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Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements

Type 1 Thursday - Mindset

Are nutritional supplements needed for people with diabetes? And, which ones could potentially help?

Some say they can help diabetes management, others say supplements are the hugest waste of time and money. So what should you believe?

Here’s my take on nutritional supplements, and which ones may make sense for you to explore.

Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements – Hanna Boëthius

What supplements do you take, if any? Why?

Transcription

If you’d prefer to read this information, please find a written version below:

The topic for today is supplements and nutritional supplements. Are they are needed for people with diabetes? Do they actually help at all? Is there a point of taking them? Or why should you take them at all? It’s quite a weird topic here because this one I can actually somehow give a little bit of advice on in comparison to last week’s episode where I couldn’t really say anything.

What are nutritional supplements? They can be anything from enzymes, for digestive issues, to amino acids that you may need for something specific that is not working properly in your body, vitamins, minerals. herbs, if you find that they help for something. It doesn’t have to be diabetes that you’re taking supplements for, it can also be something else. And why would you take them as a Type 1 or Type 2, as a diabetic? Well, some have been proven to increase your insulin sensitivity, for example, which we can all appreciate very much. It can also lower inflammation, some of them that have been studied on that in that department. That can also be good. because fluctuating blood sugars do cause a lot of damage, not only complications of diabetes. If you think of inflammation as rust in a chain, they can basically make your body feel like a rusty chain. And who wants that? Nutritional supplements are there to add the nutrition that you may be normally wouldn’t get or not enough.

I, myself, do take supplements. I have optimised my supplement game quite a few years ago when I really studied this and really got into what is good for people wanting a potentially healthier blood sugar management, improving your insulin sensitivity. I found that if I take the supplements in “batches”, so I buy a package of them and I eat them until they’re finish, then I have a break, then I eat them again, I noticed the most actually benefit for myself. That’s only myself and cannot be said for any other person.

What do I consider the most important supplements for blood sugar management, at least in my own case? I’ll also mention a few more that I’m currently not taking myself.

Chromium Supplement

Number one of what I take myself is chromium. It helps the body to use glucose in a more efficient way. And it has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in that way. Chromium is one of these classic ones that I think when I was growing up, it was said to “help people with cravings”. My guess is that just means that it gets the nutrition in the form of glucose actually to be used better by the body- That’s why it would curb cravings, because cravings are sometimes (not all the time but sometimes) a lack of nutrition that is masking behind that.

Magnesium Supplement

Number two is another mineral that is magnesium. I swear by magnesium, I love it! I sleep better, for example. It helps the body relax, it builds up bones, it helps build and relax your muscles, and it also helps your insulin sensitivity to increase. That’s why I really, really like it. If you want a band aid of nutritional supplements, I would say magnesium is a big one of them, because it helps in so many ways! It can really be beneficial for a lot of things. Doesn’t have to be, but it is in many cases.

Vitamin D3 Supplement

Especially this time of year when is grey and crappy outside, vitamin D3 comes to the rescue. The “sun hormone” is what they call it in some publications. When the skin is hit by sunlight, cholesterol helps to build vitamin D3 to help the body with actually almost anything. That’s why they lean towards calling it a hormone, because of all the benefits it has. Vitamin D3 is unbeatable and if you have too low vitamin D, it can cause problems. Low vitamin D3 is linked to auto- immunity, that has been shown in a couple of studies. That’s my main reason why I take it, but also because I noticed it on my energy levels when my vitamin D3 is not in range. I really have to look out.

Zinc Supplement

Zinc is very helpful for the immune system, which you know, if the immune system works properly, maybe I don’t have to be sick that much? That’s also what vitamin D3 does, it can also help your immune system to function properly. I take supplements that help my immune system along so that I don’t have to be sick. Being sick complicates diabetes management a lot, whether you have good control normally or not – it doesn’t really matter. Zinc does a whole lot of other things, as well, for example, it activates the insulin signalling pathways in the body so that the body can realise that there is insulin, and in that way may increases your insulin sensitivity. It can also help in the processing of insulin and very many other things when it comes to insulin in a normal, healthy body, but also for us diabetics.

