Actionable Insights: Forsaking sake?

I’m working up a longer write up of my usage so far of continuous glucose monitoring in order to avoid diabetes and prediabetes, but I wanted to share a recent experience that has already led to a change in my behavior. This has really reinforced my commitment to using the device and turning data about myself into (as the business intelligence world calls it) “actionable insight.”

The graph above is a depiction of my blood sugar levels on a typical day. The green band is my target glucose range, which is currently set in the reader to 80 – 140 mg/dL. (Note that I’m not diabetic at this time, and don’t claim to be as knowledgeable as others writing on this topic, such as Scott Hanselman.)

Above is a graph of my daily patterns, compiled by the LibreLink software I use in conjuction with the sensor. You’ll note ups and downs in my levels, and the overall range of readings. Generally, I stay well within my target range. In another post, I’ll talk about what I’ve observed as patterns, especially overnight, but here I want to focus on a particular event.

Day drinking….for science!

Above you’ll see a graph from a recent day. Before I get to the point, let me clarify the distracting gap in the line above. Unfortunately, the sensor I wear has an 8 hour maximum memory, and I’m not yet as settled into a habit of scanning it reliably, especially before and after bedtime.

On the day depicted above, you can see a green dot where I scanned it about 9am, and then not until 9pm, losing 3 hours of morning data as a result. Fortunately, that doesn’t affect the event I want to examine. On this day, I had a late lunch. Specifically, I had sushi (nigiri and a roll, with some agedashi tofu). I’ve previously observed my blood sugar levels when having sushi for lunch, and there was no appreciable spike in my glucose level.

What I added (for science! as my friend Cheryl calls this) was an adult beverage: sake. Junmai ginjo style sake, specifically. What followed is what you can see on the graph: a big spike in sugar, and then a big drop off into low blood sugar range (in red), all between 2-4 pm. What I felt physically was just as dramatic as that drop-off. We’ve all experienced a sugar crash, at some point, I’m sure. But compare the big drop off with what I experienced between 2-4 pm on another routine day:

The “routine” graph is, well, routine. a minor bump in sugar after lunch (also on the late side that day), followed by a minor decline. My sake-influenced sugar crash was significantly more pronounced. I’ve also watched my levels after drinking whisky or red wine, and those don’t have the same effect.

Taking action, for my own sake

As I mentioned, I’m not currently diabetic, nor do I wish to be. After my latest bloodwork, however, my doctor warned me my results were “consistent with prediabetes.” I don’t wish to be that, either. So I’m taking several actions: eating better and exercising more, to improve my overall health. But what if I can identify other risks and tie them to specific actions? That’s why I’m wearing this sensor, and why I’m giving up sake. Sushi meals won’t feel quite the same without it, but I’ll find a way to enjoy the fish anyway.

Got a spoon?