Dr. Sarah Hallberg: How do you find your personal carbohydrate tolerance?

All right, here's a really good one, and I think the answer's
gonna be it depends, but maybe you can shed a
little more light for us, is how do you know what
your personal carbohydrate tolerance level is? – So that's a great
question, and it depends. No no, but let's answer
that with a little bit more detail here, okay? So what I like to say is that
people can develop different metabolic flexibilities, okay? So let's just take
someone who does not have type II diabetes, pre-diabetes,
never had an issue with blood sugar, no family history of it, they obviously have a higher
carbohydrate tolerance. And now that may not last
forever because if they utilize that high carbohydrate
and eat lots of sugar and refined carbohydrates, they
very well may develop a lower carbohydrate tolerance
for insulin resistance.

But that is at one end of the spectrum of carbohydrate tolerance. At the other end of the spectrum
of carbohydrate tolerance when it comes to type II
diabetes is someone who has had very longstanding diabetes,
and as we talked about earlier has overworked their beta
cells in their pancreas and truly is unable to
produce enough insulin. Those people are at the
other extreme end of carbohydrate tolerance, so
there's a big spectrum here. And where, most people fall in
the middle of this spectrum, and where exactly in
the middle do you fall? And the first thing I'll say
is that may change, okay? So in other words we may
find someone who's at the lower end of carbohydrate
tolerance, and as they implement a Virta treatment, they improve
their insulin resistance, which is very nicely
documented in our one-year clinical trial.

Insulin resistance scores
dropped dramatically. They may actually shift
themselves to having a higher carbohydrate tolerance. Now I'll tell you right now
anyone who improves their insulin resistance, if they
go back to eating a high carbohydrate tolerance, they
will develop problems again. So this is helping back
people out, but it's not curing them, and that's a
really important point to make. If we implement the Virta
treatment, someone does it just for a while, goes
back to a high carbohydrate lifestyle, they will have
recurring problems at some point. So important to remember
that as we think about that sustainability piece. But in figuring out exactly
where in the carbohydrate tolerance spectrum you
are at any given time, keeping in mind that that could change, it's really going to be
following your blood sugar. And if you have a Virta
health coach, they're gonna be key in helping you with that
because they're gonna be watching your blood sugar. And say you try a new food. What's your body's reaction to it? Are you doing really good,
and your blood sugars have been in the 90s, and then
all of a sudden you went out to a new restaurant and
had a sauce on something, on your dinner plate that
night, and all of a sudden the next morning your blood sugar was 180? Whoa! That was over your carbohydrate tolerance.

And even though maybe the
food choices looked good, it was probably something in
the sauce that you weren't aware was put in there, and
most of the time unfortunately that winds up being sugar. So it's just going to be
following those blood sugars. And you know, I'd like to
take an opportunity with this question to point out
something that I think is going to be key in the
type II diabetes community, and that's going to be
the advent of continuous glucose monitors that are
now available to the type II diabetes population. So continuous glucose
monitoring is exactly that, what it sounds like. It's monitoring your blood
sugar not when you prick your finger and you check
it one, two, even more like four or six times a day, which is helpful, but we've got big parts of
the day, including overnight where we are not sure
what's happening with your blood sugar.

We're just checking it at
specific points in time during the day. And continuous glucose
monitors have that available, but they have been so
expensive that they've really only been implemented for type I diabetes. But now there's a new continuous
glucose monitor available called the Libre, and
these are very inexpensive. And I've been utilizing
them in some of our patients who have found them to be
incredibly helpful at just this, determining their
carbohydrates tolerance because they can watch the line
through the day instead of just points on that line to see
exactly how they're reacting to certain food. So I think finding everyone's
individual carbohydrate tolerance is very important. Working with your Virta health
coach and following your blood sugars when you eat
anything new is going to be a wonderful way to make sure
that you are personalizing your carbohydrate tolerance
threshold for where you're at right now.

– Great answer to a great question..

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