Diabetes is a complex disease to manage, but who better to help us understand it than those who meet its challenges on a daily basis? From storing medications to avoiding those after-meal highs, our community members and returning host Jewels Doskicz covered a wide range of topics on this week’s Twitter chat with diabetes tips and tricks.
Q. One thing I wish someone had taught me about my pump or glucometer is___?
Jewels: How changes in altitude affect insulin delivery when flying.
• That infusion sites and cartridge changes can be done independently.
• I wish I had known that returning to multiple daily injections (MDI) would be difficult, yet it has been so worth it for me.
• I wish someone had taught me that the pump would change my life for the better.
Q. The biggest selling point for my diabetes device has been___?
Jewels: Safety. Exercising with my Dexcom makes diabetes that much easier.
• Ease of use. My pump is easy to use and it helps make my life and management easier.
• Actionable, real-time data which enables real-life tight control.
• The biggest selling point of an insulin pump is being able to adjust basal on the fly. I’m not stuck with the results of an injection hours ago.
Q. My eating habits changed when I learned___?
Jewels: Eating healthfully avoids swimming upstream against blood sugars.
• My eating habits changed when I learned my triglycerides were at heart attack levels and my doctor told me to think about my daughter.
• My eating habits changed when I saw that fewer carbs meant less chance of error.
• We made a radical change when we learned about Dr. Bernstein and read his book Diabetic Solutions.
Q. The best way to avoid after-meal highs is___?
Jewels: To avoid post-meal highs, take insulin early, moderate carbs, and go for a walk.
• Being as accurate as you can with your carb counts (no guesstimating).
• Pre-bolus and going low carb. Also learning to bolus for protein is important.
• I veer low-carb. Best advice I can give, though, is beware of going “too low-carb” because ketones love to breed then.
Q. I enjoy exercising more with diabetes now because___?
Jewels: Exercise is more enjoyable because of continuous glucose monitoring.
• Not sure I’ll ever “enjoy” exercise, but walks on work breaks are relaxing.
• I realized that it shall only benefit me.
• It makes my insulin work better. It also helps with triglycerides, lipids, etc.
Q. Exercise works best for me when I___?
Jewels: When I go at the same time of the day (morning).
• Exercise works best for me when done regularly, in predictable amounts, and on a predictable schedule.
• Exercise works best when you know how your body responds. My son needs a bolus before karate and a temporary basal for soccer.
• Exercise works best for me when I integrate it into my life: housekeeping, carpentry, errands, etc.
Q. When I’m feeling “over my diabetes” this always makes things better___?
Jewels: When I see good numbers. Staying busy also helps blood glucose. It all adds up.
• Family time and work. They take my mind right off diabetes.
• Knowing that there are people with worse disorders. I am lucky to get away with a common one.
• The smile on my son’s face.
Q. When sick with diabetes I bounce back best when I___?
Jewels: Stay hydrated.
• As a mom of a T1D, I bounce back because that’s the only option.
• Take a deep breath and remind myself to take things one day at at time.
Q. I use ketone strips when___?
Jewels: More than a few blood sugars are more than 300. Some people are more prone to ketosis than others.
• I use ketone strips when I’m sick or when I have extended periods of high blood glucose numbers.
• When my son has a tummy bug and is dehydrated.
• I’m sensitive to ketones. Abbott’s Precision Xtra blood ketone meter is a godsend.
Q. The best way to store diabetes medications is___?
Jewels: I leave everything room temperature except my insulin is in the fridge.
• I store insulin in the fridge and the rest of my medications where I know I will find them!
• I have a designated chest of drawers for diabetes supplies (except insulin).
• Never in direct sunlight.
Q. I remember to take my medications when I ___?
Jewels: Taking medications is habitual. When I see the food I’ll be eating, I take them.
• I remember to stick to my treatment plan when I see real-time results data.
• Phone calendar reminders and alarm clock timers for the win.
• I remember to take my medications when the Dexcom starts screaming at me.
Q. if I had one diabetes hack to teach a newly diagnosed person it would be___?
Jewels: Ask for a prescription for lidocaine cream for your child who’s afraid of needles.
• I would say, a constant willingness to learn and persevere.
• Just to know that their blood sugars won’t always be perfect and that is okay.
• Never leave home without your meter and glucose! Not even when you have CGMs.
We want to thank all the participants for sharing their insights and giving us a firsthand look into the world of diabetes management.
By Tom Betar for http://www.diabeticconnect.com/.