type 1 diabetes
When it comes to drinking alcohol and having type 1 diabetes, people should be particularly cautious. It can make some of the complications of diabetes worse. First of all, drinking may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. That’s why it requires a lot of monitoring. Second, it has a lot of calories. If you drink, my suggestion is to do it only when your diabetes and blood sugar level are well-controlled. It can also interact with some medications that are prescribed to people with diabetes.
Even if you only rarely drink alcohol, it is very important to talk with your doctor endocrinologist about it so that he or she explains more about the link between them and suggest you what kind of drinks you can drink and how much.
Effects of alcohol on diabetes
The alcohol can affect diabetes. Here is how:
- It can cause hypoglycemia
- Excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level
- Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates which can raise blood sugar
- It also stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control.
Dos and Dont’s
When it comes to diabetes and alcohol consumption, people should follow these consumption guidelines:
- Drink slowly.
- Do not drink more than two drinks of alcohol in a one-day period.
- Drink alcohol only with food.
- Avoid “sugary” mixed drinks or sweet wines.
- Mix liquor with water, club soda, or diet soft drinks.
- Always wear a medical alert piece of jewellery or any kind of sign that says you have diabetes.
- Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Always check your blood sugar before having an alcoholic beverage.
To conclude, Any person with diabetes that chooses to drink is advised to monitor their drinking very closely. Excessive drinking can become dangerous quickly for diabetics. In severe cases, heavy drinking can result in coma or death.
Hello. My name is Tanja, I am 27 years old. I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 21 years. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar level. Hyperglycemia, or increased blood sugar levels, is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes. Unfortunately, if left untreated for a long period of time, causes serious damage to the organs, especially on the nervous system and blood vessels, and in the worst case, causes death. With other words, as long as I regularly control my blood sugar, I will live a normal and happy life like the other people.
Why did I choose to stay at home?
The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared an international public health emergency. People with diabetes, especially people above 65 and those that don’t manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugar levels, may be more vulnerable to the severe effects of the virus. In those situations, our body is not able to fight off an infection. That’s why I would like to ask you to think twice before going out these days. Please stay home and spend more time with your loved ones, read books, watch series, listen to music, learn something new, do something you’ve always wanted to do… Protect yourself and other people around you, especially your family and friends. Demonstrate social responsibility and empathy for others. Stay home to stop COVID-19 spreading
Yes, I have been facing many difficult situations. But, I have learned that there is only ONE LIFE. Yes, just ONE! And I really want to LIVE IT!
Due to the spread of coronavirus, the quarantine has become a necessary part of our daily routines. Many people are looking for ways to pass the time while practising self-isolation. That’s why today I want to share what I’ve been thinking about in the times of coronavirus as a young adult with type 1 diabetes.
First of all, I am not a person who can stay at home for an extended period. But, in this hard period, I try to keep it together and get through this quarantine the best I can.
I’ve been working from home since 11-th of March 2020. During this period, my blood sugar levels are between 6 mmol/L and 10 mmol/L. It’s higher than I usually like. So, I’ve made some minor changes to my routine over the last few weeks to try to stabilize my blood sugar as much as possible.
Here’s what I am doing:
I check my blood sugar levels 5-6 times per day.
I usually check it before and after my main meals and before and after the exercise.
I move around every hour
The consistent movement has not only helped manage my blood sugar level, but it’s also made my whole body feel better. Also, I do a big stretch and elongate all my muscles as much as I can.
Every day, I exercise for 30 minutes
Exercise is essential, but I think we often forget that moving throughout the day is vital for general well-being. That’s why every day, I do pilates exercise for 30 minutes. Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to develop flexibility, good posture, strength, and balance all at the same time.
Earth healthy food
My everyday meals contain healthy food from all food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, dairy—nonfat or low fat. Also, I can eat sweets too, but I need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often.
I hope that you are gentle with yourself if your blood sugars aren’t cooperating in the way they would under normal circumstances. I encourage you to try implementing one new habit that you think would be good for your physical and mental well-being. Last but not least, stay home, stay safe and up to date on the latest recommendations from the experts about COVID-19 and take care of yourself and your blood sugar level.
As far as we know, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms and complications in older people, those with long term conditions such as chronic lung disease, cancer and people with diabetes. Unfortunately, if people like me have COVID-9, we may be more vulnerable to the severe effects of the virus.
That’s why it’s important to plan what to do before we get ill. For instance, we have to have contact information about our health care provider. Also, we have to make sure we have an adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring our blood glucose at home. If we are infected with the virus may see their glycaemic control deteriorate during the illness. In those situations, we should contact our doctor immediately for advice on how to monitor our blood sugar level. Also, our doctors has to provide us with adequate refills for medications (especially insulin). Lastly, he or she has to tell us what adjustments we may need to do in our medication or diet.
