Posts

, , , ,

Brittle Diabetes?

Have you ever heard of brittle diabetes?

What is it? What are the signs? How can you get out iof it?

Brittle Diabetes – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

Although the term “brittle diabetes” is wildly discussed and can come across as very negative and blaming, it’s a concept many people with diabetes (unfortunately) are familiar with. Perhaps you’ve been labeled “brittle” in your medical file, just lika I have in the past?

What can you do about it, then? Is it just to accept it and trry to live as peacefully as possible with it?

Au contraire!

Brittle diabetes can very well be dealt with, and removed from your life, too. It all depends on what the cause if for you. A few common causes of brittle diabetes are medication troubles, stress (blood glucose killer number 1!) , eating disorder, gastrointestinal issues, gastroparesis or insulin sensitivity, to mention a few.

Once you know this, try to look at what lifestyle changes would apply to you – nutrition, medication, movement, mindset, stress management… are a few points to keep in mind.

Share your experiences with me! What’s your number one trick for brittle diabetes?

Disclaimer
The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website 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.

, ,

My Pump Break 2020

Have you ever taken a pump break?

I recently had a six week break from my insulin pump, and I’m not going to lie, going back to MDI (multiple daily injections) wasn’t as easy as I thought!

In this episode of #type1thursday, I share my reasons why, pros and cons of MDI, getting back in the pump, as well as my note-to-self for next time (hint: all of it exciting, none of it smooth…)

My #pumpbreak 2020 – Hanna Boëthius

Share your experiences with me, about pump breaks, MDI vs pump or what you’re most comfortable with?

DISCLAIMER 1: I wasn’t sponsored by any one or any company for this, and paid for all of it myself (with the help of my health insurance, obvi)
DISCLAIMER 2: This is just my own, personal experience. I can’t speak for anyone else, or their experiences.
DISCLAIMER 3: The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website are 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.

, , ,

“Why are you so harsh on yourself?” 😳

I got a DM on Instagram recently, where the (probably) well-meaning person asked something along the lines with “why are you so harsh on yourself when it comes to diabetes?” 😳

It was implied that I pay too much attention to things like blood sugars, nutrition and HbA1c, when “all you have to do is count carbs and cover for them with insulin.”

Well. I don’t agree. 🤷🏻‍♀️ To me, that is a way too simplistic way of looking at managing something as individual as diabetes can be. Check out the rest of my answer in this short clip:

https://youtu.be/vMiX2ykf170
Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

👉🏼 What tools have you found that work the best for you in your diabetes management? 👈🏼

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website 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.

,

“How Do I Prevent High Blood Sugars Working From Home?”

Today’s question is from Taylor, and she asks: “how to prevent high blood sugars while working from home? And not only by increasing insulin?”

Tricky, tricky indeed! And welcome back to another episode of Type 1 Thursday!

Essentially, what’s at the root of this question is how to improve your insulin sensitivity. And luckily, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to improve exactly that (even without necessarily just upping your insulin). And a lot of it comes down to prioritizing yourself.

As a note insulin requirements, however, is that you need the insulin that you need. Period. Whatever the situation, changes in routine, stress etc that makes your blood sugars run higher than normal, your body needs more insulin. I know way too well how hard this can be to accept, I’ve been there. Many times! But in order for your body to run optimally, it needs varying amounts of insulin at varying times. Try to meet this need with compassion and curiosity (and the necessary insulin, of course)!

Limiting high blood sugars when working form home – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

👉🏼 What are your best tips to increase insulin sensitivity? Let’s chat! 👈🏼

Lifestyle choices that help insulin sensitivity include, but are not limited to, the following:

🌟 Stress management (try meditation, yoga, EFT, essential oils, bath…)
🌟 Movement (focus on body weight moves!)
🌟 Hydration (lots of clean water can help insulin sensitivity)
🌟 Sleep (both quality and quantity!)
🌟 Healthy and blood sugar friendly nutrition (low carb)
🌟 Any supplements? (Magnesium, Omega 3 & Vitamin D is a rule of thumb)
🌟 Find a routine that fits YOU

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website 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.

, ,

“What do you eat in a day, Hanna?”

On today’s episode of #type1thursday, one of my lovely Instagram followers asked me to make a video about what I eat in a day – so I did!

Find out what my food philosophy is, my insulin philosophy, see all my meals from Monday until Thursday, blood sugar values, and my guilty pleasure/secret food is!

