How to Eat a Pizza & Have a Healthy Blood Sugar

Updated: May 17, 2019

Pizza Type One Diabetes

I look fairly delighted in this picture, about to dive into my wonderful treat meal full of carbs and fats. In reality, after eating it I was left shaking from head to toe, genuinely feeling as if I was about to die, (not to be melodramatic or anything).

The Pizza Struggle

Ready for a treat, a part of me knew pizza is my diabetes' worst nightmare but I brushed it off, thinking that I obviously just went wrong with my insulin dosing before. The pizza arrived and I wholeheartedly believed that this time I would master it. I did my carbohydrate counting correctly and everything would be fine. So I injected myself with more insulin than I'd taken in that entire day and was assured that that would do it. Then I had a low, and a bad one at that. Already stuffed from the pizza, I now had to inhale some skittles to make my blood sugars rise. Once they were at a stable level, exhausted, I went to bed. The following morning I woke up to a startlingly high blood sugar level and a headache. Confused and feeling terrible, I vowed to never eat a pizza again.

This blog-post may seem bizarre to anybody with a functioning pancreas, but if you have Type One Diabetes the above scenario might be a bit familiar. There are so many other parts to being a Type One diabetic that someone can find difficult. Some people are weary of needles, others could be forgetful with checking their sugar levels. For me, however, none of that was ever an issue. This horrible string of events was happening every time I wanted to treat myself, so I eventually started fearing foods like pizza and chips, which is ridiculous! That is why I did some research, and finally came to a solution (that works for me, it may need to be altered for others!) I have now mastered the art of eating pizza with Type One Diabetes.

What I do

Although the dosages and time frame will need to be adjusted for different people, these are some rough guidelines that I find helpful. Once you get to know what way works best for you, it's actually quite simple. I check the time that I am eating the meal and take half of my insulin straight away. I then wait for two hours after eating. After two hours, my blood sugars are stable. However, instead of letting those fake figures fool me, I take the other half. I wake up in the morning with a stable blood sugar and feel FANTASTIC!

How it works

This may be common sense or have been already explained to a lot of you. However, in my 9 years of being a diabetic this was never told to me which is why I'm sharing it today. Pizza contains stack loads of carbs. This is something that we all know and why we would assume to take a lot of insulin with this meal. HOWEVER, it is actually all that cheese and pepperoni goodness on top that is the underlying issue. The amount of fat in a pizza slows down carb-absorption a crazy amount. This explains the low blood sugar afterwards. By spacing your insulin out over a few hours, you will be covering yourself for the entire time that those carbs are being absorbed.

So there it is, how I eat pizza without wanting to cry afterwards!! This isn't medical advice, just what works for me. However, hopefully you can take it as a rough guideline and figure out a similar solution that's best for you.

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