Omega 3 Supplement

Omega 3 fatty acids is another supplement I take. I don’t generally eat that much fish when I am in Switzerland because I’m not close to an ocean. I’m in the middle of Europe, put a pin in the middle Europe, and you get somewhere in Switzerland. I just don’t feel that fish is that fresh that often and that’s why I normally don’t eat that much fish when I’m here. When I’m by the ocean, say on a Mediterranean island, for example, I do eat a lot more fish. There it is actually freshly caught the morning, and for me, that feels a lot better. That’s why i supplement with omega 3 fatty acids when I don’t eat that much fish. Omega 3 can act as an anti-inflammatory in the body. It has not been proven to help diabetes management, per se, but if you get the inflammation reduced, it definitely can help your blood sugar management. What it has been shown to do, though, is to lower triglycerides and raises your so called “good cholesterol”, the HDL, so it does do good things in the body.

CBD Oil Supplement

CBD oil calms you down, it is anti-stressing, anti-anxiety, and leads to better sleep. Sleep is a crucial part in diabetes management! If you don’t sleep well, you won’t have good numbers. Magnesium can also do that, of ocurse. But sometimes you need a booster in this sleep department.

Those are the ones that I take; chromium, magnesium, vitamin D3, zinc, omega 3, basically every day and CBD on and off when I have to. What else could be good for people diabetes?

Berberine Supplement

I don’t like comparing a supplement to medicine, because they can’t be the same. But berberine can have a similar effect on blood sugars, as for example Metformin. It basically can make you more insulin sensitive.

Alph-Lipoic Acid Supplement

Alpha-lipoic Acid is an antioxidant, and it can increase insulin sensitivity, as well. It had also it has also been shown to help a couple of complications of diabetes, like for example, neuropathy or macular degeneration.

Probiotic Supplement

Also, you may find it a good idea to take care of those fancy little gut bacteria with some good quality probiotics, because we all know about the brain-gut axis and we know that we feel better when our gut flora is intact. Your gut flora can also be harmed by blood sugar’s fluctuating a little here and there.

Thyroid Supplements?

Also, thyroid specific things, because another thing that people with autoimmune issues get… are more autoimmune problems! If you do have problems with your thyroid being a bit lazy, maybe a Selenium supplement could help? Or iodine? Do read up on that so that you know what you’re doing!

As always, do check with a healthcare professional or your doctor before you start anything new, and adding anything to your diabetes management.

So what supplements do you take? Do you feel they’re helping? And do you understand why you’re taking them? Let me know and let’s chat more in the comments below.

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Inspire – don’t judge!

Inspire - Hanna Diabetes Expert

“You give other people with diabetes bad conscience!”

The words of my Sweet Friend surprised me. I was gobsmacked, then I was amazed, then everything suddenly made sense.

“That’s soooo not my point”, I said, laughingly. “I know, I know it’s not, but if everyone knew how to take care of themselves like you do, then everyone would feel better. Not everyone has that motivation,” she continued.

My goal is always to inspire others, not to make anyone feel less worthy. I don’t want to be the one who makes you feel bad about your diabetes management, or yourself. I‘m not ever ”better than you!”

I want to inspire you, because higher powers know I would have needed it myself. When I was at my absolute worst, with double digit A1C’s and didn’t know my ass from my elbow in terms of diabetes management, I was trying everything out, one thing after the other and it all lead to the same shit… I wish, I wish social media would’ve existed, and I could’ve found some sort of motivation and inspiration in people who have walked the same path. And even when I had A1C’s of 7-8% I would’ve needed someone who I could look up to.

That’s who I aspire to be – I want to be your cheerleader, the one that cheers you on when the going gets tough! Me sharing my values and numbers, me sharing my lifestyle and tips, me sharing everything that I do on social media is NEVER about bragging. It’s about me being on the diabetes journey / just as much as you are. And I want you to see it as inspiration.

If I could get myself from double digit A1C’s to a healthy, healing, happy range of blood sugars, so can you. I promise And I’ll be there for you, to guide, inspire and motivate you. If you want me to, that is. Always rooting for you. 🙌🏼💗🌟

Post originally published on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert

Type 1 Thursday – Medication

Type 1 Thursday - Mindset

Are you taking the right medication, or medications, to manage your diabetes?

