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10 Diabetes Things To Do – Lockdown Edition

10 Diabetes things to do – #lockdown edition!

Type 1 Thursday is here, with a special edition of some diabetes things you can do if you find yourself a little restless at home these days.

Of course, if you are feeling too overwhelmed by everything right now, it’s not a requirement to accomplish anything at all during the lockdown. But, if you’re looking for some inspiration, maybe this could help?

Come along and share your diabetes thing to do, that you may not have the chance to do otherwise, during lockdown?

10 Diabetes Things During Lockdown – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

Do you want help with adding these to your life? Or discuss something completely different with me? Book a PowerHour with me and we’ll hash out all the diabetes issues we have time for: https://hannadiabetesexpert.youcanbook.me

I’ve created a graphic overview of the things I mention in this week’s Type 1 Thursday. Feel free to share it with someone who needs it (and make sure to tag me @hannadiabetesexpert so I can cheer on from afar!)

10 Diabetes Things To Do – Lockdown Edition

Transcription

Today we are talking about 10 diabetes things that you can and you might want to do during a lockdown, that you might not have the chance to do otherwise. This is basically because we are all spending more time at home right now so we have a little bit more of a chance to experiment and stuff, but I’ll get to that.

First of all, I did want to say that I know this is a very uncertain time. This is a very scary and messy time and you don’t need to accomplish anything at all  during this lockdown, during your time at home, you don’t have to as it’s not at all a must or a requirement. But for the ones that might want to start exploring a little bit more about what is possible, you can, for example, do one of these 10 things that I’m going to share with you today.

As I mentioned already, this is because we are spending more time at home and we have a little bit more time, space, maybe opportunities and chances to experiment a little bit, as we are in the safety of our own homes. We are not stuck in an office somewhere, we are not stuck in public transportation where something could go wrong blood sugar wise, or you don’t feel well doing this thing or whatever. And so that’s why I suggest this is a good time, even though as I said, you don’t have to.

Basal Test

The big one. The number one diabetes thing that you can do if you are stuck at home in a lockdown and that is, of course basal testing. I did a whole whole Type 1 Thursday episode on this. So I don’t feel it’s necessary to explain too much. You can just scroll back, go to my blog or my YouTube to find that episode to learn how you can basal test properly. Basal testing, something that usually requires quite a bit of effort and a bit of time and a bit of patience. So this might be a great thing to do now that you are at home a little bit more than otherwise. That means that you can still basal test and fast without having the extra stress of getting to the office. For example, you have time to correct either highs or lows if they happen, all of this in the comfort of your own home. How awesome is that? How often do we get to do that, and who wants to basal test during an actual holiday? That’s not the point, the point is to keep the rest of your life as semi normal as possible and just do the basal testing, to find out if this fits you at this point of your life and in your insulin management.

Organize Supplies

Another thing you can do is organise your supplies. I like when things are organised and I do enjoy organising things, even though it takes a lot of effort. But this is very good to do right now to throw away those half eaten glucotabs or low things that are somehow crumbled between your CGM sensors and your insulin pump cartridges… Just really clean everything out, make sure everything is nice and clean and take stock of what you actually have now so that there are no strange surprises of “oh crap I don’t have that or that” and you can order things in time. As we know, some companies (definitely not all of them) but I am sure some of them will experience a shortage at some point. So don’t be, you know, caught short. 

Clean Gear

Next tip is to clean your gear with an alcohol swab or one of those disinfectant things that you have before you have an injection or insert a new pump site, for example. Use one of those and clean your pump, your CGM, your CGM receiver, your pen, you know all that lint and dust and stuff that gets stuck in the little corners, nooks and crannies. Get all of that out. Clean your gear to make it all feel a lot fresher. It feels a lot nicer when everything is nice and clean. And you’re not going to do that when you sit at the office so do it now while you’re at home.

Lancet Swap

Number four is a little favourite, which I do every Monday. I have to say I’m a good diabetic that way! Change. Your. Lancet. Lancets get really disgusting really fast so make sure you do change it at least regularly and not just once a year. Try to have it on a day, but if you haven’t gotten there, at least do it now that you have the time to actually find the lancets in your newly cleaned out a desk or drawer of diabetes supplies. 

New Meal

How about trying a new dish, for example, so that you know already how your blood sugar reacts to it and how you can manage it insulin wise? I have some great recipe resources. Some of them are for example Ketogenic Girl, there’s Maria Emmerich fantastic recipes or dietdoctor.com. They all have gantastic real food recipes that you can’t really go wrong with. Most of them also have carb counts. So don’t be afraid to try them because it’s really nice to widen your repertoire when it comes to food a little bit. Otherwise things get so boring if you eat the same thing all the time. 

