November 20, 2013

To Count or Not to Count

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Brown BaggingThe goal of carbohydrate counting is to allow people more flexibility in their food choices when calculating insulin dose . The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal put the old school exchanges head-to-head with carbohydrate counting to see how things matched up.

The researchers in this study found favorable results in carbohydrate counting over traditional methods, like food exchanges. The participants in this study were people with T1D.

As with T1D, insulin dosing is imperative for every morsel of food that enters your body. Eating to fit your insulin dose is too structured, especially if you don’t like eating the same thing every day. The flexibility offered for carbohydrate counting allows people to dose for whenever and whatever they want.

Nowadays, most insulin pumps are equipped with the means to calculate insulin to carb ratios or I:C ratio. They  are used to calculate the insulin dose needed for specific amounts of food containing carbohydrate.

Aside from the flexibility offered by the carb counting method, the dose then eat methods kept people with T1D pigeonholed without the benefit of a better HbA1c. In fact, the traditional dosing compared with carbohydrate counting was not as good for HbA1c.

Realistically speaking, the antiquated method of exchanges per dose is impossible unless you brown bag your way through life.

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