Self-management of type 1 diabetes is steeped in static. Sliding scales, predetermined insulin dosing ratios, and correction algorithms promote an expectation of predictability and precision in the blood sugar outcomes following their use. Unfortunately, the typical result seen by an insulin using type 1 diabetes patient is chaos, leading to chronic frustration, and ultimately diabetes burnout.
Sugar Surfing™, also known as Dynamic Diabetes Self-Management, is a patient-directed diabetes self-management process which leverages the power of blood sugar trending information obtained by frequent blood glucose (BG) checks using a continuous glucose monitoring system or its equivalent.
Sugar Surfing is based on the concept of frequent pattern management. Common BG trend line patterns are characterized into a small number of recognizable geometric shapes (e.g., shelf, delta wave, drop, etc.…). These shapes can be easily taught to be identified “in the moment” by the patient. Once a glycemic shape or pattern is recognized, the patient is taught to assign individual significance to the shape based on the four basic considerations of 1) current activities, 2) anticipated actions, 3) recent past actions and 4) experience with similar situations.
Based on the assessment of significance, a glycemic pattern is determined to be worthy of action or continued observation. If acted upon, then the patient uses previously rehearsed self-care methods involving insulin, carbohydrates, or physical activity to influence the direction of the new trend line over time.
Careful follow up is then applied with periodic, rapid glances of the trend line pattern over the following minutes to hours to assess for the emergence of new patterns or response to specific actions. Sugar Surfing anticipates change, which better prepares the Surfer to capitalize on it as it happens.
The acronym S.U.R.F. is used to summarize this cycle of glycemic self-management.
Sugar Surfing is a heuristic approach to diabetes self-management and can be applied by patients using any mode of insulin delivery (injections or insulin pump), meal plan (low-carb or normal to high carb) or at any age (adults and kids). This method has been used across the world in over 65 countries with excellent results to date. Its proper use empowers and enables patients to better take control of their diabetes. Its inherent flexibility liberates patients from the chains of fixed insulin dosing strategies and rigid meal plans.
For more in depth and free information about Sugar Surfing, go to www.sugarsurfing.com or attend a workshop at www.sugarsurfing.com/workshops. The book Sugar Surfing can be obtained at the same website in print and e-book formats. Newly diagnosed patients are eligible for a special e-book offer (see website for details).