“What do you eat in a day? – Hanna Boëthius – Type 1 Thursday

Now I’d like to hear from you, what’s your food philosophy?

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video & website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video & website are 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.

, ,

Double Diabetes, Double The Fun? 😳

What on Earth is Double Diabetes? How does it develop, and who is at risk to get it? Are there ANY solutions to it?

Learn this and so much more from this week’s episode of Type 1 Thursday:

https://youtu.be/HmgNFm34Q44
Double Diabetes – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

What is Double Diabetes?

Double Diabetes is when a person with Type 1 Diabetes develops severe insulin resistance. They may need to use medications that are traditionally used for Type 2 Diabetes, essentially having developed both types of diabetes – hence the term Double Diabetes.

The problem is that T2D can’t really be diagnosed in T1D, no glucose tolerance test or blood insulin measurements will be accurate. Instead, the clinical diagnosis goes a little something like this: do you need a lot of insulin? IS your BMI high (although BMI isn’t even a reliable measurement!), Waist to height ratio high? High blood pressure= Fatty liver? High HbA1c?. If you are T1D and do have these, you could be in the risk zone for Double Diabetes (and no, it isn’t double the fun!). Whether the insulin resistance comes from T1D, lifestyle factors or it’s genetic, the result is the same.

Are there any solutions to Double Diabetes?

We know from the T2D, some cases of it can be reversed with lifestyle changes. But T1D will always persevere. My top tip to cut down the insulin resistance would be to decrease the amount of carbs you eat. It works (and is an acknowledged treatment) for T2D, which is half of the issue!

I actually think I was a Double Diabetic before I changed my lifestyle in 2011. Since the term was coined in 1991, there hasn’t been much activity in this field until very recently, so I was never diagnosed. But I needed an almost obscene amount of insulin, along with the other symptoms mentioned above… 🤷🏻‍♀️

Have you heard of Double Diabetes before? Do you have any experience with it? Let me know in a comment!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website and video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website and 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.

, ,

The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit

…or, “You can also have fun WITH alcohol!”

Yes, you can absolutely drink alcohol, even if you have diabetes. 🍷🥂 🍸

The main point to remember is – alcohol impacts the liver in doing its job of regulating blood sugar.

The main function of your liver is to store glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose, so that you will have a source of glucose when you haven’t eaten. The liver is also responsible for cleaning the body of toxins. Unfortunately, the liver cannot do both jobs at the same time. While it is detoxifying, it stops secreting glucose.

The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit – Hanna Boëthius

Here are some helpful tools to add to your diabetes management toolkit, alcohol specific:

🌟 Keep an eagle eye on your blood sugar, before, during & after drinking.
🌟 Know what’s in your glass, alcohol % and carb count Stick to dry wines/bubbly, light beers, or liquor with club soda or diet drinks. It makes all of it easier!
🌟 Wear medical alert bracelet/jewelry, just in case.
🌟 E N J O Y your drink!
🌟 Keep hydrated
🌟 Enjoy some food or snacks with your drink
🌟 Bring glucose tabs with you .
🌟 Don’t drink alcohol if your blood sugar level is low
🌟 Don’t skip food 🌟 Don’t necessarily drink alone – alcohol is best enjoyed in company! (Also someone to check up on you.)
🌟 Avoid sweet drinks, craft beers, sweet wine… Concentrate on having FUN, not worry about how high your blood sugar will go.
🌟 Don’t drink and dance (without food)!
🌟 Don’t play around with meds.

I enjoy alcoholic beverages, and sticking to low sugar options (dry wine or mixed liquor) works the best for me. That way, I can concentrate on ONLY caring for the alcohol part, and not having to additionally care for the carb count/hyperglycemia. I usually drink with food, as part of a meal/aperitif.

What are your views on diabetes and alcohol? Do you enjoy alcoholic beverages, and do you have any tips to share? Or do you steer clear from it? 🤔 Let me know in the comments!

Transcription

If you prefer to read the information, here is a text version of the video above:

Coming soon!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website 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.

, ,

Basal Insulin Testing – Why, How & When?

Do you have frequent low blood sugars? Or high? And they all seem to come out of nowhere?

It could be something wrong with your basal insulin, dose or timing! Learn all about basal insulin testing in today’s Type 1 Thursday!

