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It’s Not Always About Diabetes


It's Not Always About DiabetesAfter a really physical day I am feeling good. I have just sat down with a cup of camomile tea after a lovely hot bath that has soothed my muscles. My macronutrients have been met and, hunger wise, I am feeling satisfied. Also, because of my new kitchen scales, I was able to measure my porridge oats properly and could therefore give myself the correct bolus for it. (This is a big deal to me as it’s my favourite, especially when it’s mixed with chocolate whey protein). Anyway, after day of dancing, walking, basal changes, modified boluses and pump on and offs my blood sugars have been fairly good. My most recent one, before dinner, was 5.7mmol.

Start of the day is as follows; shower, breakfast and preparation of food. I always prepare my food if I have a busy day of classes because it helps me with my bolus / macro calculations. I then go on to do a quick 30 minute power walk to the farmers market where I picked up some 100% pure organic peanut butter. Amazing source of fat! Next, I had a 60 minute contemporary dance class where I took my pump off and ended up a little higher than expected. Grr! Must continue day so I reattach pump, quick food and correction bolus, lunch and on way to the next class which was yoga. As it is only suggested to keep pump off for an hour a day, I abide by these guidelines and keep my pump on for yoga. Now, normally I think I would be a bit paranoid about people looking at my pump but in yoga I am not bothered. I am good at yoga so I think it’s best to assume something nicer. Let’s assume that people are looking at me because they can see how patient I am to be able to build up to the level of strength and flexibility I show. Actually, this is a very good way of looking at it because a lady who was looking at me during class came up to me when it had finished and she asked me if I was a dancer and she told me that she was impressed by me. Well, that made my day. It goes to show that it’s not always about diabetes, is it? Sometimes I look at people and hopefully they think positively about it too. I wonder what makes them really happy, like what is this person insanely passionate about? Maybe I should ask them? Would you answer if I asked you?

Off track again, are you noticing a trend here? Sometimes my mind jumps off to other places, but if you keep reading my blogs, I promise you will get used to it and maybe learn to like it.

To sum up my exercise and stuff, I have done 60 minute yoga, 60 minute intense dance class and about 3 hours walking. All that with no hypos! I timed every one of my meals so that I would use less insulin in order to avoid hypos. I can’t cope with them during busy exercise days. MY TDD today is currently 7.43units of Humalog and is set on 0.1 basal overnight.

The plan tomorrow is to wake up early, do a fasted workout and then eat a nice breakfast and clean the house ready for some family to visit. What are your exercise plans? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me on twitter or Instagram

Pole Dance and Blood Glucose


Pole PictureYesterday was an interesting day for my blood sugars. I woke up at 7.3 so I took a 0.35 bolus in the hopes that it might decrease that number during my workout and before breakfast. I then went on to do fasted (before food) 30 minute circuit training session and when I tested again I was 8.4. So, 8.4 was my starting point and for the next 3 tests I was higher each time. 3 correction doses had failed so I was forced to check my site and change it. It was full of blood so I doubt I was getting the right amount of insulin through it. I guess I must’ve hit it during my workout.

Anyway, since I was a bit higher than I would like for most of the morning, when I finally did get back to the 5mmols mark I felt as though I was having a hypo. Does that happen to you? When I have been running a bit higher I feel hypo symptoms really easily. I suppose it’s not the worst thing that could happen but I really hate the shaky feeling.

Later on, when I was finally back down to a healthy 5.7mmols and I was ready to go to pole class. I took my pump off knowing that the class usually lasts for an hour and that is normally fine. However, the class went on for an extra half an hour and when I got home I tested before dinner and I was 8.9. From experience I know that pole training raises my levels so I should keep my pump off for no longer than an hour. I have considered having a small bolus before class, but the class varies from week to week and I don’t want to go low as it all depends on how the class is paced. Am I doing tricks? Is it more cardio based with dance routines? These are questions I don’t know the answers to until I am actually in the class and taking part. Yesterday’s class was a crash mat day which means I was learning new and challenging moves. The adrenaline kicks in because it’s scary and it then raises my blood glucose. I had no insulin on board and no basal to tackle this.

I think, for now, the safest and best thing I can do is to make sure I am at a healthy level before the class starts so if I do go higher it won’t be that hard to get it back down. I trained hard last night and as a result of this I am feeling moderately sore and bruised today. Same thing tonight, yeah?

Have you tried pole dance before? It’s a really great exercise for strength training and it is loads of fun.

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Avoiding Hypos When Training


Avoiding Hypos When TrainingToday, it dawned on me that in September, when I go back to uni, I will be going straight back into 20+ hours training a week. At the moment I would say I average about 13 hours of training that combines power walking, weight lifting, running, cycling, dance, yoga, pole dance and circuit training. I am really good at managing my blood sugars to what I eat and to how I train. I rarely have a bad hypo (for me, I consider bad to be anything lower than 3.5) and I believe this is down to not stopping any of my training when I was first diagnosed, regardless of hypos. When I was first put on insulin, it took about a week for my blood sugar to come down from 30+ to the normal range of 4 – 7mmols. After the first week on insulin was over, I began to experience hypoglycaemia on a regular basis and I had to figure out a way to stop that as soon as possible.

A typical day at uni would include cycling 5k to uni, 90 minute dance class, quick break, taking another 90 minute dance class, 60 minute dance rehearsal and then cycle home again. As you can imagine, it was a nightmare to look at basal / bolus doses and the food I was eating. As I was new to diabetes and didn’t know a whole lot I did as I was told by the dietician and I took lots of snack with me to eat when I felt low. I was packing cereal bars, bananas and lucozade and would usually have to eat them to treat hypos. After a week of these “extra snacks” I felt like crap and decided I didn’t want to eat these extra carbs and calories because I didn’t need them before I was diabetic so why would I have them now? How would I prevent weight gain if I was eating more? Could I exercise more to burn them off or would that create another hypo?