We often just “take what we’re prescribed” in terms of medications. But is this always the best strategy? Is there anything you can do as a patient to influence your medication?

In this week’s Type 1 Thursday, this is exactly what I’m talking about, how we as patients can get more of an insight and clue into what we’re actually given, and should be taking.

Type 1 Thursday – Medication – Hanna Boëthius

Are you taking the medication you need to manage your diabetes as well as you can? Is there anything you should perhaps check with your health care professional? Let us know in a comment below!

Transcription

If you prefer to read this information, please find a text version below:

I can’t wait to discuss today’s very important, but this may be my shortest Thursday ever. The topic today is medication and although this is a super important thing when managing your diabetes, I am unfortunately not a medical professional. Ergo I am not allowed to give you any advice on this. (This is why this might be my shortest type on Thursday, ever.) But what I will give you are some general tips and tricks of what you can do and what you should look out for and when it comes to medication and your diabetes management, whether this is Type 1 or Type 2, it doesn’t really matter. Most of us need to, unfortunately, be on medication anyway, Type 1’s, of course, forever and ever until the day we die, we need to be on insulin, at least, if not other medications. Type 2’s can get away with not being medicated, in some cases. But in case you are, then this could be something for you as well.

The first thing to really make sure that you have is a great cooperation with your healthcare professional, because they, in comparison to me, can give you advice on medication, and medical issues in your management. I can only give you results, tell you things that I’ve done and that has worked for myself and that I know from other people’s experience, nothing else (glad we got that covered!) With your healthcare professional, you need to find out whether or not your medications are actually what you need. In many cases that I know of, are actually not given the correct medication, which they find out in hindsight. This is where you really have to speak up as a patient and tell your health care provider, whether that’s an endocrinologist, or CDE, or nurse or nurse practitioner – whatever you prefer to go to. You have to have an open conversation with them in terms of how you feel, how it’s affecting you, how it’s affecting your lifestyle, your energy and what your blood glucose values are, if you live with diabetes. This can both relate to the amount of a medicine that you’re already taking, or a type of medication that you’re taking. Do have someone that you can really trust on your team so that you can get the help that you need in terms of medication.

This medication, as I touched upon a little bit before, needs to fit into your lifestyle, as well. If it doesn’t fit you to feel sluggish, not energetic slow and just generally crappy, then definitely speak up, do something about it! There’s always, always, always something that you can do to feel better, as I usually say. And there’s most often another medication that you can try instead. Make sure that you get what is right for you for your lifestyle, for your body type, for everything that can have a an influence.

Let’s go more into insulin. Have you been given the correct types of insulin, for example? There are many types of insulin, of different efficacies, and how long they last in the body. How long insulin works in your body is very individual. For me, for example, my short acting insulin, that I’m on all the time through my insulin pump, last quite short in my body, it’s only two hours. That being said, the same insulin can last a lot longer in someone else’s body, even up to four or five hours. That’s something that you have to find out. Do you have the right type of long acting insulin, for example, for your life, for your diabetes, for the way that you want to feel? There are many different types of long acting insulin, and they have different aspects and attributions to them. Check out if you may be need to change yours or try another one for a while. In most cases you can try if you want and then go back to your normal routine if it doesn’t work out for you. I think, as patients, it’s very important that we have that choice. There are also different types of short acting insulins, rapid acting ones, which you need to find out which one works the best for you. We also have, for example, regular insulin, which covers, for example, protein very well. It can be a great tool to use if you are willing to try it. It doesn’t act like the other insulins, so don’t expect it. But it can be very helpful in certain cases, especially with a more protein rich way of eating.

When was the last time you did some basal testing? When was the last time you did a proper basal test to check your basal insulin? Whether that comes from a pump, or long acting insulin is accurately dosed for you, your life, and your diabetes. For example, someone maybe more insulin sensitive at times of the day or more insulin resistant at other points of the day. We have to make sure that the basal insulin is the correct amount for you. This is best done with through fasting and you check your blood sugar every hour throughout a 24 hour time period, this can be split up in different days, as well. Anyway, I’ll get to that in a different chapter in a couple of weeks time. Basal testing is very important to figure out if you’re doing the right thing with the insulin.