When was the last time you checked you basal insulin settings?

Type 1 Thursday – Basal Insulin Testing – Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

If you prefer to read all about basal insulin testing, you can do so below. Enjoy!

Basal Insulin Testing

‘I want to ask you this first, do you perhaps experience frequent hypos or frequent highs that seem to come out of nowhere? They are not really connected to when you’re eating and your bolus insulin, and it’s not really connected to anything else either. So maybe it is something else, could it be? (As we all know, with diabetes, chances are it could be…)

Butt first, hypos, or low blood sugars, never, ever happen because you’re not eating enough food! Hypos always, always, always happen because you’re taking too much insulin for that particular circumstance. That actually leads us back to today’s topic, basal insulin settings and how to check that your basal insulin settings, like your long acting insulin, or basal settings on your pump, are correct for you. Not for anyone else, never ever compare insulin dosages with anyone else. It is what it is for you and if it is correct.

Basal insulin is really key, either is dose or the timing. If you are on MDI, timing of the basal insulin could be a problem. So let’s figure out what it is, how we do it and all this stuff when it comes to basal insulin testing. It’s not necessarily fun, but hey, you know, it needs to be done if you want as good of a control as you can have on your Type 1 Diabetes. Having your basal set properly also helps you bolus correctly for your food or it makes it a lot easier to calculate.

What is a basal insulin test?

The point of basal insulin is to keep your blood sugar stable when you’re not eating, when you’re exercising when you’re not doing anything. It works the same in healthy people, the ones that don’t need to add insulin from the outside. Basal insulin is there to keep your blood sugar very stable during the whole day when you’re not eating, not exercising, not doing anything of the few things that actually help lowering your blood sugar, or any of the 42 or 45, or whatever things that can increase your blood sugar.

What is a basal test? Well, it’s basically to determine what your proper basal setting is, whether you are on a pump or taking long acting insulin. Without the influence of food and without bolus insulin, without exercise.

How to basal insulin test?

How do you do it? Well, trick number 1 is to start at a normal blood sugar level. Don’t start if you’re too high, don’t start if you’re too low, start at a normal that is the baseline of basal insulin testing.

You can either do it in two ways. Either you fast the full 24 hours and get it all out of your system and you have done in one go or you divide it up on 4 days and divide the 24 hours into 6 hour increments, where you fast for 6 hours and then check your blood sugar’s hourly to see what happens to them.

This is also where a CGM is very helpful, although I would not trust it to be exact for all of that, I would also prick my finger a couple of times in those 6 hours or those 24 hours, just so you can actually see what is doing what. If you choose to do it in four days, then you do overnight in one go and then you do a morning session, followed by a day session and then an evening session, so that you get those 24 hours all checked.A suggestion is that you basal insulin test one week and then the next week you do the same, to just double check and fine tune and really tweak your basal insulin (because this is really key for good blood sugar management)

Do & Don’t when Basal Insulin Testing

Don’t eat or take insulin (bolus) 4 hours before you start the test.

You can have water and herbal tea during your fasting hours, anything that’s not caffeinated and nothing that will do a number on your blood sugar. Anything that is neutral is fine.

Don’t eat unless you go too low, if you’re having a hypo. Also, don’t correct unless you go too high. (If you go too low during your your basal insulin testing, it means that you’re taking you’re taking too much basal insulin, whether it isn’t a pump or injections. If you go too high, your basal insulin is sett too low.)

Make sure you’re not sick or on your period or have something going on that you know influences your blood sugars.

It is completely okay to break the test if you have to! If you have a hypo, you have to correct it. It’s fine to break the basal insulin test, you just do it another day instead. And the same if you go too high, it’s fine to break the test, you have a bolus and get on with your day. The main point is that you take care of yourself! The basal insulin test can be done another day instead.

Also, one, one very important tip, is to write down the results, so you have them on paper. It makes it a lot more easy to overview instead of having it in some app and you have go back and forth between resources. Good old pen and paper works the best in this case, I would say.

What are the results of basal insulin testing?

If your blood sugar drops too much, you’re taking too much insulin. You’re taking too much basal for your needs. If your blood sugar goes up too high during the basal insulin test, you’re taking too little basal insulin, and you need to increase it.

