Helpful Advice For Type 1 Diabetics

Although type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes share the same name, they are rather different. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It develops when the body’s own immune system attacks the organ called the pancreas. It does not develop due to an unhealthy lifestyle. It often occurs in childhood or early adult life and always requires insulin to be injected into the body or an infusion through an insulin pump. Regular exercise and making dietary adjustments can help better control your type 1 diabetes. The dos and don’ts for type 2 diabetes still apply. However, there are a few more handy tips for those with type 1 diabetes.

1. Adjusting meals

Instead of adjusting your meals to your insulin, aim to adjust your insulin to your meals. You do not have to eat the same meals day in day out.

2. Carbohydrates

Know your carbohydrate to insulin ratios. When you know how much insulin to inject per 10g of carbohydrate, you remove the guessing.

3. Know your insulin

Be aware that the amount of insulin you require per 10g of carbohydrate may be different depending on a lot of factors including time of day. Do note that things like infections, stress and pregnancy can change your typical ratio.

4. Learn to be carb savvy

If you’re not carb portion savvy or are not aware of your ratios, sign yourself up for a course to learn more.

5. Do not compare yourself to the stats

If your HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) is good and you’re healthy, you may never have complications from your diabetes.

6. Reduce your risk of complications

To further reduce the risk of complications from your diabetes, eat to protect these parts of your body.

  1. Aim for over five different fruit and veg each day. They’ll help protect your eyes and heart.
  2. Eat oily fish twice a week to protect your heart, eyes and nerves. Oily fish is any fish that isn’t naturally white, eg mackerel, salmon, sardines, fresh tuna.
  3. Drink lots of water and reduce your salt intake to help keep your kidneys functioning as they should.
  4. Don’t smoke. Ever

The impact smoking will have on your body will be greater than someone without type 1 diabetes.

7. Get checked for coeliac disease

Get checked for coeliac disease with a simple blood test at your local GP. Coeliac disease is more common in those with type 1 diabetes. Some people with undiagnosed coeliac disease have no symptoms, so get checked regardless.

8. Monitor your thyroid function

Keep monitoring your thyroid function during routine blood tests also. Similar to coeliac disease, issues with thyroid function are more common in those with type 1 diabetes.

9. Don’t underestimate the power of exercise

Different exercise types impact your blood sugar levels differently. Know your body and get to terms with how your body responds. Do mix up the types and forms of exercise. And remember, when exercising, always carry hypo treatment with you.