So what now? How do I manage it now? Well, after 4 months of managing type 1 diabetes around a hectic activity schedule I have found something that is working for me. At the moment I have a semi strict allowance for my calorie intake. Instead of just looking at the overall calorie intake at the end of the day I look at what makes up those calories in terms of my macronutrients. To make up a calorie you need fat, protein and carbohydrate. I will just talk about the carbs for now. My current macro split allows me to eat around 130 carbs per day. I have these in meals and snacks and usually tailor the snacks around my exercise. For example, if I test before I exercise and I am lower than 7 with insulin on board I will eat 20grams of carbs with no bolus. However, if I was higher than 7 with no insulin on board and I really felt I needed the snack I would have to calculate a bolus for it and half the dose. I hope this isn’t too confusing?

Anyway, the point I am trying to get across is that you can manage any exercise if you really want to. The preparation is takes for a dance class is very different to my approach to circuit training. The time of day I train is also a factor. Like, for a fasted morning workout I have to take a small bolus otherwise I go higher and for an afternoon run I would have to lower the basal rate etc. I’m a bit geeky with fitness so I am currently working on a table that will demonstrate how certain exercises affect my blood glucose. If I do a dance class with a new teacher I would not approach this in the exact same way as I do with another teacher who I am already familiar with. It’s all about trial and error and testing.

Oh, one more thing I have to share that is pretty crucial to managing my carb intake. As hypos have to be treated if they occur, I have a window of 15grams of carbs right up until the point I do my last test. This means I don’t calculate them into my meals or snacks. Example, even though I’m supposed to have 130 carbs for the day, my total carb count usually equals to roughly 115 therefor if I need to eat it for a hypo I can but still sticking to my macros. I would rather be a little under than above. I also choose something that is pretty much carb based with very low fat so it doesn’t affect my split.

Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding this post. I think I have confused myself haha.

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Diets, Carbs and Type 1


Diet, Carbs and Type 1.August, for me, is going to be a fun month of training and diet tweaks. It’s all an experimental process and a interesting one at that. For the past two weeks I have reduced my calorie intake to around 1,600. More if I have a heavy workout. At the moment, after only two weeks (and a couple of cheat meals), I feel much stronger and a lot more comfortable in my own body. An added bonus is that my blood sugars have been great. Not often higher than 8 or below 4mmol. Plus, my TDD of insulin is pretty much the same. The diet has allowed me to have a clearer prediction of how my body will react to certain foods.

When I was first diagnosed, I learned that a lot of diabetics, type 1 and 2, followed low carb diets because it was easier for them. I thought that I would have to do the same and I was upset, not because I thought I couldn’t eat carbohydrates, but because I thought I was have to deprive my body of an excellent source of energy. So, as the months have gone by I have still been eating good carbs, and it turns out I am fine(providing I take insulin) and I am glad I ignored all of this low carb business and stuck to what the doctor told me. For me, I just don’t think it is a realistic lifestyle change. Plus, high fat makes me feel horrible and as a vegetarian; it is hard to find low carb sources of protein. The motto I’m sticking to is “Do your homework on the food you’re going to eat and you use your carb to insulin ratio you will be fine.”

Another thing I have cut from diet is alcohol, not because it’s poison and causes me major hangover issues, but because I can’t control myself around food when I’m drunk. I literally don’t have the willpower to say no to food when I’ve been drinking. When I did drink, carb counting was not an issue as I only really drank vodka / soda and that contains no carbs. It does, however, conatain calories from alcohol and I would much prefer to eat my daily calorie goal rather than drink them.

The idea of this little experiment is for me to lose a few lbs before my holiday, whilst looking at my macro split and learning my about my bodily response to it. Currently, my macro split is at 35% protein, 35% carbs and 30% fat. Fat is lower than the others because after having tried eating a higher fat, lower carb diet, as mentioned earlier I didn’t feel good doing it. Also, 1 gram of fat costs more calories than the others therefore you would have to eat a lot less on a higher fat diet. For example, 1 gram of protein = 4 kcals, 1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 kcals and 1 gram of fat is 9 kcals.

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Irritated When Hyper


Irritated When HyperSeen as I wanted to write a post about being hyper, I might as well write it while I’m in double figures. My head is banging, I feel very uncomfortable in my own skin and I am very irritated and snappy. Oh, and thirsty! I’m definitely coming towards the end of my honeymoon period now. I’m never high during the day, especially not from a sandwich. Maybe my site isn’t attached properly? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I should check? I’m not sure who I’m directing this post at or if I am actually going to post it. Although I suppose it’s taking my mind off of this woeful feeling of having a vice squashing my brain.

Anyway, enough complaining now because it makes me sound like a mad woman. I don’t get what I have just written. Did I write it? I’m confused. See, high blood sugar is no good for concentration. Rambling again… I think the culprit of this hyper is from the sandwich I had a lunch time and the fact that I was sat down for most of the day(very unusual for me). Ahh, that’s it. It’s the sitting down. I’m very good at controlling my blood sugars when I am active. However, when it comes to sedentary days I go high. I better play with my ratios.

I hope I haven’t frightened you off from reading my blog. I also hope that if you have ever experienced a hyper you can relate to a couple of things I have said. Even if it doesn’t make any sense.

How do you feel when you are hyper?