If we have COVID-19, we should:
- Monitor our blood glucose
- Monitor our temperature
- If we are on insulin, also monitor our ketone bodies
- Follow the healthcare team recommendations
International Diabetes Federation has published a guideline on which you can find more information about how to manage your diabetes during an illness. You can download it right here.
How we can avoid the virus?
To avoid the virus, we should take the following simple, sensible measures:
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based solution, especially before eating and after being in public.
- Don’t share food, tools, glasses and towels.
- Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
- If you get ill with respiratory symptoms, stay at home and notify others and your doctor.
- When sneezing or coughing, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or with the crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the bin.
If you want to get correct information about the situation with COVID-19 in Macedonia, you can do that on the following link: http://gdi-sk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1_K921oU1bGmHfQX9XZGTWxByxDNvNkCmOxHceCFsL9r3GuTgErMS8Tiw#/2096bd4b051b42948ac3f5747e80c3a5
Home-based exercise for people with diabetes
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments in many countries have restricted the movement of their citizens, confining them to the home environment. Regular physical activity is of great benefit to the general population and even more for people living with diabetes.
From my point of view, yes we should inject insulin in public. We should not feel ashamed to do that. However, for someone who doesn’t have diabetes, seeing someone inject is rare. Most of the people with diabetes state that injecting insulin in a public place is usually not a problem and that only occasionally will it prompt a reaction in others.
However, we have to be aware that some people around you may have a phobia of needles so it’s best to be as discreet as you can, especially around people you don’t know well. The key is in making sure we are discreet and ensuring that we minimise any risk of danger to ourselves or others.
Inject insulin when I am outside
I don’t have a problem to inject in public, especially when I am with my family and friends. In some cases, I wish to request to use a private area to administer an injection. For instance, when I go out with friends, I do the injection in the toilet. I do that for health and safety reasons, to completely prevent any risk of anyone else getting accidentally jabbed.
When I am at work
At work, all my colleagues are aware of my condition. During my first days in the company, I was asking them if it will be okay to check my blood sugar level or inject insulin in front of them. Fortunately, they didn’t have a problem with that. Now I can say that every time when I need to check my blood sugar level or inject insulin before my meal, I do that without a problem.
Additionally, no matter where I am, I always pay attention to the following things:
Ensure I have plenty of space and light to inject
Obviously I don’t inject if it could be dangerous to you or others. That’s why I make sure that there is plenty of space to inject so I don’t risk getting knocked. Also, I ensure that I am in a well-lighted area as this will make the injection easier.
I try to dispose of needles appropriately
Any used needles or syringes need to be disposed of appropriately. In public, I find a way to carry my used needles or syringes with me so I can dispose of them in a sharps collection box when I get home. Used needles and syringes count as biological waste and should never be disposed of in general waste bins.
Unfortunately, diabetes can affect every part of our body, including the skin. Skin complications, such as itching, bacterial infections and fungal infections are more common in people with diabetes.
Yeast infection, dry skin, or poor circulation can cause itching. When poor circulation is the cause of itching, the itchiest areas may be the lower parts of the legs.
There are several kinds of bacterial infections that may occur. For example, styes (infections of the glands of the eyelid), boils, folliculitis (infections of the hair follicles), carbuncles (deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath), infections around the nails, inflamed tissues are usually hot, swollen, red, and painful.
The culprit in fungal infections of people with diabetes is often Candida albicans. It can create itchy rashes of moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. Problem areas are under the breasts, around the nails, between fingers and toes, in the corners of the mouth, under the foreskin (in uncircumcised men), and in the armpits and groin. Common fungal infections include jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm (a ring-shaped itchy patch), and vaginal infection that causes itching.
Yes, you can prevent skin complications. You can prevent that by doing the following things :
- First, it is important to keep your diabetes well managed. People who have hyperglycemia tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria. Both conditions increase the risk of infection.
- Second, avoid very hot baths and showers. If your skin is dry, don’t use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help. Afterwards, use a standard skin lotion, but don’t put lotions between toes. The extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow.
- Third, prevent dry skin. Scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow the infection to set in. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.
- Also, treat cuts right away. For instance, wash minor cuts with soap and water. Furthermore, cover minor cuts with sterile gauze. See a doctor right away if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.
- Moreover, during cold, dry months, keep your home more humid. Bathe less during this weather, if possible.
- Take care of your feet. It is recommended to check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well.
- Last, but not least, if you don’t know how to solve your skin problems, go to your dermatologist (skin doctor).
