The little rules which I’ve learned along the way through trial and error. They keep me safe, they keep me healthy and they keep me sane.
Diabetes Tips #1
I apply many little “rules” to my everyday diabetes life to help me keep my blood sugar levels stable but some of these “rules” are a little OCD! For everyone else I’ve broadly summarised these in the points below which can be applied to your everyday diabetes management.
- Test your bloody frequently – it is critical to know where your blood sugar levels are to effectively keep them stable throughout the day and especially when eating, insulin dosing and exercising. The use of a continuous glucose monitor provides an excellent monitoring tool and I find this to improve blood glucose control significantly.
- Don’t overreact to high and low blood sugar levels – it is important not to give too much insulin when treating high blood sugar levels as this increases the risk of stacking insulin and hypo-ing. You must give an insulin dose sufficient time to work (can be 1-2 hrs). Equally it is important to treat low blood sugar levels correctly and not over eat/drink (the dreaded hypo munchies) which then cause’s higher blood sugar levels.
- Maintain a consistent routine – I find that keeping a consistent routine really helps my diabetes control; meal timing would be the most important but when you sleep and when you exercise also impacts your insulin regime and thus your blood sugar levels.
- Avoid refined sugars and simple carbohydrates – If you can, just don’t eat refined sugars as they are not only more difficult to match with an insulin dose but they are not good for your general health and well being. Sugars are contained in many foods and drinks so you need to be really vigilant to avoid these, but the results are significant for your blood glucose control.
- Include low GI carbohydrates in your diet – Low GI carbohydrates form a large part of my diet and due to their longer absorption time which greatly assist with maintaining stable blood sugars post meals.
- Use exercise as part of your diabetes management – exercise is an excellent way to keep healthy and regular exercise may allow you to reduce your total daily insulin requirements which then reduces the risks of hypoglycemia by having less insulin in your system.
- Always be prepared – it doesn’t matter what you are doing you’ve always got to be diabetes prepared; blood testing kit, insulin, snacks and mobile phone are things I carry with me everywhere. Carrying these things can be annoying, especially when training, but it’s a small price to pay for being safe and able to look after yourself if something goes wrong which always happens at the worst time and place.
- Stay Positive – I have learnt through experience that my mental state has a direct influence on the stability of my BGLs. When I am stressed, angry, anxious or any other negative emotion my levels become unpredictable. I now understand that these emotions are only feelings and that I am in control of myself. Focus on the immediate actions, get under control and remain positive as this will result in greater stability in your diabetes management.
Diabetes Tips #2
Understanding how exercise impacts your blood glucose levels – Tips #2
Carrying Diabetes Equipment When Training
Best ways to carry all of your diabetes equipment in swimming, running, cycling or in the gym – Carrying Diabetes Equipment When Training
Diabetes Advice for Pre-Race Tapering
Getting through a taper week is challenging enough without having diabetes, see my tips for keeping things stable leading up to a race – Getting Through Race Week