When I was first diagnosed I wanted to find out as much information about T1D as possible so I looked at a load of blogs, forums, information sites and I asked people if they knew anyone living with diabetes. That was my first mistake as I should’ve specified that I was looking for information based on Type 1 Diabetes, not Type 2. It appeared almost everyone knew someone who has had diabetes scare, or that their uncle’s great aunty was living with type 2. As you can imagine, the information was very conflicting and misleading. I was filling my mind with all of the worst case scenarios and it scared me. So, don’t Read the Forums (unless you want to focus on everything that could go wrong)
When I logged on to a diabetes forum I was instantly lost in questions and responses that focused on the many shit things about diabetes. Furthermore, from what I read there were people acting as if they were going to die at any minute. They would complain about literally everything about this disease and it looked grim. I understand that we need to vent sometimes, but it’s terrifying to think that so many things can be blamed on diabetes. Something in particular that scared me was that someone said they had gained weight when they started their insulin regime. As a dancer this was not ideal, I doubt it would be ideal even if I wasn’t a dancer. I was scared to eat because I saw insulin as a negative, rather than something that would make me feel better. However, I dealt with it and I took the insulin. After a year 18 months being diabetic I have found that this theory is untrue. You gain weight if you are eating in a caloric surplus(eating more calories than your body is burning), not from taking insulin which is an essential hormone that your body needs to survive. Some people do initially gain a bit of weight because their body has been starved of glucose for so long and also your body has been severely dehydrated so it holds some extra water. Plus, the eating habits of people might stay exactly the same before and after diagnosis, but do they count all of the hypo carbs into that equation. When I go low I eat for it and then just subtract something from my next meal. It depends how strict I am with myself at the time.
Another thing that stood out is that people were saying that carbs were the enemy. Yes, in some cases I believe they are, especially shit carbs that have a million ingredients. A none T1D would do well to stay away from them too. I think if you don’t really like carbs anyway then cutting them out is a great option. However, if you love potatoes and rice and all of those other energy baring goodies then I suggest you keep eating them. At first, when I ate porridge or grapes it made my blood sugar spike but then as time went on I learned how to manage this by manipulating my insulin and the timing of it.
Most of the information out there tells you about the worst case scenario but it is so important that we don’t dwell on this information and that we fill out minds with positive stories and people who successfully manage it. This will then show us that it is possible. There are many type 1 diabetics who have managed to live a healthy life and who have not died as a direct result of it.