Monthly Archives: December 2016

A lovely discovery – Ingrid Jonker

What a lovely discovery of poetry last night. I watched the movie Black Butterflies about Ingrid Jonker’s life. Oh my shattered nerves ! She writes beautifully.

A very sad life indeed but the pressure of life sure squeezed out pure gold in poetry. I was in awe that this ladies poems have alluded me thus far in life. I am older than she was when she tragically committed suicide and having grown up in south africa I would have thought that I should have bumped into “her” already.

However great is my joy to find such a soul and such scintillating words on paper.

This land of ours, despite all our troubles and imperfection – and there is a lot of that particularly our apartheid past and it’s sordidness, produces phenomenal talent.

I highly recommend this movie – cast to perfection and well acted.

I also highly recommend a read of Ingrid Jonker – it will touch your heart


Carb : Insulin mismatch?

Are you matching your carb intake to your insulin intake? What is your specific and individual insulin sensitivity and carb ratio – do you know?

If you are injecting insulin either long or short acting or both these “numbers” are important to know.

What complicates things further is that sometimes they are different for different times of the day as well as different states of health.

Injecting insulin is a very tricky business if you are aiming for “perfect” control – i.e. glucose between 5-9 mmol/l (this is my personal goal post). Overshooting and under dosing happens most days.

In order to try and get it right most of the time it helps a lot to KNOW your body and your numbers. So what is carb ratio ? This is the amount of insulin you specifically need to cover 15 g of carbs – that is roughly one slice of bread. Most patients are in the region of 1-2 u units per 15 g/one slice bread. Children/babies however are more usually 1 u for 30g or more and in terms of sensitivity 1 u dropping sugars by 10 mmol/l (vs adults usually 1 unit dropping sugars by 2-3 mmol/l).

This information/calculation needs to be worked out by yourself, your doctor as well as your dietician. It is really important to understand and apply this in order to get better control.

Then bear in mind that on sick days you usually need a bit more. When exercising hard a little less (sometimes a lot less). And so it goes : hot weather, cold weather, different foods, stress, etc all influence the sugars and how they react to insulin.

Don’t be caught high or low this festive season – stay jolly and even.

The intricate mechanisms of a “normally” functioning body are totally taken for granted. When one “loses” your pancreas’s endocrine function one’s whole world is turned upside down and it’s very very hard to rectify to perfection.





Guardian connect – a step in the right direction

Ok so south africa’s latest CGM is here and available. We have a few on the market and this is the newest addition.

It currently “talks” to iPhone and from next year will also “speak” to android phones.

The great great benefit of this device is that the sensors are relatively “cheap” and the device is simply a sensor contraption that attaches to the body and then “speaks” to the iPhone. From that iPhone to the cloud where a healthcare provider, mom or dad or care-giver can access the “data” – a blood test every 5minutes that is 288 tests per 24 hours !!

The data is reliable with an MARD of 9 and thus insulin can be titrated using the readings.

The cost of the kit is 13k (R13828.20) and the sensors are R1695 for 5 – they last a week each, that’s 399 per sensor.

The benefit of “knowing” your sugar is fairly obvious but is in actual fact revolutionary and life changing for an individual diabetic.

You simply can not compare 6 tests a day to 288. The maths of that in itself is a mindblow.

NOW is a great! time to order one at the end of the year before a brand new year on med aid benefits.

email me if you have questions :

Knowing your number is honestly the single most effective way of getting control.

Continous monitoring and Christmas

So a lot of people wrongly assume that diabetics are not allowed sugar. Yes sugar in high doses is not great, yes it would be a better choice to make by eating something that does not have sugar in it, but to say that diabetics are never allowed sugar is to say that you do not understand how insulin works.

Diabetics and non-diabetics “process” sugar every day, every minute. The difference is that a type 1 (or insulin dependant) diabetic has no intrinsic insulin of their own, they have to match the “dose” of sugar/carb ingested to a dose of insulin injected in order to “mop-up” or get the glucose molecule into he cell (that needs the glucose).

So around Christmas and parties in general type 1’s can also join the fare, but in moderation and with wisdom. There are also so many clever recipes now making lovely eats but with far fewer carbs/straight sugar in them. Equally delicious and require less insulin in order not to overshoot to a high reading.

I am more than willing to answer questions regarding Christmas carbs and how to dose to match your carb intake with your insulin dose as is the innate team Рcontact us via :

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