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Tips For Dating A Diabetic

5 Things To Know About Type 1 Diabetes Before Offering Your Unsolicited Advice

5 Things To Know About Type 1 Diabetes Before Offering Your Unsolicited Advice

Miss Idaho 2014, Sierra Sandison, did an amazing thing for the diabetic community when she wore her insulin pump during this year's pageant: She got people talking. “Diabetes” alone is not something people regularly discuss; rather, it’s often a punchline for when someone eats too much cake or referenced when alluding to rising obesity rates. However, people often forget that there are actually two types of diabetes: type 1, an incurable autoimmune disease with no known cause and type 2, which manifests over time, and genetics and lifestyle largely influence it. The kind that Sierra and I share is wholly misrepresented and fiercely misunderstood. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness with no cure and serious long-term complications; however, it is also not the be-all, end-all for people who have it. I’m here to set the record straight, or maybe to just write the record. There are many rumors floating around about type 1 diabetes, so as a diabetic, maybe I can shed some light. Here are five things to keep in mind about type 1 diabetes: 1. Don't ask us if we can eat that. Do I have this disease or do you? If I thought a Snickers bar would kill me, would I eat one? People who have type 2 diabetes try to limit their sugar intake so they can appropriately digest their food, while people who have type 1 diabetes can’t produce ANY insulin whatsoever. We have to artificially inject (either via pump or a shot) insulin to cover any and all carbohydrates we eat. So, whether I eat a candy bar or whole-wheat toast, I will need to shoot up. Regardless, unless you’re a nutritionist or a doctor, it is just plain nosy, rude and annoying for you to assume you know more about my diet than I do. 2. If you wear an insulin pump, it doesn't mean you have the "bad" kind of diabetes. Continue reading >>

Dating A Diabetic

Dating A Diabetic

Everyone brings certain things into a relationship. You bring your lessons, your experiences, and your expectations. You bring emotional issues from your past, but also an excitement and hope for the future. You bring your vulnerability and your best self. But having diabetes means that you bring that too. I’m sure everyone is different when it comes to when they bring up the fact they have diabetes. For me, if the guy doesn’t already know, the topic comes up pretty quickly. “What do you do?” is followed by a description of my current job followed by “and I write a blog.” That statement is naturally followed by “what do you blog about?” Whether I like it or not, diabetes is a big part of my life and requires a lot of attention. It’s important that whoever I am dating understands what it means to have and manage diabetes, and the sooner they know that, the better. So I decided to put together a short list, 6 tips for dating this diabetic. As all diabetics deal with their diabetes differently, I cannot generalize this list to all type 1 diabetics. Maybe these tips apply to you, but maybe they don’t. But if you do ever find yourself dating a T1D, it might help to keep these in mind. Tips for Dating A Diabetic From a Diabetic: 1. Don’t assume I can’t eat something with sugar in it. I appreciate the concern, but let me tell you what I can and cannot eat. If you’re not sure, you can ask me. However, I prefer “Can you eat that?” to “You can’t eat that, right?” And if I say no to that dessert or piece of pizza, it doesn’t always have to do with my diabetes. There are other reasons I turn down food, you know, because I don’t like it or I’m trying to watch my girlish figure. 2. I know part of dating is finding common ground, but if I tell Continue reading >>

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor will typically walk them through the steps of how to deal with this medical issue in the following years; however, sex is rarely addressed, often leaving the patient feeling left in the dark. The journal Diabetes Care found that only half of all men and 19 percent of women with diabetes had broached the topic of sex with their doctors.1 It is crucial that individuals with Type I Diabetes become aware of the sexual problems associated with this health condition because certain symptoms can be assumed an effect of Type 1 diabetes, but be caused from an unrelated medical condition. For people that already have diabetes, sexual problems can indicate nerve damage, blocked arteries, and irregular hormone patterns.2 People who keep their diabetes under control can lower their risk of developing these sexual and urologic problems in the future. Talk to Your Partner Establishing a strong system of communication with your partner is a crucial component of every relationship. Along with discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception usage, Type 1 diabetics should express how diabetes affects their sex life. Many Type 1 diabetics may feel self conscious about their condition and try to hide it from their partners. If you do this, however, you may not feel comfortable asking your partner for a break from sex in the case of a low blood sugar and put yourself in a dangerous situation. Sex is an intense physical activity and as any Type 1 diabetic knows, this can cause a fast drop in blood glucose level. Make sure your partner knows how to care for you in case you experience a severe low blood sugar level and are unable to care for yourself. It is your responsibility as a diabetic to protect yourself and give t Continue reading >>