New Movement

How about trying a new form of movement or a new workout? I may or may not have just completed a 20 minutes of dance party in my living room to the best of the noughties R&B – it’s so much fun. It is something that makes you smile. It can be an online movement, apps that are widely available right now. There are so many yoga apps,  so many high intensity things if you want. How about trying Darryl Edwards primal play with his Animal Moves cards for example, they’re fantastic. There are so many resources that you don’t need to go to the gym for. If you are allowed to go out for a walk, I highly recommend doing that daily to get some fresh air and some sun on your nose, hopefully. Just try something new. And this is also the time that you can experience and experiment how your blood sugar reacts to that kind of movement so that you can incorporate it into your normal life whatever it is going to look like after the lockdown. 

De-Stress

De stress, my sweet friend, take a deep breath, unclench that jaw, roll your shoulders back. Lay your hands flat on your lap. Relax. Relaxing is so so important and especially right now when everything is so uncertain and there’s a lot of anxiety in the air and in the world. I did a whole anxiety video last week that you can also find either on my blog or on YouTube. There I shared some tips on how to handle that, but de-stress, whatever de-stressing means for you. If it is meditation practice, fantastic. If it is EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique), awesome. If it is yoga, go for it. If it’s taking a long bath, yes, if it’s a good cry, do it! Anything that makes your stress levels go down makes you a happier, calmer and a nicer person really. Stressed people are never really nice, so be a nice person and de-stress for yourself and for the sake of your diabetes management. Because as we know, stress is really the blood sugar killer number one, as I say all the time. So find your way of de-stressing and enjoy it. It could also be something like a beauty day like face masks. hair masks, paint your nails if you want to do that,  these are just ideas, you have to find your way of doing it properly for you.

Hydrate

Have you tried to hydrate really properly? As in really drinking a lot and enough water and not just take a sip and then forget about the fancy water bottle that you purchased for yourself to have available at all times? Can you actually make that commitment for yourself to hydrate? Also, if you need them, add some electrolytes so that your body feels better and it works better and it’s happier. Do it because there’s a huge difference. I saw that Ketogenic Girl posted about hydration and a comparison picture of her face when she was dehydrated to hydrated and it was such a huge difference. So if nothing else, if making your body feel good is not a convincing argument for you, how about looking a little bit better, then maybe that’s an argument that will convince you. I don’t know. Let’s see.

Find a Routine For YOU

In preparation for whatever life looks like when we get out of this lockdown, how about finding a routine that works for YOU? Not for me, not for your neighbour, not for the person you live with, not for your mom, your sister or your pet, but for YOU. How do you feel the very best throughout your day? Is it starting your morning with meditation perhaps, or is it starting with a really energising chat with a friend? Or is it with a cup of coffee or is it to dance to your favourite song for a couple of minutes? Really find the routine for the whole day and in the way that it works best for you. What follows that first thing you do in the morning. What’s the next thing? Okay, and what’s the next thing? And when do you want to do X? When are you actually hungry? Rather than eating just according to conventional 12 o’clock as lunchtime, and you know, whatever 6,7,8, to 9pm, depending on where you live, it’s dinnertime and between there you know, blah, blah, blah, when are YOU hungry? When do you want food and what works for you so that you can apply this even when you go back to the office. When you reevaluate a little of your current routine and maybe swap some things out, that could work better for you. It doesn’t have to be harder than that. 

Foot Care

Another tip which I actually do enjoy when I have the time and energy is actually foot care. We all know that people with diabetes are prone to problems with their feet, maybe not everyone of course, but all feet love a little bit of extra TLC. So get a good foot bath and get a Pumice stone to take away the not so pretty areas and the hard skin, the dry skin, all that stuff and then moisturise and give yourself a really well deserved foot massage. You are going to thank yourself, your feet are going to thank you and yes, it will be time well spent. This is again the time that we normally don’t have available to us because we are stuck in offices or with other commitments and socially or whatever else. But now that we are at home more there is more time to get this done.

If you are interested in hearing more or learning more on how to incorporate this kind of stuff into your life from me, I have opened up a few coaching spots and you can book those via my Instagram profile right now and I’ll put the link here to my Facebook as well as YouTube. I have opened up a few spots so you can book your time with me and we will hash out all your diabetes problems that we have and time during our power hour together. And I would be so happy to help you: Just click here to book!

But first, I do want to hear from you: what are some of the diabetes things that you are looking to do or accomplish? Or maybe it’s none of it at all and you just think this video is complete bullshit, and that’s fine too.

Let me know and leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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Anxiety?

Anxiety – how does it feel and what can you do? 🤔

On this week’s Type 1 Thursday, let’s discuss exactly this! If you don’t want to watch the video, you’ll find a transcription of this topic below, too.

Anxiety is currently a bit higher among most of us, due to what the world is facing and what we’re all communally going through. But don’t despair, there are tools and tricks you can use to alleviate the anxiety (at least momentarily)!

PS. If you want more help with your diabetes lifestyle, I’ve just opened up a few spots for 1:1 coaching with me! Book your power hour, where we blast through all your troubles, right here!