If you are an MDI and notice something could be better during these 24 hours, perhaps you need to split to your dose? This is something you can discuss with your doctor. And if you’re on a pump, remember that it’s usually the basal setting that is about an hour to 2 hours before that impacts your blood sugar’s right now, so you have to be a little bit flexible in adjusting this, if you need to.

That was my very short run through on how to basal test your insulin properly.

I want to know from you, when was the last time you basal tested your settings or your dose or timing for that matter?

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

Ps. Want to learn more about basal insulin testing? Check out Dr. Richard Bernstein’s video here!

,

Type 1 Thursday – Mindset & Diabetes Management?

How important is mindset in diabetes management? What difference can it make? 🤔

It took me so long before I realized just how big of a deal mindset work is when it comes to diabetes management. How do you react when you see an undesirable number on the display? What are you thinking when you’re faced with a meal you know you won’t feel good eating? And what can you do to help your diabetes management be a success in the long run?

It’s time for Type 1 Thursday!

And – if you want the whole presentation on this topic from me, why don’t you join me at The Low Carb Universe in Mallorca, 12-17 November 2019? Check it out!

And 2 – I do a live every week on Facebook and Instagram to discuss a topic about Type 1 Diabetes that maybe you haven’t discussed with your doctor or healthcare crew. Join me at 6pm CET on Thursday’s!

Have you noticed a shift in your mindset? Or do you need one? Talk to me! 😊

Text Version

If you prefer to read rather than watch a video about mindset, here is a text version of the points I made above:

Mindset

How can mindset can help your diabetes management? How he can help it and what difference can it make, or how can it hinder you?

As I define it, these are my own figures, not at all scientific! This is my experience and from the people that I’ve talked to about this, but I see that having success maintaining a healthy lifestyle, 30% is food and medicine, I see another 30% in other lifestyle factors, movement, hydration, sleep. To actually make your health care successful, I do see that there is a 40% need for mindset, as well. Don’t discount the mindset part because it is very important! And maybe even more important than you know! How exciting is that?

There is a fear of geting caught in a trap of constant perfection. No type 1 diabetic is always perfect. No health cares are ever completely perfect. We all make mistakes. And that’s okay. And that’s a huge part to realise when it comes to mindset! You have to be kind to yourself – that is just the starting point. And do remember that all feelings that you have, whether it’s about diabetes or something else you’re trying to get a better grip of, all feelings are completely and entirely OK! It’s okay to feel them. It’s okay to have them. They are all OK.

“Fixed” vs “Growth”

There is this theory of that we flip flop between what is called a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. (I have a full length presentation on this, join me in Mallorca to find out more!) What I’ve seen from my research, we basically flip flop between these two mindsets depending on the situation, depending on what we’re faced with, actually depending on a lot of factors. As a sort of rule of thumb, a fixed mindset is that you avoid challenges, and that you give up very easily. Making effort is actually a bad thing for you, in the specific situation. You’re “just not talented”. A “why me” mentality usually goes into the fixed one. Running away from critique is also common. Other peoples success is threatening, too. I’m sure we can all recognise some parts of this in ourselves in what we were doing and how we’re reacting to things!

On the other side of the fixed mindset is the growth mindset. A growth mindset is where you seek challenges, you keep trying, even though you maybe fail sometimes and you see making an effort as the key to actually making something a success. You ask yourself, “what can I learn from this situation” rather than, you know, “why me” and “I’m not talented”. Your motto is basically “I can do it”, and other people’s success is inspiring to you.

These are the two mindsets that we flip flop between, depending on how we how we react to things. Also, I think that we are many who can recognise ourselves in the growth mindset. So it’s not all bad! We’re not only, you know, “everything is shit” and “why me” and “I don’t want challenges”. I think we all have parts of both! I find it very interesting when we start paying attention to this. And I’m sure this is something that you can do, for example, in your diabetes management. How do you react to, for example, that blood sugar reading? Is it “why me” or is it “okay, what can I learn from this?”, for example.

Mindset is not…

Mindset is not a magic bullet of motivation. It is definitely not a shortcut to success, if anyone got that, and mindset is nothing that we’re born with, it’s something that we learn. Mindset is not the same as positive thinking, either. It’s also not fixed in these two categories I talked about above. You’re never stuck in one, as I said, we flip flop between both of them.

Diet Mentality

Added to this, more specifically to food, is actually the diet mentality, or diet mindset. I wanted to highlight it, because I think it’s so terrible for lots of people with diabetes, and for anyone really who tries to look out for their health.