Dating + Diabetes = Dilemma?

Dating + Diabetes = Dilemma?

Diabetes is not an obvious illness if you don’t want it to be. I’ve come to learn that you can do your injections every single day in front of someone and they just won’t notice. The places I find myself stabbing my limbs makes me chuckle sometimes… on the tube, at the bus stop, in a club (that did raise a few eyebrows). I’m the kinda girl that doesn’t care at all; diabetes is a common enough thing, and if you can’t take me with diabetes then there ain’t much chance of us getting along! But meeting new people – I’m talking about dating – and getting to the stage where you want to introduce them to this crazy world can be tricky. Confident as I am, whipping out my Novorapid across a candle-lit dinner table can kind of kill the mood if the poor innocent bloke isn’t expecting it. But as I’m yet to meet the man of my dreams (sigh), it’s something I have to deal with – some months more often than others! Join me on this journey… you’ve been on a couple of dates, you’ve so far either not been on one that involved food or you’ve dodged off to the toilet just to save the effort of inquisition. You’re thinking this is a guy you’re kind of going to see a little bit more… so you casually drop it into conversation at some point so they at least have heard the word “diabetes” right? I failed to do this recently; for some reason I had it in my head that the guy in question knew I had Type 1. So there we are, at the dinner table, and I say in the jokey, “witty” manner that I’m so good at, “I’m just going to take some drugs”. Out comes my very official looking pen and I happily start to dial up. The look of horror spreading across said fella’s face as I obliviously counted my carbs and figured out my dosage was a picture. Br Continue reading >>

What It's Like Dating With Diabetes

What It's Like Dating With Diabetes

The most important relationship in my life is with a piece of technology. It’s attached to my body 24/7 and I can not live without it. No, it’s not my cell phone – it’s my insulin pump. The hustle and bustle of Valentine’s Day has me wondering, will this relationship be my only one? I feel like diabetes is my boyfriend at this point. My testing kit is always accompanying me to dinner, it tends to hangout around my pillow at night, and I can get pretty mad at what it says…Which is the same thing as a boyfriend, right? I usually don’t stress too much over diabetes, as we all know that just causes more problems than it solves. But, I do wonder if diabetes is hindering my dating life. I was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 21, right in the middle of college. Adding insulin shots (eventually a pump), carb counting, and finger pricking to an already self-confidence depleting dating environment was probably not the best idea, but it’s not like I did it to myself. Here I am trying to dress and act in ways that will attract my male peers, and now I have to do so while wearing a pump. Carrying it feels like a whole grocery bag worth of stuff with me at all times. I’ll admit, I often left my glucometer at home when I went out since I didn’t usually carry a purse. There was nothing more awkward than meeting up with a guy, or even friends, at the bar and then rerouting the walk home to my house so I could check my blood sugar. Talk about a buzz kill. I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal to the other person – but I felt like such an inconvenience. As I became more comfortable with my shots and carrying my supplies, I thought all of the issues would subside, but of course, I was wrong. Next awkward situation? Waking up in someone else’s house with low blood sug Continue reading >>

