that choice and the different choices of eating patterns…

I have been a vegetarian since I was 11, over 50 years now and a vegan for the last 35 of those years. I am a strict vegan. But I eat what I want, as long as it’s definitely vegan, So I enjoy a vegan cookie or treat every day or a piece of chocolate. I do not low carb. I eat lots of veggies, fruits, tofu or fake meats and grains every day. Prebolusing was always very important to me for control and then I got a Dexcom and use the alerts to refine my control.

I set the above range to show the in range amount for 65-140 range during the day.
The night I still have set at 65-180. I have dawn phenomenon and I am unwilling to be woken up to correct it for it’s variables. It affects my A1C though and ups my average.
I know this because a couple of times it has gone away and my estimated A1C drops.

But this is the chart I keep on my phone 65-160, it has more 100%'s on it and that makes me happier looking at it!

Omnipod
Dexcom G6
6% A1C the last visit
I eat what I want as long as it’s vegan
I prebolus
I use about 55 units of insulin a day
I am retired, I ride an exercise bike about 10 miles every day and I am probably lower calorie as I am not as active with my back issue and not working.

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Seeing so many 100% makes me happy, even that these are not my 100%. Thanks for putting together such comprehensive information. I thought that vegan diabetics were doomed and it surprises me that it is not so. Do you limit the amount of carbs per meal? If not, how do you deal with high carb meals?

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Good work but it’s a fact that humans cannot live off a vegan diet without vitamin supplementation, particularly b12 which is ONLY found in animal products. However humans can live and thrive off of a zero carb carnivore diet. Particularly beef which contains all the essential vitamins and minerals required for human life, it’s still debated if salt needs to be supplemented but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Himalayan pink salt is excellent for the body :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing this with us. And congratulations on achieving such good control!

I’ve been vegetarian for about 13 years (can’t give up cheese and eggs), and I’m always happy to hear about other people controlling their diabetes on a vegetarian diet. However, in the end, I don’t think it matters much what diet you follow to control your diabetes as long as you’re disciplined about it and have the strength to follow it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian or not when someone offers you a can of Coke. If you’re a diabetic you should probably decline the offer. It’s all about self control and knowing what you need to do to control your diabetes. You, obviously, are dialed in to exactly what your body needs. Congrats again.

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She must be doing something right to have survived 35 years as a vegan :wink: not my cup of tea either, but it seems to be working. I hope I survive with type 1 that long! Only 24 years in for me.

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Congratulations, @Marie20 on your stellar glucose management! While I don’t share your eating style, all your charts and numbers demonstrate the effectiveness of your glucose management. In addition to your choice of foods, I think your discipline with prebolusing and paying attention to the data has also contributed to your BG success.

Please excuse my food pun, but the proof really is in the pudding. If you feel well and have energy to accomplish meaningful activities each day, then that’s what counts. Keep up the great work!

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Fabulous control means fabulous numbers @Marie20

You’re a perfect example of a longterm diabetic who’s embraced technology and adapted your preferred diet for exceptional control. If I was your doctor I’d want you to speak to newer type 1’s to demonstrate what’s possible when you decide to control your disease rather than let it control you.

Congratulations - remarkable :star_struck:

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@Helmut I never seek to limit my carbs except I have a tendency to not go over 30-60 per meal. But if I want to eat pizza I do and I eat as much as I want.

Typical day would include fruit as snacks, bowl of veggies with tofu or seitan , then maybe lasagna, veggie burger, sandwich with a side etc as my bigger meal. Throw in a cookie and a piece of dark chocolate and some soy milk for the day. Most days are probably under 120-150 carbs and not that high in calories.

Most of my foods are not high fat so prebolusing and bolusing is easy, a half a hour before I eat and the rest when I eat. I do have to guess sometimes and I don’t always finish what I served myself, but that is the beauty of the second half of the bolus at my meal as I can adjust it. And a higher carb meal like pizza sometimes calls for an extra punch a half hour to hour after I eat, my pizza is not high fat, I think it is the absorption of a slower more food, higher carb, 100 carbs? at a meal for me.