A diet mentality is where you see food as the enemy and you’re focusing on your bad habits – that you would have bad habits to break somehow. You’re looking for temporary fixes. And you’re focusing on what you don’t like about yourself, how silly is that? That’s not the way forward, the way forward is to focus on things that you do like about yourself and increase those and then the other ones will follow. Diet mindset is where you’re really focused on the scale. I don’t feel like that is a good measurement of anything really, the scale. I threw out my own scale very many years ago, and I only weigh myself at the doctor’s office, because they require it. Otherwise, I don’t really care what it says. It’s some sort of arbitrary number on a piece of electronic machinery (or even if it isn’t electronic) – it doesn’t really matter that much. Try to step away from the scale! Also in a diet mentality, you think that you have a finish line, that you will have arrived at some point, whatever that means. And I’m only highlighting this because I think it can offset the rest of your mindset work, which can be quite crucial in type one or diabetes management in as a whole.

Setbacks?

How do you view setbacks? Are setbacks something informative to you? Do you draw information out of it? Basically, going back to the growth mindset of “what can I learn”? Or are setbacks a label on you as a person? It’s also silly, but we all get to that point at some points of our lives, and that’s fine. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just something to be aware of!

Success = Mindset + Learning

Success whether within health, whether it’s in sports, whether it’s in life in general, it is mindset, plus learning and the willingness to learn new things. No one can do everything from the beginning. So we do need to learn, in addition to our hopefully, majorly growth mindset work.

How do you change your mindset? This can be a tricky one, but a few short tips is to start small. If you know the analogy of chopping up the elephant into small bite sized pieces, basically eating the frog first? That’s how you get forward so you look at the whole picture first and try to accomplish all of it at once. You have to start with the very smallest goal that you can imagine. Also, you have to think forwards. “How will I feel in a week of doing this?” (or in a day, and a month, in a year, in 10 years?) How will it feel making this change for me? Provided that it is for you, but I would hope so because otherwise it’s not going to be motivating for very long. You have to find what motivates you? No one else can tell you what motivates you, you have to find that within yourself. And that’s a very big part of mindset work!

And also, don’t make excuses. It’s all about prioritising. You can say that, “oh, I don’t have time to check my blood sugar”, but today, especially with CGM’s and these very fast blood sugar meters, it’s really quick. It’s just that you don’t want to do it. It’s that simple. So please don’t make excuses for yourself.

And now I would actually love to hear from you, have you noticed a change in a change in your mindset? Or perhaps you need a change of mindset? Talk to me in the comments below and I’d be happy to chat with you more there.

A Cure?

“A CURE IS JUST 5-10 YEARS AWAY”

If I (& my parents) had a penny for every time we’ve heard that “promise” during the past 34 years, we’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

Let’s talk about the prospect of curing T1D. Do you think we’re getting close to one? 🤔

After a weekend of particularly shitty blood sugars, this is more relevant than usual. A weekend where I had to, yet again, come to terms with my own mortality. And insulin acting like saline.

With diabetes awareness month coming up in November, there is somehow a communal hope brewing. A hope of more awareness, because awareness should lead research teams everywhere to be motivated to finally find a cure. Right?! Don’t get me wrong, awareness is GREAT! It’s necessary, it’s inspiring and needed in the world. All T1Ds should speak up, and not only during the month of November. But – diabetes awareness alone won’t cure us.

And frankly, not to be too pessimistic, but rather I choose to see it as a realistic mindset, I’m not sure there will be a cure in my lifetime. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Have we gotten any closer on this in the past 34 years since my diagnosis? Since the diagnosis of those who have lived with this a lot longer than I have? I don’t know.

Just because ones diabetes is (mostly) “well controlled” doesn’t mean the fears aren’t there. The fears about the future. What the future may, or may not, bring. Will diabetes cause any limitations to my life? And it certainly doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be first in line when they start curing it. Even though diabetes tools and tech has evolved at an astonishing speed in recent years – we still need a cure. Even if it is very possible to have happy, healthy blood sugars with T1D – we need a cure. And we would have needed that cure yesterday.

Until then, we’re not waiting. Do whatever it takes for you to be healthier, to live your best life and thrive with T1D. ✨

Ps. This post was originally posted on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert. Follow me there for more on the go updates!