People In The Know: Dating With Type 1 Diabetes

People In The Know: Dating With Type 1 Diabetes

Q: Our daughter just went on her first date…and then ended up at the ER when she almost passed out at the mini putt range and the manager called 9-1-1. We think she was nervous and didn’t eat what she needed to (though she denies it). She wants to go out on another date, but I don’t think we can trust her so soon again, especially since she seems to be in denial. What do we do? A: Can I first say here that I really feel for your daughter? It does sound like her nerves got the best of her — after all, who doesn’t have a serious case of butterflies on their first-ever date? However, you’re right to view this incident as a red flag that she may not be mature enough yet to balance these kinds of social situations with her type 1 care. Before you make any hard and fast decisions about dating, however, check in with your daughter to see if you can have a more fruitful discussion about the incident. It sounds like your daughter may need education around the issue of expressing her needs. In your conversation, it’s important for her to hear the message from you (even if you have said it before) that asking for help whenever she feels a low or otherwise needs assistance is a very grown up and mature thing to do. Whether you decide it’s next month or next year, there will come a time when you agree your daughter is ready to venture back out onto the dating scene. Before this next date, communicate some basic ground rules you expect her to follow. These might include: The person she is going to be with must know she has diabetes. Before the date, this person must be educated about the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar and how to respond. Your daughter must always carry a meter, supplies and treatment for lows (fruit juice, hard candy, etc.) when she leaves the Continue reading >>

When To Reveal Your Insulin Pump

When To Reveal Your Insulin Pump

Having diabetes is a full-time job that goes beyond balancing blood sugar levels, writes the author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes. You have to worry about how to feel sexy with a plastic pump attached to your lower back; how to still feel desirable with bruises on your stomach from insulin injections; and when in your relationship to tell your new boyfriend he’ll need to run and grab orange juice if you start to pass out. Author Amy Stockwell Mercer was 14 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her book includes her own experience of living with diabetes, as well as advice from other diabetic women on topics ranging from dating and diet to travel tips and motherhood. According to a University of Toronto study, teenage girls with diabetes are twice as likely to develop eating disorders. “Diabulimia,” Mercer explains, “is characterized by a person with diabetes who is intentionally skipping insulin therapy to keep blood glucose levels elevated, which in turn causes dangerous weight loss.” Fantagraphics Books One woman cited in the book, Charla, hated being chubby as a child and remembers suddenly losing weight when she was 16. “God was answering my prayers!” she thought as she continued to eat gluttonously without gaining weight. “I also couldn’t get out of bed and knew something was wrong.” Her parents took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with diabetes. Once she started insulin, “I gained 14 lb. I felt like the Michelin man. The day I got out of hospital I started skipping insulin because I had to lose weight.” She eventually started taking just enough to survive, “one shot at bedtime.” By her thirties, Charla had developed eye complications—diabetic retinopathy. She finally found a supportive, female endocrinolo Continue reading >>

Top 10 Diabetic Diet Tips For Indians

Top 10 Diabetic Diet Tips For Indians

A healthy diet is requisite to manage diabetes. For diabetics, knowing what to eat and what not to eat is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Those with diabetes should have the ratio of 60:20:20 for carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Moreover, fruits, vegetables and milk are also an important part of a diabetes diet. Here are a few suggestions that may help you keep your blood sugar level in check and keep diabetes complications to a minimum. (Image source:Gettyimages) Continue reading >>

Fight Back Against Diabetes After 60 With These Small Lifestyle Changes

Fight Back Against Diabetes After 60 With These Small Lifestyle Changes

Many people over the age of 60 are living with diabetes. There is actually a worldwide epidemic of diabetes, primarily related to various lifestyle changes including obesity, and an increase in sedentary habits. According to the World Health Organization, total deaths from complications related to diabetes are expected to increase by more than 50 percent worldwide within the next 10 years, and by 80 percent in upper to middle income countries. Understanding the Basics of Diabetes There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and Type 2 diabetes , which is far more common, results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, as “pre-diabetic,” or even if you are concerned about your risk factors for possibly developing diabetes in the future, there are many lifestyle changes that you can make. These actions will preserve your health, maintain quality of life and avoid some of the worst complications of diabetes. However, remember that taking baby steps is a good idea when addressing any lifestyle change – don’t try to change things overnight and just make small changes that will add up to a big impact over time. I hope that the following ideas will give you plenty to discuss with your doctor on your next visit. Get Moving! Not an exercise fanatic? Well then just move. Walk, move around, climb stairs and don’t sit all day. Even if you just put your headphones on and dance around the room, that would still be preferable to being sedentary. Consider buying a Fitbit to track your steps each day; it has settings to track the number of flights of stairs that you climb each day, as well as the number of calories yo Continue reading >>