The beauty of a CGM tells me how I am doing and if I need to make an adjustment. The beauty of retirement allows me to get on the exercise bike if I see my arrow going up more than I expected. I will not eat a meal I have to guess at and leave the house because higher numbers annoy me lol! I also will not eat a meal if my numbers are say more than 120? But I prefer to eat when I am at 95-110.

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@David48 I agree, while I personally would never consider a diet other than vegan or vegetarian. I have always said eat what is best for you to control your blood sugars and makes you happy.

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@Allison1
I have been a type 1 for 16 of those years. I am 62 now. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That is awesome! What I meant was, if you can be vegan that long, you must have it figured out :wink:

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Great numbers no matter how you get to them

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@Marie20, thanks for your very detailed response. I think I understand what makes you so successful. The common denominator is discipline. This is what I am lacking. I am definitely intrigued by the abundance of 100% days. Having seen one 100% day myself, I am definitely eager for more.

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I just would like to add, that your level of comfort, and control, may be a little different from others, but still be fine. Personally, my A1c is better when between a 6.5, and a 7.0. It may sound a little higher, than what is acceptable (medically,) but if I keep mine any tighter, I suffer from extreme lows, at times, and it works out better (for me) to keep mine in that range. I see the doctor(s) regularly, and keep my blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc… low, and have no plaque (anywhere) in my body. So for me, an elevated, to normal-ish A1c, is acceptable. I think that my insulin sensitivity, plays a role in my choices, but so far, it has paid off.

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@Poloplayer 6.5-7.0 is fine, in fact I believe that’s the range doctors prefer to stop lows. I used to be 6.4% for a while and I was happy at that and I probably would still be happy with that. With a Dexcom and the alerts that allow me to adjust highs or lows easier it was easy to drop my percentage without doing anything different other than responding faster to changes.


Avg. 4.7
A1c: 4.6%
Std: 0.5
Type one 42 years. MDI.
Range: 4.0 to 6.1 100%
(see image)

Complications have been shown to start from > 6.1.mmol. You can have normal bloodsugars without having hypos, you wouldn’t know it because your not taught how or shown better. Doctors would have you suffering painful complications. I should know, im trying to undo all the ones ive collected, like autonomic neuropathy of the vagus nerve.

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@Edward2 There is some talk about 6.5% not having complications from that level of A1C. And while I have aimed lower I’m not sure there is enough proof that the lower A1C’s are better than the 6.5-7.0% range.

Here is an article from Sept/2019 from a study released last August.

And if someone is happy with that range and it helps keep them from to lows, then for them it’s better and I’m not sure there is enough research out there to say they are wrong.

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So good to see your excellent results over an extended period of time. I would love to be vegan but love fish too much. I also consume some dairy and occasionally eggs. But for the most part my diet is vegan since I limit it to a ton of vegetables, tofu, other soy products, soy milk, a limited amount of fruits and some amounts of carbs. I am still in the experimental phase of all of this. I have had diabetes for over 47 years with no complications. I attribute this to my activity level, choosing not to eat things just because they would taste good such as excessive carbs and the amazing advances in treatment, such as the availability of insulin pumps and
CGMs. Keep us all up to date on your continued progress. Way to go!!!

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I appreciate your input. I actually tried the cgm, but have not been successful in keeping it place. I exercise to the extreme, daily, therefore perspiring a lot. I can keep my pump site in, but not the cgm. I, personally, never wanted to wear anything extra, so I feel my success (this far,) is sufficient. I am a
competitive bodybuilder, as well, so I hide my pump sites, anyway. I know I’d be better off with cgm technology, but hope I wont need it until it is small enough to be easily implanted! Lol

I would take the “No Benefit Found for HbA1c Below 6.5% in Type 1 Diabetes” study with a grain of salt. Quote from the article: “The findings, from more than 10,000 children and adults with type 1 diabetes diagnosed between 1998 and 2017 …”. None of the subjects had diabetes for more than 20 years. I developed complications after 25 years. My A1C typically was 6.2%. I will be dead by the time a study comes out that covers a lifetime of diabetes. Trying hard to keep my BG as normal as possible does seem like a reasonable insurance policy. My complications provide motivation that I was lacking before.

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