Millet Experiment: Keeping Blood Sugars Stable After a Bowl of Porridge

For three-and-half years now, Nicole’s been following a grain-free diet to manage her type-1 diabetes. In place of rice and potatoes she has extra fat and vegetables. Her Inuit-like meals have brought her A1C below 5.5%.

After six months of using the Buteyko Breathing Method, we’ve noticed her blood sugars are much better controlled. Insulin has become more predictable. I assume this is because her circulation is improving as a result of raising CO2 levels in her bloodstream. Better and more consistent circulation leads to better and more consistent perfusion of insulin.

So we decided to experiment with a little porridge. Nicole always loved millet cooked to a creamy consistency and covered in butter. Why not give it a shot? we thought.

Of course, we realized we’re playing with diabetic fire here. Accuracy would need to be high. I measured exactly 1/4 cup of raw millet. Soaked it overnight in a jar of water in the fridge. The next day, at lunch, the blender pulverized it into “millet milk.” From there it went into a pot on high heat, with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a couple ground peppercorns. I boiled and simmered into an easy to absorb cup of millet meal. I added two tablespoons of ghee to slow down the absorption of carbs.

The bowl of porridge contained about 32g of carb. Based on her insulin needs we estimated this would require 8 1/2 units of Regular. That’s about twice what she normally takes for a meal. To be on the safe side she bumped it down to 8 units.

She injected before the meal and enjoyed her small bowl of millet.

Two hours later her blood sugar was 5.7mmol/L (102mg/dL). Couldn’t ask for better. At the five hour mark, however, she had dropped to 2.6mmol/L (46mg/dL).

We tried the experiment again, this time with 7 units of insulin. Nicole forgot to check at the two-hour mark. And her five hour  readout was still too low – 3.1mmol/L (55mg/dL). So the dose was still too high, and possible be taken too late. For the third round we planned to take 6.5 units of Regular 15 minutes before the millet.

But a third round never happened.

Both mornings after her millet experiment Nicole suffered inflammation in her shoulders, back and neck. When she took a break from the millet, the inflammation went away. The pain was so bad that any affection she had for millet had disappeared. She says she’ll still try another bowl, but in a week or so.

Nicole’s digestive system may not yet be well enough to handle grains. Undigested carbohydrates passing through a leaky gut have a reputation for causing this type of inflammatory reaction. Her carbon dioxide levels are hovering around 4.5%-5%. It wasn’t until my CO2 levels reached the 5-6% range that I could handle grains without any side-effects.

Still, we were happy to see that the Buteyko Breathing may allow people with type-1 diabetes to enjoy a moderate amount of grains. Accurately measured and timed, along with breathing exercises before or after, might mean grain could work out just fine on the glucometer.

Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley

P.S. For more information on how Buteyko breathing works with insulin check out Buteyko Method Brings “Insulin Consumption to Its Minimum”

P.P.S. For other ways you can keep blood sugars stable while enjoying some high-carb foods you can book a telephone or Skype appointment.

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..