Another thing is to pre bolus. Do you need to pre bolus for your meals? Maybe check it out, if you feel comfortable with it, you can try around a little bit with pre bolusing before meals, and see if you get better blood sugar results through that.

Other, not directly diabetes related medications, that you may or may not be prescribed. Again, you have to work with your healthcare provider and see what can be maybe improved, maybe added, maybe taken away. Being diabetic, one of the milder complications can be high blood pressure. Maybe you are on blood pressure medication already, maybe you need to be on one? Maybe you need to be an ACE inhibitor, which has been shown to sometimes protect the kidneys from damage, for example. And it’s a statin really necessary in your specific case? Discuss with your doctor, and bring papers, bring your research along and they usually try to accommodate, or, rather, should try to accommodate you. But it doesn’t mean that everyone does, of course. A medication like Metformin, for example, maybe it could be beneficial for you? Maybe you don’t need it anymore?

Again, you have to have an open dialogue with your healthcare provider. That’s my main point when it comes to medications. I can give you ideas of things to think of and bring forward to your doctor, but I cannot give you advice on exactly how to do it.

Are you taking the medication you need to manage your diabetes as well as you can? Is there anything you should perhaps check with your health care professional? Let us know in a comment below!

Ps. Do you want to learn from amazing medical professionals at Europe’s healthiest event? Join us in Mallorca, Spain in November at The Low Carb Universe 2019!

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Movement?

Type 1 Thursday - Mindset

Why should you focus on movement as a person with diabetes? Isn’t exercise just boring, but has to be done and potentially raises your blood glucose?

Not necessarily! It’s time for Type 1 Thursday, my Sweet Friend, where I explain why moving our bodies is a GREAT THING, what we need to focus on and how to do it.

Why Movement? – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

How do you move your body?

Transcription

If you prefer to read about why movement is so good for us people with diabetes, here’s a text version:

Movement – I’m talking about another lifestyle factor that you can do to perhaps help your diabetes management along. I call it movement, because exercise sounds like a lot of work, quite honestly. And I don’t like it to be seen as a burden for myself mainly, but perhaps also for someone else out there. So that’s why I call it movement. It should be fun!

Why should we pay extra attention to movement as people with Type 1 or Type 2, (or actually any kind of diabetes at all)? This is one of these power tools that we can use to get better diabetes management and results. Number one is that it helps our blood sugar management, even if we do perhaps spike during the the movement that we have chosen. The general rule of thumb is that heavy lifting and and anaerobic movement will raise your blood sugar, whereas cardio and aerobic movement will lower your blood sugar. This is, of course, as usual, individual, it’s just a rule of thumb. But it is just something that you can bear in mind when you are trying to get moving. With the fact that it helps blood sugar management, it also can help you lower your HbA1c. This is something that I have recently managed to do, again. That can be a good motivator for moving your body.

Movement raises your well being , to use your body the way it’s intended to, are not meant to sit (like I’m doing right now) we are meant to be moving around and enjoying using our bodies. The risk of cardiovascular disease is lowered with exercise. Also a potential weight loss tool if that is needed and wanted. Then it can be a huge benefit to move your body! Also more biochemically, the engines in your cells, called mitochondria, they actually increase in the cells with movement. The cells have bigger engines, essentially, when we move our bodies. This is a really good thing, as it keeps the mitochondria young, which is part of staying young in mind, body and soul. Movement can also lower your triglycerides, if that is a problem for you, and it can also lower your blood pressure. Movement raises our immune function, which is really great in times, like now, when the fall “nasties” are here. It also, first and foremost, raises our insulin sensitivity (I will get into why that is in a little bit). First, movement increases our muscle strength, and also our bone density, which is really great to prepare our bodies for maybe higher age. And yeah, those are some of the main benefits of moving your body. There are of course many more, you get out in nature, perhaps you feel and a sense of accomplishment, along with many mental factors that are really good when it comes to moving your body.

