This post is a suggestion from my love. Even though he and I are both PWD, our management is very different and we’ve learned a lot about eachother’s diabetes over the last 8 months.
So. Lizard Spit.
It’s a different animal (yay puns!) than insulin but it’s pretty awesome once you get past the side effect stage. Sometimes I wonder if it would be prescribed more if it wasn’t an injectable. It’s not like an insulin pen where you can dial up the dose in relation to your blood sugar and how many carbs you need to cover – a dose is a dose. It impacts your body in 4 different ways to help lower blood sugar. This graphic from the Byetta website is a great explanation of it (click on it to enlarge):
A drug like this comes with its own set of rules. In order to take a shot of Byetta properly, I can’t consume anything for at least 2 hours beforehand. No tea. No gum. Anything that could get your stomach acids flowing – basically anything but water, as if you’re fasting for a lipid profile – is off limits. For the first shot of the day, that’s not too difficult, but it can get tricky for my night dose. My workouts are usually right before the “fasting” needs to start. In order to balance all of this, it’s important that I give my body the proper fuel for my workout, and the proper food for recovery afterwards so I don’t have a low to treat. If I do, the 2 hour clock starts over as soon as I finish treating.
The 2 shots I take in a day also have to be at least 6 hours apart from each other. Normally, this isn’t too difficult. But if I wake up with a lower blood sugar one morning and take the shot with lunch instead of breakfast, that then impacts the timing of when I can have dinner.
After taking the shot, I have to complete my meal within the hour. Normally not too difficult unless it’s a holiday and you’re basically eating all day, but as with all kinds of diabetes management, the holidays take planning and strategizing.
As for what to eat with the injections, that has been a whole different process of trial and error. Having the Dexcom for almost 2 months I’ve noticed that my blood sugar does spike slightly within the hour after a meal but it comes back down quickly. It’s important to note that there are no blood sugar parameters for taking the Byetta other than not to take it if you're hypoglycemic. I’ve spoken with my Endo at length about this and she always tells me to use my judgment. Before an injection I have to consider what my blood sugar is and also how many carbs I’m consuming with my meal. If my blood sugar is in the 70’s and I’m about to have a meal that’s protein heavy, I need to add in some carbs so I don't have a low to contend with later. One of the great things about Byetta is that you do have the option of skipping a dose altogether if you need to. Not that I'm recommending this, but in my experience the handful of times I've skipped a dose because my blood sugar was a little too close to low for me to feel comfortable injecting, nothing catastrophic happened. The only thing I had to contend with was higher-than-I'd-like-them blood sugars for a few hours.
Just like everything with diabetes, YDMV and this is just what I've found for myself over the last 4 years on lizard spit.