Stress is the reaction of our body to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. When we become stressed, the body quickly responds by releasing hormones that give cells access to stored energy – fat and glucose – to help the body get away from danger.
Diabetes and stress
As we know, diabetes management is a lifelong process. As a result, this adds stress to your daily life. Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. Stress hormones in your body may directly affect glucose levels. When you’re feeling stressed, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones should give you an energy boost for a ‘fight or flight’ response. But the hormones actually make it harder for insulin to work properly, known as insulin resistance. As energy can’t get into your cells, your blood sugar levels rise.
If your blood sugar levels go too high, you face high blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia. If it doesn’t go away, it can keep your blood sugar levels high and put you at a higher risk of diabetes complications. It can also affect your mood and how you look after yourself, which can start to affect your emotional health.
What do I do when I feel stressed?
Everyone copes with stressful situations in different ways. For example, sometimes I feel stressed when I try to do things perfectly. As a result, in the end, I don’t manage to finish the things as I was expecting. Because stress increases my blood sugar level, in these situations, the first thing that I try to do is to look after myself. This means that I try to stay calm and take a deep breath. Also, I check my blood sugar level more often in the following two or three hours.
Moreover, I learned not to put too much pressure on myself to do everything perfectly. This can add or lead to stress. But it’s good to be aware of how easy it can be to give in to the habit of letting diabetes self-care slip in times of stress.
Trying to get enough sleep and building exercise, rest and relaxation time into my routine also help me cope better with stress.
Last, but not least, talking with other people about what’s making me stressed helps me a lot. Talking with my family and sister about things that make me worry is the best therapy for me. Their words and advice help me put something into perspective or just make me feel relieved about getting it off your chest.
Do you know what day is it today? It is the 16-th of October, the day when 21 years ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And yes, today marks my 21st diaversary. 🙂 I feel that each year that passes while managing Type 1 diabetes is an accomplishment Moreover, it reminds me of how strong am I.
During my first 12 diaversaries, this day the 16th of October was simply too hard, especially for my parents and sister. I can’t imagine how hard it was for them to try and accept that I had to live with a life-changing condition. They felt angry that they couldn’t take it away. They also felt sad because, in the beginning, our life revolved around learning about carb counting, fasting, insulin adjustments, and hospital appointments. But, I know that my family has always been amazing and so supportive. And I will always be thankful for that.
Each year, this day reminds me of the strength that I have. Moreover, how far I’ve come and that I take diabetes in my stride. I consider my diaversary as the birthday of my journey which has defined me and my determination. I like being the Queen and having two birthdays (especially in the same month)! 🙂
Inspirational thoughts for my 21st diaversary
For my diaversay, I would like to share some thoughts with all of you. No matter how hard it may seem:
- Always look on the bright side of life.
- Love your broken pancreas.
- You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it.
- I believe that we’re about to accomplish something amazing.
- Life is not over because you have diabetes. Make the most of what you have, be grateful.
- Don’t forget how strong you are.
I am wondering what the following year will bring in my life. We will see. Until then..
HAPPY 21ST DIAVERSARY TO ME! 🙂
People who have diabetes always wonder what is the connection between diabetes and sleep. Yes, there is a connection between them. It can affect our blood sugar levels, as well as our blood glucose control, can t affect our sleep. Difficulty getting a good night’s rest could be a result of a number of reasons, from hypos at night, to high blood sugars or maybe signs of neuropathy.
Trouble sleeping from high sugar levels
On one hand, high blood sugar levels, hyperglycemia can have a negative impact on your sleep. The high levels make it less comfortable for you during the night. Sometimes you may feel too warm or irritable and unsettled.
Another factor when your blood sugar levels are high, you need to go to the toilet during the night. People who face with regularly high blood sugar levels at night feel frustrated because they can’t rest and feel tired the next day.
Trouble sleeping from low sugar levels
On the other hand, low blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia, can have a negative impact on your sleep as well. If you are taking insulin or other blood sugar medication, you may be at risk of low blood glucose levels during the night.
Low blood sugar levels overnight can disrupt your sleep pattern. Moreover, it can lead to difficulty waking in the morning and tiredness through the day.
Nighttime hypoglycemia can be noticeable. For example, when I face with hypoglycemia, I always wake up sweating. If you are experiencing night time hypos, it is important to talk with your doctor.
Getting a good night’s sleep
If you want to have a good night’s sleep, it is very important to do the following things:
- Keep your blood glucose under control
- Ensure your room is cool (around 18 degrees Celcius) and well ventilated
- Incorporating a period of exercise into each day
- Stick to a regular bedtime.
Last, but not least, I would recommend it to check the website of SleepHere.Org. They have created a list of additional resources about diabetes and sleep that you might find useful.