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

1. There is no "mild form" of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn't produce any insulin, while type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin it does make doesn't work properly. There's a myth that type 2 is the milder form – but it's false. "It is a commonly held belief that type 2 is the mild form and less serious than type 1 diabetes. This is in fact not true, as both type 1 and 2 diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as blindness, amputation, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke, if not managed well. "Type 1 diabetes can be sudden onset, where a person may become quite unwell very quickly, whereas type 2 diabetes can go undetected for a number of years. Both types of diabetes need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid diabetes-related complications." – Deepa Khatri, clinical adviser, Diabetes UK 2. You don't get it from "eating too much sugar". "I didn't get it from eating too much sugar. There's nothing I can't eat or drink. And type 1 and type 2 are two completely different conditions. There's two types, I'm talking about type 1, the autoimmune condition. There's nothing I did to get it, there's nothing I could have done to prevent it, and it's not contagious. "No, it's not because I ate too much sugar as a kid, and yes, I can still eat that bit of cake. I can eat anything I want, and I can do pretty much what I want when I want to do it – my T1 doesn't hold me back in any way. It's a lot more than just taking a couple of insulin injections though – there's a lot more to it." – Connor McHarg 3. And it's a serious illness. "One of my major frustrations is that people tend not to view diabetes as a 'serious' illness and will go as far to say that it's self-inflicted due to certain lifestyle ch Continue reading >>

The Sweet Romance: Diabetes And Dating

The Sweet Romance: Diabetes And Dating

Ask anyone who’s single about dating and you’ll probably hear that it’s no picnic. Just finding someone that you would like to go out with can feel like an insurmountable task in itself! How do you actually meet someone these days? Should you try an internet dating site? Are you brave enough for a blind date? When you do meet someone you’d like to see again do you wait for a call or do you ask them out? Should you wait a while to get in touch after the first date? So many questions! Now imagine adding to all that the added complication of a medical condition like diabetes. Why is it a big deal? Diabetes is a serious disease. It needs careful management and constant attention. But it is manageable, and that’s what anyone dating with diabetes needs to remember. Tips for the diabetic dater Whether you’re just hitting the dating scene for the first time or you’re back in the dating pool after the end of a relationship, dating with diabetes in the equation can put a different spin on things. It’s quite possible that the next person you go out with will not be clued up on the intricacies of diabetes. Questions from your date like, ‘can I catch it?’ are not unheard of! Sad but true, you need to be prepared for that. You also need to be prepared for some more practical things. Tell your date that you have diabetes…when you are ready This is personal information and it is completely up to you when you need to tell someone. Bear in mind that depending on your regime, it may be obvious to your date that something’s going on. But you need to be comfortable enough to have the conversation at your own pace. Be smart about a dinner date Your date’s favourite restaurant chosen especially for the occasion may not suit your diet needs. If you can, check the menu Continue reading >>

Nick Jonas On Flying The Diabetes Flag High!

Nick Jonas On Flying The Diabetes Flag High!

