Friday, March 15, 2019

Diabetes and Dexcom and Sugar

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, March 15, 2019

This will be a long post because it contains a previous post originally uploaded in January of 2019 regarding sugar content in foods.

I was prescribed and received a DEXCOM Blood Sugar Monitoring Device and have been using it for several months.  This is what I discovered.

It was awkward affixing the Sensor device on my stomach area but after the second one was put in place, it became almost second nature to affix the next one.  The Sensor must be replaced every 7 days.  The Sensor takes the place of the well known "finger prick" to read your Blood Sugar.  The Sensor sends your blood sugar reading to a receiver also provided EVERY 5 MINUTES.  It did not take very long to reach the point I am not even aware that I am wearing it; that surprised me.

Why is this so important to me?  When I use to take a finger prick to read my blood sugar, it was like taking an old fashion Polaroid snap shot.  It read the Blood Sugar at that very second in time.  What it did NOT tell you was whether your blood sugar had been rising to this point in time or was it decreasing to this point in time.  That is when I discovered knowing which direction your Blood Sugar was going was VERY important.  For example.  Let's say your Finger Prick Blood Sugar reading was 100, a good reading and you took your insulin as directed by your doctor.  If the Blood Sugar was falling, taking insulin could prove to be very dangerous because it would lower your Blood Sugar levels to a very concerning level.  If on the other had your Blood Sugar was rising at the 100 reading, taking more insulin may be the right choice.

I hope the above makes sense to you.  The DEXCOM device has sent me a warning during the middle of my sleep to let me know my Blood Sugar level is dangerously low (or high, but mostly low).  That is when I have a decision to make by either eating or drinking something with a lot of sugar for a low reading or taking insulin for a high reading.  I would not have known I was in trouble until I awoke the next morning.  If the Blood Sugar was a very low reading a lot of bad things could happen before I awoke, if I woke up at all.

My doctor also can see my readings because she has a connection that she can tap into.  Our follow up appointments are very different because of the DEXCOM readings and the history it provides.

If you have Diabetes, please check out the DEXCOM device to see if it is for you.  You can obtain the information by gong to their web site at  I hope you check it out and I hope you read the following Nugget originally posted in January of 2019.


If you want to make a difference in your life of Diabetes, check it out.  You deserve it!

Would You Knowingly 

Feed This To Your Children

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 17, 2017
Modified January 7, 2019

GYMBEAUX NOTE:  I originally wrote this Nugget and posted it in May of 2017.  I have slightly modified it by adding additional information.  I feel so strongly about this subject that a great many people have consciously or unconsciously ignored.  THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

This Nugget is about ingestion of Sugar; it took me over 70 years to understand it.  Do not be misled by that statement because I did not study Sugar for all those years, I just ate my way into becoming a Diabetic instead.  Think about that for a moment.   The following is one definition of Sugar as found on the Internet:


1a :  a sweet crystallizable material that consists wholly or essentially of sucrose, is colorless or white when pure tending to brown when less refined, is obtained commercially from sugarcane or sugar beet and less extensively from sorghum, maples, and palms, and is important as a source of dietary carbohydrate and as a sweetener and preservative of other foods  b :  any of various water-soluble compounds that vary widely in sweetness, include the monosaccharides and oligosaccharides, and typically are optically active
Here is a link to an easily understand description of how sugars enter the body:
The following is a definition of converting grams into teaspoons from the Internet:  “This important bit of information is your key to converting grams into teaspoons. Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon. To be precise, 4.2 grams equals a teaspoon, but the nutritional folks round this number up to four grams.”  Actually it rounds it DOWN to 4 grams, not up to 4 grams. 
What does this mean to someone like me a non-scientist and someone who has not done a lot of research on the subject?  I had some time to kill at a supermarket near the checkout counter.   There were several coolers near the counter containing all sorts of soft drinks.  I looked at the newest bottle of Coke with the Green label and the word “Life” on it suggesting that somehow this Coke might be better for you than the regular bottle of Coke.  The Life Coke listed 45 grams of sugar according to the label.  The “regular” bottle contained 65 grams of sugar.  The bottles were 20 ounce bottles and were meant or designed that one person would drink from the bottle as compared to a 2 liter bottle that typically is dispensed by the glass.  Here is a photo of the label:

