Friday, January 29, 2016

Visualizing two months of diabetes...

How am I doing long term? I switched insulin, did it change something? Has the change of composition in my breakfast really had an impact? Typical questions we are probably all asking ourselves.

They can be answered by looking at period averages, number of hypo or hyperglycemic excursions. SD evolution, or whatever variability marker we fancy. Most people don't bother and not everyone knows what SD is (or actually needs to know to lead a happy life). Our anecdotal memory doesn't help much either: we tend to find spurious correlations everywhere we look or give too much importance to memorable incidents.

As far as I a concerned, I find that visualizations can greatly help getting the message through. Here's a plot of 60 days of Max Dexcom's readings. The first 20 days are school days: control is obviously not optimal. Exams do not help, but the "hypo safety margin" is necessary. Days 20 to 40 are holidays, at home, where Dad can influence the control a bit more. Five minutes on an ergometer help tremendously. The New Year's Eve meal is a lonely peak right of center. Days 40 to 60 are again school days. It seems some of the lessons of the Holidays have been remembered. Full size plot available here.

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