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Presented by Jim Huck:

Lots of talk for the last few weeks about the +/- 20 percent controversy for blood glucose meters.

Unfortunately, the companies who make meters are not the only ones who are getting away with the 20 percent margin of error. The FDA allows nutrition labels to be off by plus or minus 20 percent. So the food that claims to have 50 grams of carbs may actually have 60 grams. Or it may have 40.

And then Richard Bernstein mentions in his book that when we inject insulin, we can have a 29 to 39 percent variation in how much insulin is actually absorbed, depending on the injection site. So if we inject 10 units, we may only be getting the effect of 6 to 7 units.

And remember, when our blood sugar is high, we tend to be more insulin resistant, and that can affect our correction ratio drastically, for me as much as 40 percent.

So, since I'm a math teacher by day, I feel obligated to give you a word problem to take home tonight:

Johnny is a type 1 diabetic who tests his blood sugar at 6pm and discovers that he is 240. He had eaten 3 slices of Round Table Pizza at 5PM (when his BG was 118), which had 72 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein. He had already taken 4 units of Humalog at 4:45 PM, and his normal insulin to carb ratio is 1/13. Since the pizza has a lot of fat, Johnny expects that it will take about 3 hours for the pizza to finish digesting.

Taking into account that his meter has a 20 percent margin of error, the food label has a 20 percent margin or error, his insulin dose at 5PM could have been off by as much as 39 percent, and now that his blood glucose level is up at240 mg/dl, his correction ratio could be off by as much as 30 percent.

The question: How much beer will Johnny need to drink to forget that he has diabetes? Round your answer to the nearest six pack.

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