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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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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!

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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 – Bolus Gone Wrong?

Type 1 Thursday is BACK – and it’s all about the bolus!

Today, I’ll be answering a question from the audience about mealtime bolus gone wrong… How do you handle first high blood sugars, then low? Or high and steady after meals? Or low 3-4 hours after a meal? So confusing!

Do you have any experiences with mealtime bolus? How did you solve it? Let me know in the comments!

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

Also, do you have any questions for me to answer? I’d love to answer your question in a future Type 1 Thursday.

The bolus infographic from Diaverge.com that I mention in the video is this one:

Transcription

If you prefer a written version of the video above, here you go:

Type 1 Thursday – Bolus Gone Wrong?

I have a really interesting question today actually, because this is something that I’ve struggled with myself quite a lot. I got a question from the audience this time to answer.

“So, how do I time insulin for different meals? I’m struggling despite eating low carb, and I still spike sometimes dosing at the start of the meal and then go low one hour after. And if I dose at the end of the meal, I go high and then low three hours later? This is so confusing!”

Rachel

I do agree with Rachel, it is very, very confusing. It is difficult to figure this out. But I do have some rules of thumb that may help Rachel (may actually be a good reminder for myself, too) and maybe it will help one or two of you guys as well.

Dosing vs Timing?

As I see it, this can be both a dosing issue, but it can also be a timing issue.

This really comes down to first of all, what kind of mealtime insulin are you using? Are you using regular insulin as many people do on low carb? Are using some of the faster ones like Humalog or Novolog or Novorapid? Or are using the even faster ones like Alfrezza or Fiasp? It’s very difficult, as these insulins have different working time until they actually hit your system. Until you figure that out, it can be clue number one!

Clue number two is that it definitely can be a timing issue, but also a dosing issue. So let me go through this very, very carefully, point by point so that we don’t lose any details because that could be devastating!
– if you first spike blood sugar after your meal, and then you go low, that means that you took too much insulin. It was also too late, hence the spike first and then the drop. So, play around with that, maybe you need to dose a little bit less, or maybe you need to do the same dose but earlier.? So that can be one of the clues if that is your problem, which it was in the question.
– if you go low within the first hour, the amount of insulin you took was just too early because it hit your system before the food hit the system. So be careful and dose a little bit later.
– if your blood sugar goes high and remains high after food, your bolus or the amount of insulin that you took was just simply too small. You need more bolus for that particular food or that particular situation or that particular anything-that-you-know influences blood sugar (which we all know is about a gazillion things).
– Number four, which was also part of Rachel’s question, you go low two to three hours after food, that means that the bolus was too late. And definitely too much because your blood sugar dropped afterwards.

Those are the four different scenarios that I can figure out that may help. I shared this in a wonderful infographic from the beautiful ladies at diverge.com recently on my Facebook page, and it’s also above here in this post.

If you’re not recognising the patterns that you’re that you have. If you notice, for example, when you have certain foods, does the one or the other happen? If you have different timings of insulin, of course, this or the other happen? Or perhaps something completely new? Or, for example, if it’s the time of day – some people are more insulin resistant in the mornings than they are in the afternoons! So it can also be a timing issue, not just because of the insulin and when you took insulin and how much, but it can also be, depending on how or what time of day it is, because it just doesn’t always add up. It’s not always the same for people and especially not Type 1’s that are handling a lot of things at once.

I’m very, very happy to hear your experiences with mealtime bolus? Do you have any problems? How did you solve them? Have you maybe not solved them yet? Let me know in a comment below and I’ll be so happy to chat with you there.

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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!

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Type 1 Thursday – Self love & Diabetes?

Diabetes & self love – why is it necessary? 🤔And why is it so crucial to find your way of showing yourself self love?

We’re going deeper than the ordinary advice when it comes to diabetes (“Medication, food & movement” 🙄) , this is more about the mental aspects of living with a chronic illness, such as diabetes. The mental aspect that no health care professional has ever talked to me about in my 34 year long experience with Type 1 Diabetes. But that is oh-so important and can make a world of difference to your management!

It’s time for Type 1 Thursday!

Self love & diabetes, is it necessary? – Hanna Boëthius

How do you show yourself some extra love when it’s needed? Let me know!

Transcription

Prefer to read this information about self love and diabetes? No problem, I’ve got a text version for you right here:

I cannot wait to discuss today’s topic, which is maybe a bit more on the “fluffy” side, rather than, you know, what health care tells you, which is, “medication and nutrition and movement – that’s all that matters in diabetes care”.

No, no, it’s not. As we’ve seen, during the past few couple weeks, I have gone through quite a lot of interesting topics (if I can say so myself!) with you guys, and this is yet another one! This is about diabetes and self love. Why is self love is so important when it comes to diabetes? I will first go through what self love is, because the idea of it is kind of fluffy on its own, I will go through how to show yourself a little bit more self love. It’s maybe not as difficult, or as easy, as you think it may be. And then I will also go through why it’s especially important in diabetes, to take good care of yourself in the form of self love.

What is self love?

So let’s get right to it, and start with what self love actually is? Self love is, to me, the same as self respect, self improvement, self compassion, that you feel compassionate towards yourself. It’s self acceptance, and remember acceptance – it will come up a couple of times in this piece, so bear that in mind. Self love is integral to your well being, because it just makes sense to make yourself feel better than you would feel otherwise. But it’s not just about feeling good, it’s also about making the right decisions for you as an individual, whether you are diabetic, whether you are not diabetic, whether you are struggling with a health issue, whether you are not, it doesn’t matter. It’s about making the right choices for you. And these can, of course, differ as I so often say in my videos, be very individual. So don’t just take model from someone else who’s doing something, and calling it self love. You have to figure out what works the best for you. And this also comes down to that you have clear values for you, and that you accept your weaknesses, as well as your strength (there was that word again!)