Sugars, 65 Grams!  Using the definition from above, 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon, I did the math for you, 65 grams of sugars (plural) equates to 15.47 teaspoons of sugars.  I was shocked to discover these numbers because frankly, I grew up learning about ounces and gallons, not grams and liters.  Labels like this previously did not exist as I was growing up.  To me, 65 grams was no big deal primarily because I did not have a reference point for what a gram actually represented.  But when I saw the equivalence of 65 grams of sugar meant eating over 15 teaspoons of sugar, it sickened me.  I looked further.  3 teaspoons equals 1 tablespoon which most of us are even more familiar with.  Back to the math.  15.47 teaspoons of sugar is the same as eating 5.15 tablespoons of sugars.  Would you intentionally do that if you knew what you were about to do?  Would you intentionally feed or allow your children to scoff down 5 tablespoons of sugar?  I think not!

I am not picking on Coke products; I am trying to make a point.  I love Snicker Bars, who doesn’t. But how many sugars are there in a Snickers Bar?  Look for yourself:

May be difficult to read; it says 30 grams.  This label comes from a Snickers Bar that weighs 2 ounces or 58.7 grams (there is that word again).  Back to the math.  30 grams of sugars equals 7.14 teaspoons of sugar or 2.38 tablespoons of sugar.  Would you feed your children 2.3 tablespoons of sugar?
On behalf of the people my age who probably did not grow up learning about grams and liters, I wish these companies would speak English or at least the English I can understand.  Would you drink a coke if it said this is equivalent to eating 5.14 tablespoons of sugar?  Or a Snickers Bar if you knew you would be eating 2.3 tablespoons of sugar.  I think not!

Why do all the nutritional labels use grams and liters?  Is it to intentionally make it impossible to understand the contents of the product?  Or is it just 2017 and while the world understands grams and liters, only the younger Americans might, with the emphasis on the word might, understand the contents of the product.

Here is the solution!  Whenever you see any product that you are about to buy, look at the Nutritional Label and more specifically look at the sugars indicated and MULTIPLY THAT NUMBER BY 4 and then think of TEASPOONS OF RAW SUGAR.  Knowing that ingestion of a lot of sugar is probably not in your best interest, would you intentionally put that much raw sugar into your mouth?  Probably not, but in the case of the product you are considering purchasing, the raw sugars are disguised as good tasting Coke or a fabulous tasting Snickers Bar meaning the Nutritional Label is probably ignored as I did for years and years.

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor nor pretend to be one.  Before you make changes to your diet, check with a doctor who should know about these things.
Having said that, you do the math, especially when you consider your children – 4 grams of sugars EQUAL 1 teaspoon of sugars.  12 grams of sugars EQUALS 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Would you intentionally give your children that many teaspoons or that many tablespoons of raw sugar to eat?  If not, why would you give them products that do?  Asked he who is now a Diabetic and takes insulin daily.

Final note.  Check the boxes of breakfast cereals on the shelves before you randomly put them into your shopping cart.  For example, Raisin Brand, sounds like it would be good for you, right?  Wrong!  Check the sugars. 

From the Internet:  One cup of Post Raisin Bran has 190 calories. This cereal also has 1 g of fat, no cholesterol, 250 mg of sodium, 320 mg of potassium, 46 g of carbohydrates with 8 g of dietary fiber, 19 g of sugar, 19 g of other carbohydrates and 5 g of protein. Keep in mind that cereals with added fruit have higher sugar content, as the fructose or fruit sugar, must also be taken into consideration. In comparison, Post Bran Flakes, a cereal similar to Raisin Bran, but without the raisins, has 5 g of sugar per ¾ cup serving.

Therefore when you think you are eating a healthy breakfast cereal, you are actually downing 19 grams of sugar or 4.75 teaspoons of sugar or about 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.
Even worse, how many children add raw sugar atop their bowls of cereal that already have a significant amount of sugar in them?  Look around.  How many obese children do you see every day?  A lot more than there should be.  Could it possibly be related to their sugar intake both consciously and unconsciously?  My money would be on YES!

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