Anxiety – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

**What are your best tips to relieve anxiety? Share in a comment!**

Please share this with someone you know needs this!

Transcription

Anxiety?

Considering the state of the world today, anxiety isn’t an unimaginable response. I don’t really want to say too much about the virus situation, but what I can do and what I’m happy to do, and what I’m more than joyful of doing is to talk about anxiety, how it feels and what you can do to maybe alleviate your anxiety a little bit.

I would love to have a conversation with you. So if you want to share your tips on how to alleviate anxiety a little bit, please leave a comment and I will be so happy to chat with you there!

What is Anxiety?

What is anxiety actually, because we hear it everywhere? I don’t know if everyone is on the same page on what it is, but it’s “just” your body’s natural reaction to stress. That’s when you feel anxiety. And that’s when all those terrible feelings start coming. It is essentially a fear of the future or because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and the uncertainty/fear of the future. So that is what happens when you are anxious in your body. And if this goes on for a longer time, you can of course have anxiety disorder, which will need medical help and maybe some of these tips that I will share will help, but I think you also would prefer to find medical attention on that one.

Signs of Anxiety

Signs of anxiety can range from anything such as feeling judged by others or by yourself. And it can be that you’re fidgety, you can’t find the peace, and you’re very restless. It can be perfectionism. Probably not the case right now, but yes, perfectionism can be a sign of anxiety, and you feel a bit afraid, you feel  stressed, you feel worried, you feel negativity. These are all things that make up anxiety and anxious feelings. They’re not very comfortable to live with. So that’s why I’m going to share my best tips with you in a little bit.

What you can do about Anxiety

But first, I wanted to share a quote that I read from my friend and fantastic person Shawn Mynar, and if you don’t know who she is, check her out as she’s fantastic. She shared a fantastic quote the other day, that I wanted to share that with you because it’s very relevant: “worrying is like praying for something you don’t want to happen”. How true is that? If we keep on like mulling over the whole time, the things that we don’t want to happen and the things we’re worried about, or the things we’re anxious about how are we ever going to get to right where we actually want to be? I found that quote amazing. Now, to the point of what can we do about it? 

Yes. A lot of people are anxious right now whether you live with diabetes or not, and yes, diabetes can add an extra layer of anxiety. Of course it doesn’t have to, but a lot of people are anxious right now because of the situation in the world. Some tips that I’m about to share with you might actually help you as well, to feel a little bit lighter in life; a little bit easier and a little bit, maybe not so strung up and stressed. 

Focus on the Good

So my first sort of anxiety “blaster” (can we call them that) is “focus on the good”. So this can be anything from like noticing the smallest thing as the:

  • Sun is shining today
  • That’s a beautiful flower
  • Do you hear the birds chirping?
  • Look at nature, how beautiful it is
  • How beautiful is that tree that is just about to bloom (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and spring is on its way)

You know small things like that, focusing on the good things and not on these huge things that could and may and should go wrong according to your brain right now, but focus really on the good. In that way you actually get a more positive outlook and that can really help you.  This goes hand in hand of course with the old and very used term of “gratitude”. 

Have a Gratitude List

Do make a list, why not have a list of things that you’re grateful for and write it down every day? It can be on your phone, it can be on a piece of paper, it can be in a journal, it can be anywhere you want, but why not make a gratitude list?

That can also help.

And when these anxious feelings come, why not try at least to turn it around: “hey, what if this works out”? What if this becomes the best thing that has ever happened to me? Try to think of it and turn it around to a little bit more positive. I know when you sit there and you’re super anxious, it’s not easy, but at least it can be worth a try.

Cultivate Good Sleep Routine

Make sure that your sleep routine is really good. Be constant with the timings of when you go to bed, when you get up and make sure that you sleep well. I’ll go through some supplements in a minute that can help with anxiety and of course help with sleeping too so they go a little bit hand in hand as well. 

Check your Self-Talk

How is your self talk? Check in on your self talk, do you notice that you could be a little bit kinder to yourself? Could you maybe tell yourself that you love yourself and that you are beautiful to your mirror image? Could you at least try even if it feels silly because it is important to really check in on how you’re talking to yourself.

Reduce Social Media 

Is it maybe time for a social media cleanup? Look at the pages you follow, groups that you’re in, negative people, negative followers, if you have those, negative friends… Could you just try to take at least a break from them, if not unfollowing completely? Clearing up what has become more of our mental space, which is social media unfortunately, can really help get you out of that anxious loop.

Good Nutrition

Nutrition of course has a lot to do with it easing anxiety. I cannot have a Type 1 Thursday unless I mention nutrition! And make sure that you try to primarily, at least, stick to real foods rather than, you know, processed factory made, yucky food. Make sure that you eat real food. If your body doesn’t have the nutrients that it needs, it’s easier to become anxious because you don’t get the nutrients to your brain. You don’t get the new nutrients to your neurotransmitters and stuff like that. So make sure you eat real food and none of the fake stuff. 