How can you show yourself self love?

So how can you show yourself a little bit more self love? Well, let’s get all cosy up in here, on this episode of Type 1 Thursday! For example, you can find your happy place. Where do you feel good, what is a good place for you to be in, whether mentally or physically, whether actually spatially. What would be a good place for you to be at? For me, it somehow often involves a beach and some sunshine… Make sure that you know what places work the best for you.

In order to raise yourself love game a little bit, do something you’re good at! It’s not even that out of this world, just do something you are good at, whether that’s knitting or writing a story or and maybe that’s growing a plant – it could be anything that you’re good at. (Maybe you should choose something that has more immediate results, maybe leave the plant thing for another time?) Do something that you’re good at, because that really raises your self love feelings.

Practice mindfulness. Whether that is in the form of a meditation practice or some other form, it really helps to put things into perspective, and makes you see the positive things a little bit more, well, positively.

Decide whether you’re going to act on what you need, or what you want. What you need is often more permanent, and what you want in that instant, can actually just be very, very temporary. Make sure that you always go and make choices for what you need, rather than for what you want in that moment, because that can lead you astray.

Make sure that your self care game is levelled up! That means eating the right nutrition for you, for example, it means moving your body, it means sleeping properly, making sure they have the right sleep hygiene, as they say so nicely, and make sure that you have social connections. Make sure that you are working with people that you enjoy being around, and that you have people around you that you can turn to. This is the whole point of the series that I’ve been making recently and Type 1 Thursda, it’s been a lot about self care and how to improve it.

When it comes to people, do set boundaries! Set boundaries for things and people. For example, if you notice that you’re not feeling uplifted after talking to person, or being with the person, or even thinking about a person, then maybe they are an energy thief and maybe they need to get out of your life for a while? It’s the same with things like workplaces, offices, make sure that you set boundaries. And even on social media, do set boundaries, about when you answer messages, so that you make sure that you are appreciating yourself and respecting yourself.

A real biggie is forgiving yourself. You know what? You’re not perfect, but you know what? It’s completely OK not to be perfect! No one is perfect. No one’s ever going to be perfect. No one’s gonna be that one perfect person. So let it go. And make sure that you understand that it is completely fine. Forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you never will be. Okay?

Live by design. This means your design, not my design, not that person’s or another one’s. Make sure that you know what you want from your life! This goes back to boundaries, it goes back to self respect, it goes back to self improvement, compassion, acceptance… What are the things that you want to achieve in your life? It’s not going to be the same as for me, and that’s fantastic! Go for it, as long as it is by your design.

When you start something like this, it can be really good to check in at in the beginning. Where are you now? Mentally, physically? Where are you in terms of self love? That’s how you know what you’ve got to be working with!

Self love & Diabetes?

Why is this particularly important for diabetes and living with diabetes? Well, we know we all know that we are more than people with diabetes. And and we also know that it’s a mentally frickin’ difficult illness to live with. It’s incredibly difficult to live with it, especially if you have no idea what your blood sugar is going to do next, for example. That’s really where the self love, self compassion and self acceptance comes in! The whole thing is that you have to take excellent care of you, because no one else will. You see your doctor seven minutes a couple of times a year? What are they going to do? Nothing. Who’s going to take care of you between those doctor’s visits? Yeah, that’s you. Don’t look to other people to take care of you, because you’re the only one who can actually do that.

When it comes to diabetes, no matter what the number, whether that is cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose levels or HbA1c – it doesn’t matter. You are enough! I have problems realising this myself sometimes, but you really are enough and you don’t have to do anything more than you’re already doing. You work your best and I know you’re working really hard, so please just show yourself one love and make sure that you know that you are enough!

You can also turn it around and look at the positive sides of diabetes. I know some of you out there right now, thinking “there’s nothing good with diabetes and it’s all shit”. It’s actually not! NEWSFLASH – it’s not all shit living with diabetes! it’s actually quite cool, because you get stronger than most other people, you have more courage, you are more resilient, you are more independent. You have all this amazing knowledge about health that not very many other people have, how cool is that? It’s actually a kind of a blessing in disguise to live with diabetes, if you think about it. It’s not just all negative and all shit, I promise, it’s it’s actually it has a lot of positive points as well.

The main point when it comes to self love and diabetes is acceptance. accepting yourself, accepting diabetes as a part of you, that is a huge topic in self love for diabetes. And it really just means that if you fight against the diabetes, you, first of all, know that it’s going to come back and bite you somewhere it hurts quite quickly. Secondly, you’re not going to get anywhere by fighting it! Your ultimate goal, my ultimate goal, everyone who lives with diabetes’ ultimate goal is to befriend diabetes. I know some of you are shaking your heads and probably closing your phones and laptops right now, but it is to befriend diabetes and work with it and not against it.

So now I want to hear from you, how do you show yourself some extra love when it’s needed? Let me know in a comment, and I’ll be so happy to talk with you there.

Ps. Want to learn more about this? Join me in Mallorca in November 2019 for The Low Carb Universe! I’ll be speaking on mindset and diabetes!