I’m taking a break from talking about video games to talk about a subject I know even better: Diabetes, specifically type one.
The background paragraph: I was diagnosed at around age 2, celiac at 3, hypothyroidism at 4. Other than occasionally asthmatic symptoms, I haven’t picked up anything else along the way (phew!)
I’ve spoken to a lot of diabetics, some recently diagnosed, some not, and they tend to voice a similar concern. They don’t know how to manage blood sugars when they’re out for eight, ten, fourteen hours at a time. Rather than inform the whole world, one person at a time, what I know about keeping the sugars steady, I’m here telling everyone I can. I hope these tips help.
*I use the pump, and these tips may reflect that, but they should still be applicable to injection users.
1) Keep your diet steady all week long.
What I mean is, there are three food categories that can alter your insulin needs. Those are meat, eggs, and dairy, with meat causing the highest increase. If you typically indulge in a particular category, then after 24-48 hours without eating from it, you may notice needing less insulin.
Example: My current schedule doesn’t give me a convenient time to eat eggs during the week, causing my sensitivity to increase by about 5%. If I eat eggs on the weekends, I’ll have to readjust them all the time to prevent myself from bottoming out on Monday or Tuesday. As such, I refrain from eating them, even though few things beat that Saturday morning omelette.
2) Invest in low carb options.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t make mistakes. But, since we’re all human (presumably), we do, and I don’t think I have to explain that miscalculating your insulin levels, even by one unit, can be hazardous. Reduce that risk by having calculated options–i.e. using a measuring cup for rice and pasta–or better yet, getting low carb alternatives, like Black Bean Pasta instead of the kind made from rice or potato flour. Lower carbs means less insulin, which means if you mess up a little, the results won’t be as dramatic. Tapioca bread is an especially good choice for sandwiches, though the loaf tends to be smaller than others.
3) Get fruit!
It’s a topic that only needs a few words. Fruit can be a low-carb, low-glycemic option. Apples, berries, and melons tend to be low impact options that don’t cause a huge fluctuation. You may need to get some containers to prevent squishing, but that’s a small price to pay for good control.
4) Go nuts!
Did the fruit section bum you out? Do you need a little protein boost? Combine your fruits with a portion of nuts (unless you’re allergic, of course). They have high fat content, but they’ll also keep your body satisfied nutrient-wise. Just don’t rely on them for a full snack, as they’re not very filling.
5) Know your local spots.
Last but not least, the dining options. Unless you work at Area 51, you can probably leave to get food during your lunch break, or have food delivered. Get to know the menus! Instead of using pizza as your go-to, try Japanese food. I have to be a little careful with the sauces, but I love an order of seaweed salad and basil mixed vegetables. Eating like that is high nutrient, low carb, and delicious–what’s not to love?
I hope these tips help! Leave some comments below to let me know, and if you’d like to request a topic in the future. Have a good one!