Singer, songwriter, actor Nick Jonas, 23, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago. As a fellow type 1 myself, and a regular blogger for OnTrack Diabetes, I was thrilled when I got the call about the chance to interview Jonas! He's been my dia-crush (person with diabetes who has a crush on another diabetic) ever since I heard him croon with his brothers. Even cooler in my mind (other then his global superstar status) is that he's down-to-earth and actually cares about raising diabetes awareness. So how does he hope his non-profit, Beyond Type 1, will help people with diabetes? What does he look for in a 'type 3'? What's the nicest thing someone has done for him to support his diabetes? Read my exclusive interview with this bright star (and dia-badass!) to find out. Tell me about your type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Ten years ago when I was 13 and touring with my brothers, I noticed a dramatic change in my body and my mood. I’ve always been a very upbeat person, but suddenly, I was irritable all the time. I was constantly thirsty and always needing to use the bathroom. I also started losing weight rapidly—20 pounds in two weeks! Something was very wrong. I felt sluggish, drained, like a balloon losing air. I was struggling to get through my tour and finally decided to make an appointment to meet with my doctor. She ordered several tests, including my blood glucose. My level had spiraled out of control to over 800—I was immediately rushed to the hospital. It was absolutely terrifying. The doctors told me I had type 1 diabetes. How did you initially handle the news? It was truly one of the most frightening moments of my life. I was shocked at first. And my family was just as panicked. But the real scare was I had to quickly learn so much. It was completely overwhel Continue reading >>

Wife Of A Diabetic

Wife Of A Diabetic

My husband is a type 1 diabetic. He was diagnosed at the age of 16 years old~he was afraid to tell me when we were dating because he thought I wouldn’t want to continue dating him BUT love is a powerful thing (we just celebrated our 19th anniversary this June 2009). My mother-in-law pretty much did everything for him from waking him up for his insulin, making his meals and even testing his blood while he was asleep as a good parent should BUT she never gave him the “responsibility” of taking care of his diabetes himself. After having diabetes for 21 years he still struggles with his diabetes. He has experienced many low sugar episodes from falling to the ground to car accidents (thankfully no one was hurt) to just being belligerent or violent. This has been very hard on my children and I as we want to help him and we hate to see him in such distress but he gets to the point where he just doesn’t want our help and of course when his sugar rises he cannot remember much of what happened. Recently, our doctor suggested the real-time glucose monitoring system with the pump and it has been a Godsend. The sensor lets him know early enough to get something to eat before he becomes dangerously low~I feel like this is his only hope before he seriously hurts himself or someone else. I am so thankful that there is advanced technology to help keep him alive. The pump is an awesome piece of equipment and I encourage all insulin dependent diabetics to try it out~it will make your life easier as well as make the ones who love you feel a little more at ease. My prayer is that one day there will be a cure for diabetes as no one should have to suffer with this disease. Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Dating: To Date Or Not To Date

Diabetes & Dating: To Date Or Not To Date

A question we get asked all the time: Should I date someone if I have diabetes? or Should I date someone who has diabetes? Take a look at these Diabetes & Relationship stats: Relationships are tough in this day and age. With approximately 60 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, does diabetes stack the deck against you in a committed, long-term relationship? When Dennis contacted The Diabetes Council last week, he was concerned that dating Susan with Type 1 diabetes may not a good idea. He didn’t know if he could handle her having a low blood sugar during their time together, and he worried that his own fear of needles would make him too squeamish to deal with the day-to-day aspects of diabetes care. Dennis and Susan have only been out on three dates. Dennis enjoyed his time with Susan, and wanted to see if they could have a future together. However, it was at the end of the third date when Susan informed Dennis about her diabetes. Dennis had been at a loss for words since finding out about Susan’s diagnosis. He was ashamed to say that he had not called her in three days. So what kind of advice should we give Dennis? Although we may not be in the position to give him an answer as to whether or not he should date Susan, what kind of relationship advice might be helpful in this situation? For starters, if Dennis wants to pursue a future relationship with Susan, he should ask himself just how much he cares about her, and whether or not he thinks that he is capable of supporting someone with diabetes through the long haul of life. If the answer is yes, then a diagnosis of diabetes should not preclude Dennis from pursuing a relationship with Susan. If the answer is no, then Susan is better off without Dennis. As a person with diabetes, Susan will need someone who i Continue reading >>

Explore Management Tips, Dating Tips, And More!

Explore Management Tips, Dating Tips, And More!

In this article we will show something super easy someone can do each day for next the 30 days. For example, reading a poem, taking a different route to school/work/home, listening to a music not in their own language, etc. This kind of exercise helps keep the brain young and rejuvenated. The brain, like all … Continue reading >>

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