Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Answering Your Questions


Last week on Instagram and Facebook I asked people for questions they have about living with diabetes. Here were some of the questions I received and my answers.

How does diabetes impact the rest of my family? This could be lifestyle, daily activities, having kids, meal choices etc.

My hubs may say it affects my mood more than anything. Usually, when I get a little cranky or easily frustrated, he will very loving ask "Do you need to check your blood sugars"? Most of the time he is right and they need to be dealt with, but on days that they are fine, this feels like he is asking me "is it that time of the month"? Which is another can of worms altogether.

As a married couple, my diabetes is our biggest expense. We are very fortunate to have great medical coverage, but even having great insurance doesn't stop diabetes supplies from being so expensive. We have to add diabetes into it's own category in our budget to make sure that we are able to cover the monthly expense.

I always wish I could be a light packer when we go on vacation, but sometimes my diabetes emergency kit needs it's own luggage which can sometimes be a pain. But it's important to have because we have had a few instances where we had to improvise because I hadn't planned for the unexpected such as, dropping my blood checker in the water while in line for the Jungle Cruise, ripping out my cannula on the BART, forgetting my cannula insert. You name it, I have probably done it.

We haven't really talked too much yet about how my diabetes will affect us when we have children. This is something I would like to look into more. As of right now, the main thing I can see being a problem is having time to eat which can lead to low blood sugars. For the most part, being diabetic and having a baby really in my opinion affects me. I am dreading obsessing over my numbers throughout pregnancy and not getting to eat how I currently do. On the positive side of things, I won't have to do the glucose test that I hear most women hate, that makes me happy.


How do you have diabetes when you aren't overweight?

Type 1 diabetes is not caused from obesity. The actual cause of Type 1 diabetes is still unknown. For the most part, there is belief that it is caused my an environmental change or genetic predisposition. For instance, I was diagnosed after moving away from home for the first time to go to college, Another gal in my diabetes group was diagnosed shortly after traveling in Asia, and another member of our group was diagnosed shortly after giving birth to her first born. We all believe these were our environmental stresses that caused us to have T1D.

What kind of food can you eat?

I can honestly eat whatever I would like to have, as long as I give myself the appropriate amount of insulin. Having an insulin pump makes this a lot easier for more complex meals such as pizza or burgers. For the most part, I just try to eat as healthy as I can, but with T1D you have a little more freedom in your diet.

Did you get diabetes because you ate too much sugar?

No, sugar has nothing to do with T1D. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent T1D. In fact, T1D can happen whenever a persons pancreas decided to no longer produce insulin. My body created antibodies to fight against my insulin producing cells, those cells unfortunately, lost their battle and I am now insulin dependent.

Are you cured because now you have insulin?

Sadly, no. There is currently no cure for diabetes. Thankfully, diabetes technology has continued to grow over the years helping to prevent diabetes complication due to better blood sugar control. There are things like the continuous glucose monitor that make managing your blood sugar levels a lot easier without you having to constantly stick your fingers. Then you have your insulin pump which helps you accurately believe insulin to 1/10th of a unit. As well as, split up your insulin doses to handle complex meals.

But for now there isn't a cure, you can contact your local JDRF Chapter to see when the next walk, run, or bike ride is to help raise money for research in finding a cure.

Thanks for sending me your questions. I hope I was able to answer your questions clearly. Remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month and marks my 9th year of living with T1D, know the signs of diabetes before it's too late.



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