Victoza, Visually

I took my first Victoza shot on Friday, June 6. Before starting on Victoza, my control was not good. I’m not going to say it was awful, but it was pretty meh.

When I look at my stats on Dexcom Studio, this is what the 14 days prior to starting Victoza looks like:

Glucose Average: 195 mg/dl
Standard Deviation: +/- 77 mg/dl
High: 68%
Target (70-150): 30%
Low: 2%

Visually, you can really see how up and down I was:

beforevictoza

Basically as long as I wasn’t actually doing anything (read: sleeping), I did okay! But even then, many of my nights were spent at least partially out of range.

So let’s fast forward two weeks, shall we? Here’s what the past 14 days have looked like:

Glucose Average: 151 mg/dl
Standard Deviation: +/1 47 mg/dl
High: 47%
Target (70-150): 51%
Low: 2%

And now my Dexcom graph looks like this:

aftervictoza

For those who struggle with mental math (like me), here are the differences:

– 14-day meter average has dropped by 44 mg/dl

– standard deviation has dropped by 30 mg/dl

– time spent in range has jumped 21%!

!!!!

Ideally, standard deviation should be less than 1/3 of the mean. Pre-Victoza, my mean BG value was 195 mg/dl, which means my SD should be under 65 mg/dl, and it was 77 mg/dl (12 points higher). Now, my mean BG value is 151, which means my SD should be under 50 mg/dl, and it’s 44 mg/dl. Bam! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

We’ve also started learning the importance of time spent in range. Gary Scheiner talks about it in the new edition of his book, Think Like a Pancreas, and Dr. Irl Hirsch recommended that we start looking more at “time in range” and less on A1C at a session I attended at the ADA Scientific Sessions. Well, my time in range also went up!

My Omnipod PDM doesn’t do a great job at giving total daily dose averages for insulin, but from what I can see scrolling through my history, I’m taking on average 20-40 units less each day than I did before Victoza. The area that’s changed most significantly is my bolus ratio and correction factor. But I think the main reason why I’m taking so much less insulin is because I’m not correcting all the live long day.

Another thing that has dropped? My weight! This morning I weighed in at 207 lbs, five pounds down from my pre-Victoza weight of 212 lbs. And this is without any exercise, too. I have been taking a short break from running while getting adjusted to Victoza (I didn’t want too many variables) and also while traveling to the ADA Scientific Sessions. But I’m planning on returning to running and training for a fall half-marathon this week.

Don’t get me wrong — things still aren’t perfect. I’ve struggled a bit overnight with either rising or fall and I can’t seem to get the right basal pattern. When I was in San Francisco, I continually found myself rising overnight, but of course, with my Dexcom and extra sensitivity thanks to Victoza, I never got too far out of range. I made some changes, but I tend to be a little aggressive with my changes. Sometimes I forget how subtle changes really can make a huge difference in my control, because most of the time my first inclination is to try to beat diabetes into submission with a sledgehammer. But unfortunately, that doesn’t always work in my favor! Which is why I’m glad to have a CDE on my team. I’ll be chatting with Jenny later this afternoon to do some more fine-tuning.

Hopefully some of those overnight drops and post-dinner highs will become a thing of the past…

 

Do you have any specific questions about Victoza or my experience? Please let me know so I don’t leave anything out!

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2 Responses to Victoza, Visually

  1. Laddie says:

    This is important stuff, Allison. It’s a visual image of proof that sometimes ugly glucose numbers aren’t the result of “non-compliance” but often the result of not having the tools one needs to stay in range. Keep documenting your journey because I think your posts will be immeasurable help to Type 1’s (and their doctors) who are open to creative paths to improving blood glucose levels.

  2. Pingback: The Highs and Lows | The Blood Sugar Whisperer

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