5 Life Tips from Type 1 Diabetics

It takes years of trial and error to figure some things out when it comes to diabetes. Each of the following took me at least 5 years to discover:

1. Always split the dose with pizza (click here for more on the pizza method).

2. Never underestimate the importance of changing injection sites. Sudden releases of insulin during the day is a bad time.

3. The MiaoMiao is essential if you're using the FreeStyle Libre and want continuous glucose monitoring. (You can click here for $10 off).

4. You're not obliged to get a pump just because you can. Everyone's preferences are different.

Each of these four points may seem so simple, so obvious. However, none of these things were told to me at diagnosis and took me far too long to figure out on my own. That's why I decided to try and put an end to 'figuring it out' and asked a few ladies with type one diabetes about one thing they wish they were told at diagnosis.

What took Taja (@tajacato) 18 years to realize is that "it doesn’t matter what other people think because 9 times out of 10, people are more concerned with themselves versus the CGM that’s on my arm." What she presumed others were thinking was just a projection of her own fears. She went on to explain that it’s normal to feel embarrassed, to feel different and to try to fit in. However, she wishes she was told that she wouldn’t feel this way forever and that though it’s a normal feeling, it would develop into feelings of self confidence with time.

Caroline (@peaceloveinsulin) wishes she knew that whether it be from physicians, nurses, or a nutritionist, "there's always support that will help you find what you need to make your life easier." For example, in the beginning she found that using scales to measure the carbohydrates in foods really helped her to learn the ropes of carb counting.

Beth (@bethsdiabetes) now knows that it's unrealistic to get 100% in range every single day-"just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that matters. You have to enjoy life too." Plus, "carbs are NOT the enemy! And neither is insulin!" Insulin requirements varies from person to person and "just because you need more insulin than some people, doesn’t make you any less worthy of it."

Lauren (@t1d.lauren.x) wishes she knew about apps such as Carbs & Cals or MyFitnessPal sooner. She says that "they're literally the backbone of helping me count my carbs quickly, subsequently making my insulin calculation a lot easier and just taking a lot of stress out of my day."

There are over 40 factors that affect blood sugar levels, and one that was overlooked for Emily (@emilysdiabetes) is the change in insulin needs during a monthly cycle. To handle these fluctuations of insulin requirements, "increased temporary basals are a life changer!"

Whether these tips are new to you or you need reminding of them, I hope they've been useful! The best way to learn if you're newly diagnosed really is from talking to others and listening to different experiences. If you have any other tips you think should be added to the list, please let me know! And a huge thank you to these lovely ladies for contributing. x

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