Anxiety Supplements?

When we talk about food, we have to talk about supplements, of course, and there are some supplements that may work for anxiety (or against anxiety?). If you’re unsure you should before trying to seek a medical opinion on these.

It could be that GABA helps you,  it’s a neurotransmitter in the brain and taking an extra dose sometimes helps to calm the whole nervous system down.

Valerian Root – this helps me for example, when I have trouble sleeping, I have tea with Valerian Root in it and oh my god, I sleep like a baby. So that could be worth trying. 

How about Ashwagandha, it’s a root from India, as the name indicates, and that can also help with anxiety and restlessness. 

Make sure that your anxiety doesn’t stem from inflammation, so maybe a little extra boost of Omega 3 wouldn’t hurt right now. Magnesium also helps for sleeping and relaxing.  

CBD oil – I am a big fan and it has saved my life on many occasions in this past year. So I can really recommend that if you want to calm your nervous system down.

Anxiety can also stem from a bad gut bacteria so maybe look into if you need some probiotics, for example, to recultivate your gut with happy little bacterias and not sad ones. Anyway, that’s it for the supplements!

Human Connection

How about when you feel really anxious, call someone. Call your mom, your friend, your sister, your husband, your wife, you know anyone who will listen and that you feel comfortable with.

Call them, have a Skype coffee or as I like to do it with some of my friends, have a Skype after work session where you get to choose whatever beverage you are drinking. That can also be fun.

Reevaluate your why in life? What are you doing? What are you trying to achieve? What do you want to achieve? And why is what you’re doing giving you anxiety and not taking you closer to that.

Doing something purely for fun. Have a dance party! Darryl Edwards just put up his fantastic dance party to 90s tunes… Love it. And I can say that this may or may not be happening in my living room at certain intervals of the day/week/month. But yes, have a dance party, for example, or anything that you think is just pure fun, just to enjoy yourself a little bit. 

Just Breathe

Maybe the most important one, which I should have mentioned first, is breathing. If you breathe up here, in your chest, and can’t seem to catch your breath. It’s probably a little bit of anxiety and stress in there. If you on the other hand breathe from like down here, your belly button area. Imagine how much more oxygen you get in and imagine how much more calmness you can breathe in and breathe out the stress. It is a wonderful, powerful tool and I suggest you use it wisely. 

Meditation, Yoga and EFT

Do you have a meditation practice? It has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress in everyday life. If you haven’t  tried it or you’ve had a longer break or something, I suggest you get back on it because it’s really helpful. With that also comes yoga, of course, a huge personal favourite of mine to relieve anxiety. And if my anxiety is really pressing, then I do like to keep a little EFT practice, a little tapping. I’m sure there are tons of videos online where you can tap along to to relieve your anxiety. There are tons of resources online that you can find about Emotional Freedom Technique. That’s basically acupressure/acupuncture thing that lets your nervous system know that everything is okay. We’ll be fine. We can get through this, too. This too shall pass, you know. It really calms you down. And that’s the whole point of getting out of an anxious moment in your life. 

Journaling

I’m not a huge fan myself, but I know what helps a lot of people is journaling which can also help anxiety and well, if it works for some people, I’m sure it could work for you as well.

Just jot down your thoughts, your anxiety, put it in a beautiful notebook that you keep handy or on your phone or there is a fantastic app called Cocoon Weaver, that you can speak into and it will transcribe your thoughts. So make sure you get those thoughts on paper!

Living with diabetes?

If you are a diabetic and have to manage your blood sugars, how about making sure that you are okay with managing your blood sugars as well as you can at this point of time when anxiety strikes. Anxiety as I said in the beginning is a form of stress, it is caused by stress and stress as we know is blood sugar killer Numero Uno. It will and can cause havoc on your blood sugars. It is not easy to try to control your blood sugar when you are stressed, and definitely not when you’re also anxious.

Just do the best you can and please forgive yourself for it and be okay with that being your goal for that point of time. Also, while there’s so many ideas and tools to relieve anxiety, make sure that you do feel your feelings, sit with them, perhaps in a meditation, perhaps breathing them through because bottling them up won’t help either and it won’t get better, they’ll just burst out in some other way in another in another time in another place where you’re really not prepared. 

So maybe now that we are all staying at home, I hope we have time to actually feel our feelings and really process them properly so that we don’t get caught up later. 

Please, I want to hear from you: what is your best tip for relieving anxiety? Or did you find the tips I shared with you in this video useful? share which one you like the most down below in a comment.

Disclaimer: The only purpose of this video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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High or low blood sugars?

How often do I have high/low blood sugars that need treatment? 🤔 A question from the audience!

Learn how I attempt to avoid the high and low blood glucose readings (that are, more or less, a part of life as a Type 1 Diabetic).

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

What about you? How often do you have highs or lows that require treatment? Let me know in a comment!