Why is movement helping our insulin sensitivity? Because the main part of our glucose storage is actually in our muscles. In our liver, too, absolutely, but it’s mainly in our muscles. We can use movement to help with sensitivity and blood sugar management. Insulin is key number one, of course. But movement can help control your blood sugar levels. The glucose in your blood goes into the muscles and is stored there. In a very short explanation, we become more insulin sensitive because the blood sugar isn’t in the blood anymore. It’s stored in the muscles.

Exercise does so much! But how do you do it? Well, it’s easiest to work it into a routine, it’s easiest to do daily movement, to have set times when you do it. What type of movement is best? It’s quite simple – choose something that you think is fun! It shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t be feeling like a burden. It shouldn’t feel like that at all! It should actually feel like fun, like something you are rewarding yourself with, something that you’re giving your body as a treat. So the type of movement can be whatever you want, whether that’s dancing along to your favourite song, yoga, or maybe something on YouTube. I found a really great resistance band workout, for example, my muscles can feel it… Or you can go for a walk in nature, or you can run if you think that’s fun, you can go lifting if you think that’s fun. Play, for example, Primal play with Daryl Edwards is a fantastic way of moving your body without you actually realising that it’s proper exercise (and your muscles will be hurting afterwards). The key is to have fun when you are moving your body!

How to get started, it really is easiest to start small. It don’t take on too much, “I have to go to the gym three or four times a week, starting now”. NO! Start small, start moving more in your everyday life, take the stairs instead or the elevator or escalator, get off the bus stop earlier, park further way at the parking lot – all of these things that that are cliches by this point, BUT they actually do work! It gets your body moving. Slowly start to increase your muscle mass because muscles are our main glucose storage devices. The more glucose that is stored in there, less is in the blood. A really easy way to do this is, and this is something that I’ve been doing myself. Recently, I was inspired by a few people that I follow online, and I started the 100 push ups a day challenge I thought it was ridiculous, I thought I could never do it. I thought I was one of the weakest people on the planet! I started actually doing push ups against my kitchen counter, because I couldn’t do them on the floor. But very quickly, within those first 30 days, I could move on to lower and lower surfaces, until I now am doing all 100 (not in one go, I do them in sets of 15, and then 10 at the end) on the floor on my yoga mat. I’m very happy about it! It feels like an accomplishment. I really like that it also builds muscles, works many big muscle groups in your body. The bigger the muscle groups, the more effect you have. The other one that I added was squats. So I do 100 pushups and 100 squats, which takes me about 15 minutes or so to do this. It’s not a lot of time that you actually give up from whatever else, whether it’s 15 minutes or social media, 15 minutes of TV watching a day… It’s not a lot of time you give up in order to get the benefits of getting a bigger muscle mass.

Before you start anything like this, whether it’s yoga, the 100 pushup challenge, dancing – anything, do check with your doctor if you are okay to start exercising. In some cases, maybe not. So check with them.

Generally, movement can be a great tool for our diabetes management, all of us. I would love to hear from you, how do you move your body? What do you think is fun? Let me know in a comment.

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Gratitude

Gratitude - Hanna Boëthius

Reflecting on all the things we have to feel gratitude for is sometimes overwhelming, even if they’re all little individual sparks of joy in our lives.

Sitting here, being so overwhelmingly grateful that I have the chance to start yet another year. A year that I can choose to shape and form in exactly the way that I want to. A year where I’m more determined than ever to inspire those around me to become healthier, happier and feel more joy (not unlike my own goals!)

Throughout my life with T1D as my constant companion, starting a new year of life hasn’t always been a given. Yet, for many years I took it completely for granted. No more.

I found this great quote, which I think is very fitting today:

“I know as a woman I’m supposed to be afraid of getting older but I love this shit so much. Every year I sink deeper into this bath of unapologetic realness and it’s amazing.”

Bunmi Laditan

No matter how bad the world may look today, there’s always, always, always something to be grateful for. So much gratitude in the world!

What are you grateful for today? 🌟

(Post originally posted on my Instagram account – @hannadiabetesexpert