Poor Diabetes Management

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The past 6 months have been intense. I started my PhD, released a new product for Pole Purpose, performed at myriad events, lectured across various modules on an undergraduate dance course, delivered presentations to MA and PhD students, presented at academic conferences, bought and moved house, travelled to Peru (and got sick whilst I was there), teaching pole choreography and technique, created three dance works (two of which are still in developmental stages but both have solid foundation to work from), discontinued online training and diet management and started teaching online dance tutorials instead, and finally, I have been trying my best to manage my health. This has not been easy and is surely evident in my Hba1C. It is not terrible, but it is the worst it has ever been since my diagnosis back in 2014.

As I am aware that putting health second is terribly unproductive, I strive to ensure that I am getting at least 7.5 hours sleep per night, drinking lots of water, exercising daily, and attempting meditation. What strikes me about my actions is that they are all congruent with “remedies” that are given to help eliminate the symptoms that I am experiencing with my fluctuating blood sugar; low mood, anxiety, tiredness and tingling feet, to name a few.  

This acknowledgement encouraged me to question what else, in addition to the above efforts, I could be doing to make the symptoms go away. Here are some of my findings.

Tingling Feet – I don’t get the tingling feet daily, but I have mainly noticed that is comes along when I have had a blood sugar higher than around 9mmols. According to Healthline and NHS, tingling feet in patients with Type 1 Diabetes can be a sign of Neuropathy. Neuropathy, in simple terms, means nerve damage that may have emerged as a result of continued hyperglycaemia. There are various different forms of nerve damage and various treatments, but for the type that I am experiencing, where the nerves are not completely dead, they suggest to stretch, and to avoid cigarettes and alcohol. I stretch and I don’t smoke but I do drink alcohol, so it’s possible for me to experiment a little more with this. First step is to closely monitor the sensations in my feet during and after drinking and then go from there.  

Anxiousness and Low Mood – I have deliberately categorised anxiety and depression together because I believe they exist beside each other.  I have spoken about out of range blood sugar before and how it can alter my mood very quickly, but I feel it is more consistent as of late. The anxiety is not always diabetes related, but when it is, it tends to occur when I am due to teach – “what happens if I go low when I’m teaching”, this usually prompts me to have my pre teaching snack without a bolus. I am very much aware that I could reduce my basal for the same effect, and I sometimes do, but adrenaline when teaching is unpredictable so I feed my anxious thoughts and end up “high” as a result. I’ve got steps in place to work on this and I believe the Libre is helping me with this process.

In terms of low mood, it goes against who I am because I am generally quite upbeat, motivated and positive. I work very hard and I am usually proud of my achievements. However, if my blood sugar is out of whack, I will literally find any excuse to call myself a failure.  Must work on this! The recommended natural treatment for low mood, alongside good diet and exercise, it to meditate. I used to meditate for ten minutes daily and remember being calmer. Maybe this is the key. Perhaps that will eliminate some of the symptoms above?

Have you any experience with any of these? I love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to email me rowena@type1active.com or find me on social media.

Rowena x

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