Transcription

If you prefer to read the information in the video above, please find a written version right here:

High or Low Blood Sugars?

This week, I have another question from the audience. And it’s a personal one-ish. Well, I don’t want to get your hopes up, it’s not that bad. Actually a normal question, but it is more personal natured one. So I’m looking forward to answering it. Because this person writes:

How often do you have a real low or high blood sugar that you need to correct? Is it rare, or is it part of everyday life?

I thought this question was very, very interesting. And I guess I’m not that open, perhaps, with my blood sugar levels online, because I frankly don’t think it’s very interesting to share them. If you want me to, I could share more of my day to day values. (If you do, please leave me a comment so that I know because I cannot read your thoughts out there! 😃)

High and low blood sugars are of course part of living with Type 1 Diabetes and no one can deny that. The frequency of them, however, can greatly and amazingly be influenced by different lifestyle factors, for example. For me, for example, a low carb lifestyle has really helped to eliminate most highs and lows. I no longer get those extreme highs followed by extreme lows, because I simply follow the law of small numbers so I don’t have that much insulin in my body. And also not that much insulin required, that I get those quick drops. Furthermore, I don’t eat that much sugar and carbs so that I get the high highs. You can do a lot with lifestyle factors!

It’s also a question of definition. For me is low is below 3.2-3.5 mmol/l, which is about 65 mg/dl, and my highs are already around 6.5 mmol/l or 117 mg/dl. It’s really a question of definition. Do you mean those super-highs of 400 mg/dl and then down to 20 (22 mmol/l to 1.3)? Or, do you mean this sort of gradual, just on the verge kind of sugar surfing highs and lows? It differs from person to person.

Basal Testing

The number 1 thing that I would advise people in this situation is to check your basal settings. Whether you have your long acting insulin or an insulin pump with a basal setting, make sure that those dosages are correct. That can save you a lot of trouble! This is something that I do on myself, as well, I make sure that my basal settings are correct (or as correct as they can be because life happens and things go up the wall sometimes) If you want me to do a video about how to basal test properly, then also let me know in a comment!

If your basal dose is correctly set, you also need less corrections to get the results you need. If you’re too low or borderline too low, for example, and your basal isn’t too high so your blood sugar won’t keep going down much further. With the right settings for you, you only need very little carbs to get you back up into a healthy safe range. Same with highs, if you are borderline high, you don’t need that much insulin to get yourself into a nice, safe healthy range again, because your basal insulin is correctly set.

My Trick

I correct before there is a high or a low. Of course when I can, things like sleep, illness, travel, stress and things like this too much work (guilty as charged!) can of course make this a little bit trickier and hinder me from keeping that level of control. But whenever I can, I do react before it the low blood sugar or the high one is a fact.

Managing this before they’re a fact, I cannot say enough that a CGM, a continuous glucose monitoring system, really is worth its weight (well, really is worth its value) in gold, because they’re quite expensive. They’re small, but expensive things. Anyway, they are worth absolute gold so that you can react before there’s a high or there’s a low blood sugar.

CGM’s are of course not exact. I don’t know of any CGM system that is absolutely exact. Especially when my goal range is so small, it is very, very annoying that it is more most often 1-3 mmol/l (18-60 mg/dl) off. It’s not really exact, but it is invaluable to see the trends! Where is your blood sugar trending? If your blood sugar is steady and starts to trend downwards, then you can already treat so that you need a lot less and the the hypo doesn’t become a fact. Or, if you see that you’re trending upwards, you can play with either temporary basal if you are in a pump, or wait it out and see what happens ,or correct with insulin. For the trends, and the CGM is fantastic and I could not recommend any more!

Timing

Reacting in time actually also helps the Standard Deviation of your blood sugar, as well as your Time In Range, which is what reacting in time will help. This will also help your HbA1c. That little trifecta is a fantastic measurement of health for diabetes. And that also is helped by reacting in time so that you don’t go high and don’t go low, but you can react before it is a thing.

Doing it this way, reacting before a high becomes a high or low becomes a low, makes them very rare. It actually makes them more rare than then it would be, if I, for example, added a ton of sugar, or the recommended amount of carbs for example. This is true for me, and I’m not going to talk about anyone else. But for me if I added that, I would have many more highs and I would have many more lows, because I would have to fight the carbs as well as my body with the stress, work, illnesses, and all of the other 45 things that always influence our blood sugar.

This is my Dexcom G6 24 hour curve from 20th February, and I’ve marked where I used my method and reacted before a high was a high and a low was a low:

I want to hear from you:

Do you have highs and lows often and that you need to react to? Or are they rather rare for you? Let me know in a comment. I’d be happy to chat with you there.

Ps! Join me live next time, Thursday’s at 6pm CET on my Facebook or Instagram for another episode of Type 1 Thursday!

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Influenza & Type 1 Diabetes?

