At the end of February, I got my quarterly A1c test which came back at 5.6. Since I was diagnosed about five years ago, my A1c has fluctuated between 5.3 and 5.7, so my most recent reading was a typical one for me.
That said, my fasting blood sugars have been creeping a little higher than usual. Usually when this happens, I buckle down and get a little more strict with my diet.
I’ve been wanting to experiment with a couple things. The first was to try and do more juicing, and the second was to track my blood sugars on my freestyle libre sensor to see how juicing affects my blood sugars. From my experience, juicing is a great way to heal my body and give my pancreas a rest due to the low calorie, low glycemic nature of the juices I drink.
The Pittsburgh Juice Company
There is a great juice place in Pittsburgh that I’ve been getting juices from. It’s called The Pittsburgh Juice Company. You can click here to see their full menu of juices. Now, I wish I could drink all of their juices. Most look delicious! Unfortunately, managing my T1D without medication forces me to drink juices with little to no fruit that have the least amount of sugars.
The one I mostly drink is the Super Green which has lemon, cucumber, celery, kale and ginger. All very low glycemic and high caliber healing foods.
I have never tried a prolonged juice fasting before, but I gave it my best shot this past week. I drank only a Super Green juice for 5 of 6 meals over the course of 48 hours with no snacks in between (Day 1 dinner / Day 2 lunch, dinner / Day 3 breakfast, lunch). I finally buckled at dinner on the 3rd day and ate a massive plant based meal (compliments to my wife), but I did enjoy juicing.
I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I started using the Freestyle Libre continuous blood sugar monitor. I’ve really enjoyed using this product. It has provided me a tremendous amount of information on what my blood sugars do after eating certain foods.
Let’s Look at Some Data
I put below some visual data from my Freestyle Libre monitor with some commentary. You can actual download a Freestyle LibreLink App to use your iphone as your continuous monitor. It’s extremely convenient and offers some super cool and easy to download data screen shots like I show below.
“Time In Target” Function
The first cool chart shows how much time I was in my target. My personal target was to keep my blood sugars between 85 and 125. As you can see below, 75% of the time I was in my target. I even had 3% of the time my blood sugars were below 85, which is pretty amazing to think my body can still manage getting to that level as a T1D with no medication. My blood sugars hardly ever got above 150, and even when they did, they typically drop down below 125 fairly quickly.
“Average Glucose” Chart
The next chart shows my average blood sugar during time periods of the day. As you can see, my blood sugars while I’m sleeping are averaging below 100, which was good news! The 6am to 9am time period is always highest because that’s when I eat my nut granola for breakfast, so I’m not surprised. From noon to 6pm it tends to drop back down considering I typically eat a low glycemic salad for lunch or juice. Dinner is hit or miss. Sometimes I eat salads or other times I eat slightly higher glycemic cooked plant based meals. Usually after 9pm, my blood sugars start dropping again until when I wake up.
The next chart I thought was interesting because it shows my blood sugars right after my intense racquetball workouts in the early mornings. In this example, I woke up with a fasting blood sugar around 100 and it quickly jumped to ~160 after my breakfast and racquetball workout. It amazes me though how quickly my BS plummets post-workout.
Juicing Does the Trick
The final chart is the one I wanted to experiment with. It shows my blood sugar levels after juicing for about 36 hours with the Super Green juice.
As you can see, my blood sugars while I was sleeping between midnight and 6am were between 85 and 100. I drank a juice for breakfast which caused my BS to spike, but it quickly came back down. I had another juice for lunch around noon and same thing…quick spike and quick drop. Towards the end of the day, my BS was running under 100 before dinner time.
Setting a Benchmark
If there are any T1Ds out there reading this who are extremely interested in getting off of medication, my suggestion would be to do a juice cleanse like I did for 2-3 days. This will likely give you the best idea / benchmark of how low your blood sugars can go considering my method is 1) extremely low glycemic; 2) makes your pancreas work at a vastly reduced rate; and 3) is packed with the healthiest, highest quality healing foods.
In conclusion, I noticed a profound effect, to the positive, on my blood sugars when I predominantly juiced for my meals. It’s tough getting used to, but I felt great during the process.
For all you T1Ds out there or parents of T1D children, maybe take a trip to the juice bar to try some new things to help regulate blood sugars. My kids will drink the juices with some fruit in them, which makes me a very happy Dad!
Also, it’s always interesting talking to people about my situation. They assume that all T1Ds produce zero insulin. Well, I’m certainly proof that T1Ds can still produce insulin and can regulate their bodies without the use of medication.
Focus on the Supporters, Not the Haters
What I’ve learned over the years is that there will always be some people who refuse to believe that I’m a T1D, which I’ve learned to accept over time. I can not force hope upon those who are not seeking an alternative to the dreary diagnosis that most doctors give newly minted T1Ds.
Over the past few years writing my blog, I know for certain that there is a large segment of the T1D population that appreciates my message. My goal with this blog has always been to spread my message and provide other T1Ds with the information of alternative ways to manage T1D that the mainstream doctors do not provide.
My way of managing T1D is not for everyone, but for me it’s a much less stressful approach and I wouldn’t change my current lifestyle for anything.