The influenza & eating very low carb, what happens to blood sugar and ketones? 🤔

That blood sugars can increase when you’re sick is pretty much common knowledge. But by how much, and especially when you normally eat very low carb? What about ketones? Is there a correlation?

All this, and much more, in this week’s episode of Type 1 Thursday!

How do your blood sugars react when you get sick? Let me know!

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

If you prefer a written version of this information, please keep reading:

Influenza & Type 1 Diabetes

Last week, I was very much under the weather, and I did not manage to do anything. Last week, I spent the whole week in bed, because I got a nasty case of the influenza. This never happens to me *touch wood*, I never get sick like that. So it was a first in a good while. I also got a question about this, which is today’s topic on Type 1 Thursday:

As a Type 1 diabetic, eating very low carb, what happens to blood sugars and ketones when I got that sick?

Gina

No. It didn’t go perfectly, let’s just be honest about that. I definitely did not have any smooth CGM lines during last week when I was really, really ill. And it’s not an easy feat to try to get, especially as a Type 1 diabetic, but definitely also as a healthy, “normal” person, whatever you want to call it. What did I do, how did I handle it, and what happened to me? Maybe it can help you, if the influenza gets you, too!

I heard today that just in Switzerland, we have about three virus strains going around right now. That’s a lot! I think I just had one of the influenza strains. Last Tuesday, I was so ill that I thought I had pneumonia. I was 99% sure that I had pneumonia. I went to the doctors to get an X ray, especially to check that it wasn’t pneumonia. Well, it wasn’t. But I really felt that badly. I really am not one of these people who just runs to the doctor for whatever, there has to be a legitimate cause for me to even visit a doctor’s office. That’s how bad I was last week. And I’m amazed at my body for turning something that I thought was pneumonia just a week in a bit ago to standing here. You know, I was fine already last weekend, again, and that is astonishing to me that my body managed to get turned around That will and I would like to thank my wonderful gut bacteria. And I would like to think that I did a few things right, which I will get into a little bit later in this life.

Influenza & Blood Sugar?

But first of all, I wanted to go through what happens to your blood sugar when you get ill, because it will go up. Evidently, your blood sugar will go up, especially if you’re a Type 1 diabetic, because you are, of course a little bit more (I don’t like to say it, but), a little bit more sensitive towards infections that way. Blood sugar goes up, for sure. And what can you do against that? Well, you can actually just manage as well as you can. Increase your basal as much as you dare to until you see an effect. With that in mind, I was on + 200% basal on my insulin pump, and it barely budged from 10-11 mmol/l, around the 200’s mg/dl. That was of course scary for me, as I normally have quite good blood sugars. It was good to to know that it was the infection causing it and nothing that I ate, because I also fasted due to that I had such a sore throat and I was coughing so much that I couldn’t eat anything for four days. I only had broth, tea, soups and water for four days. And I think that also helped to turn the influenza around a little bit quicker.

In addition to this, your bolus is not going to be the same as when you’re not sick. Your corrections and mealtime insulin is not going to be as effective, that ratio will also go up, get worse, and you will need more insulin. I used almost 50 units of insulin in one of the days that when I was the sickest, and that I haven’t done since eating high carb, so it was quite bad.

Remember to hydrate because both having influenza and having that high blood sugars will dehydrate your body. So think about hydrating a lot the whole time, sip small sips even if you have the worst throat ache in the world (like I did!) Also consider adding electrolytes, because that can be something that could help you.

Influenza & Ketones?

What happened to my ketones? Normally my ketones are under 2.5 mmol/l on a very low carb way of eating. And this seems to be a normal thing for me. As soon as they go over I get a little nervous. As ketones are never really a goal for me, I don’t really measure them too often, but when I do, they seem to be staying under the 2.5 mark. Because I was fasting, liquid fasting, and because I was sick, my body needed more energy, and because my blood sugar was maybe a little bit high, and my ketones went up to 4.3 mmol/l.

This was actually nothing that worried me at this point, though, because I didn’t feel worse (I already felt like absolute shit…) But the ketones didn’t actually worry me any extra, because I knew I was doing everything that I could for them to do their job. I just chose to monitor them and as long as they didn’t go higher, didn’t have a panic attack about it, and I didn’t worry about it. My theory is that both blood sugar and ketones go higher, because your body needs more energy to get well again, the immune system needs more energy to kick the nasty bugs that you are fighting. I don’t know, maybe the this is not even true, but if you do know why blood sugar goes up when you are ill, and also ketones, please let me know in a comment! I’d be really interested to know from someone who really knows their stuff.

Influenza Treatment?

How do you treat a really bad influenza, especially as Type 1 diabetic (but also as a normal person)? I would say hydration is definitely the number 1 thing! Your body can survive without food and might actually get healthier quicker without food. But hydration – we need to hydrate a lot. So make sure you flush out those nasty bugs and the high blood sugar. Make sure you hydrate when you get sick!

Also painkillers, I cannot tell you… I don’t normally take painkillers at all. But last week, they were a Godsend. And I had water soluble ones so I didn’t have to swallow any tablets. Absolutely amazing, saved my life.

Throat lozenges with that numbing effect also really helped me to get through the influenza. Along with echinaea, I have a specific one in a alcohol solution that really helps your immune system to get into a higher gear. To sip, I had my beautiful, beloved “throat coat” tea, which I love when I am sick, because it really feels like your throat gets a coat! Also CBD oil, because it is anti inflammatory, and can help with all the mucous-y stuff going on in your face.

So that’s what happened to me last week, I got sick, blood sugar up, ketones up, but I was not worried because I knew my body was just doing its job in trying to make me healthier.

How do you react with your blood sugars when you get sick? And please let me know in a comment somewhere on the inter-webs and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.

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Why No Protein Shakes?

Why no protein shakes? 🤔

Type 1 Thursday is here with another question from the audience:

“Hello, I notice that you don’t drink any protein drinks or shakes? Do you think they are unhealthy?”

Hanane

As a short answer, no, I don’t think they’re unhealthy. But I do think there needs to be a need for them, as protein needs are individual. Check out the whole explanation here!

Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

I want to hear from you, do you drink protein shakes? Or do you get your protein from other sources? Let me know in the comments! 🙌

Transcription

If you prefer to read my views on whether protein shakes are good or not, you can find a written version here:

I am so excited, because there is another question from the audience today that I will be answering. If you have any questions that you think that I should be answering on these live chats (that we have every Thursday 6pm on Instagram, and Facebook), please do let me know in a comment somewhere on the interwebs and I’ll be happy to answer them.

To today’s question, it reads like this: “Hello. I noticed that you don’t drink any protein drinks or shakes is that because you think that they are unhealthy?”

Protein is a very individual

Protein threshold is very individual, especially on low carb, but also generally. Maybe on low carb you give a little bit more of a damn about the protein amount, especially if you have read #*#. Richard Bernstein’s book and checked out his Diabetes University. Protein needs are very individual and it can range from anything, for very sedentary people something like 0.8 grams of protein/kilogram body weight, which doesn’t mean 0.8 grams of meat but 0.8 grams of protein, to something more normal, if you are a little bit more active, maybe something like 1.2 grams per kilogram, or maybe 1.3, 1.5. But it can also go as high as something like 2.4 grams per kilogram, up to five grams per kilogram, if you are a super active athlete.

If your main fuel is protein and amino acids, then it is very individual how much you should be eating. This is why I personally don’t need to drink any protein shakes. I am not a very active athlete, well, I try to keep active but not that active. I’m also not a growing child. So I don’t need as much, and I can cover my protein needs with real food. You have to determine for yourself how much protein you need in your individual case.

Protein in Meat

All meat generally contains about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of meat. Not all meat is protein, and not all protein is meat. Only one-fifth of the meat is actual protein and amino acids. If I eat 400 grams of meat a day, which is possible, not in one sitting, but if I have two sittings, lunch and dinner, which is normal for me. I don’t really have breakfast so I don’t have to pay attention there. If I have two sittings, and I have 200 grams of meat or protein filled food per sitting, that gives me 80 grams of protein for a day. And that would mean that that is 1.3 grams per kilo of body weight that I have (now you can count how much I actually weigh) Personally, I just prefer to get my protein from real foods because I can. And because I don’t have that extra need for protein shakes that you may have, as I said, if you’re a growing child or a very active athlete.

Need for protein shakes?

The short answer to your question is; I don’t think that protein shakes or drinks are unhealthy, per se. I just think that there needs to be a need for it. And in my case, I don’t have that need. Perhaps, in your case, because you are asking, there is a need for it and then you have to determine if that’s true or not for you.

If you do need a protein drink or a shake, I would recommend something that is clean without any sugars and any added stuff. Flavours is one thing, but you can also flavour it with other things like natural cacao powder or something. You don’t have to buy the ready mixed flavoured stuff, but something that is clean without sweeteners and without dextrose, please, because that will mess with your blood sugar, all the ways till Sunday. If I had the need for protein shakes, I would go for something like an egg white protein or a whey protein.

So, in conclusion, no, protein shakes and drinks are not inherently unhealthy. But there needs to be a use for them and a need for them. Thank you so much for your question!

I would love to hear from you – what are your experiences with protein and with protein shakes? Do you drink them? Or do you get the protein that you need from real food? Let me know in a comment below, and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.

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Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements

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!

“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

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Movement?

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

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

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Type 1 Thursday – Stress & Blood Sugar?

What does STRESS have to do with your diabetes management?

Have you noticed that your blood sugar reacts in an unexpected way, either up or down, when you’re stressed? We can distinguish between physical and emotional stress, and, sadly, we are way more emotionally/mentally stressed today than ever.

Today, I talk about why this happens and what causes it, along with stress prevention and coping mechanisms. You can read a written version below if you can’t watch the video.

Have you noticed that stress impacts your blood sugars? How? Leave a comment!

Stress & Blood Sugar – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

Stress and the impact the stress has on your blood sugar management is sometimes overwhelming, because it can make things a little bit more interesting than intended to be.

Here, I’m going to cover what happens in your body when it experiences stress, and how we can alleviate it and what we can do to cope with the stress that we do face, perhaps even on a daily basis.

What happens to blood sugar, or rather, why does it happen that blood sugar gets impacted by stress? It is our beautiful stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline and epinephrine, that are impacting your blood sugar. They tell the liver that your body needs more energy to cope with this stress. That’s why your blood sugar will react either way, in the vast majority of cases, your blood sugar will rise when you are under stress. But there are also instances, which I’ve experienced myself where, during stress, your blood sugar unexpectedly does drop, which is unexpected, and you have to roll with the punches. An example of this, that maybe most people with diabetes can relate to, is Dawn Phenomenon. This is when our stress hormones tell our liver that “hey, it’s time to wake up. Let’s get some sugar in the blood from your storage system and get this party going.”

There are two main forms of stress. One is physical stress, for example, if you had an injury, or if you exercising super hard, or you’ve gone through surgery or some sort of physical trauma, and infection, then definitely your body is under stress. That’s also why we can see when we are getting sick or that when we are sick, that the blood sugar’s can rise, because it is a stress for the body, and stress hormones are released and the little sugar party is going on in your body.

It can of course also, and it may be more usual for us in today’s society, that it’s emotional stress. This can be things like, being overwhelmed or you’re just too busy, you have too much to do, too much on your plate, anxiety, your phone going off all the time, the train is late… Essentially, it’s what becomes more of a psychological stress. But that can also have an impact on your blood sugar, which is why I bring it up. The fact that we experience so many things as stressful has been left throughout our evolution. When we had to be afraid of wild animals in nature, so that we had that quick release of energy, so that we could run far, far away from that mountain lion/bear, and get into safety. That’s why our body reacts with the sugar rush when we get stressed. The problem is today though, that some things that shouldn’t be stressful are interpreted by our bodies as stressful. It can be nutrition, for example, too much sugar can be a stress for the body. It can be, as I said, the train is late, or your phone’s going off every second. There’s so many things that stresses us today that didn’t use to stress us. This also means that we can see more volatility on our blood sugars because of that.

What can you do to mitigate stress? Find patterns. Is there certain situation every time that you do it, that causes you to stress and have a blood sugar spike, for example? Is there something that you do in your daily life that you don’t feel well doing? Is there something that goes against even your own values? Could that be stressing you? Find a pattern, so that you know how to react! When you have the prediction, you can also prevent it. It’s really important to pay attention to this (and with everything else) to see the patterns in it, so that you can just simply prevent it. Bear in mind that this is very individual. What stresses me for, example, may not stress you, you lucky person! And what stresses you, may not stress me at all. It’s very individual and we have to see on an individual level how we are impacted by stress.

What are some coping mechanisms for stress? Cut down on the nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, all of the stimulants that we may use under the impression of that it will help us with stress. It will probably stress our bodies even more. Recognising that we are tired and doing something about it, taking a break. Physical movement also really helps stress. Make relaxation a priority, if you don’t make space for it, it won’t happen. You know that with a lot of other things in your life perhaps, but making space for it and making time for it does matter. So make sure you schedule in relaxation. Make sure you also have a sound sleeping schedule, so that you make sure that you sleep enough during the night.

Accept things that you cannot change. This is really hard, but it’s really worth it. It does remove a lot of stress. Improve your time management, maybe that’s where you’re lacking a few tools? And my personal favourite jump on the No-train. Say no to things that do not light you up, that you are not excited about and that you know that you won’t be enjoying.

When we are in the stress situation, how can we alleviate it? This goes hand in hand with the coping mechanisms mentioned above, but how can we alleviate it as well as we can? Movement. do move daily. How about actually scheduling a holiday? That could be something great right? Listening to your favourite music for example, that could be an amazing stress reliever. Take up a hobby that takes your mind away from the from the stress. How about meditating? Meditation can really calm you down, along with breathing exercises. Breathing deeply can really distress you quickly! Or how about taking up yoga, stretching your body and feeling and really being in tune with your body also helps stress.

Relaxation cannot coexist with stress

Do remember that relaxation cannot coexist with stress. If you’re relaxed, you cannot be stressed at the same time.

I would love to hear if you’ve noticed that your blood sugar has been impacted by stress? What happened? How can you change it until next time? I can’t wait to chat with you further in the comments below.

Ps. Are you looking for a stressless retreat to soak up the last of the summer sun, learn from international health experts, spend time with likeminded people, all in a place too gorgeous to miss? Join me at the amazing The Low Carb Universe 2019 in Mallorca, Spain in November!