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Barndiabetesfonden

The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation, Barndiabetesfonden, celebrates its 30th anniversary! 💙

There is still so much work to be done when it comes to #T1D, from awareness and advocacy to realizing the importance of individuality in management. And, most important of all – finding a cure.🌟

#BlåKnuten , the Blue knot, is a symbol for this awareness. 900 people, just in Sweden 🇸🇪, are diagnosed yearly with Type 1. And a cure is yet, sadly, very far off from becoming reality.

We need more research. We need a cure. Until then, we’re not waiting. 💪🏼💙🎀 ✨

Ps. Post originally posted on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert. Follow me there!

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Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements

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

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

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

Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements – Hanna Boëthius

What supplements do you take, if any? Why?

Transcription

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

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

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

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

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

Chromium Supplement

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

Magnesium Supplement

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

Vitamin D3 Supplement

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

Zinc Supplement

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

Omega 3 Supplement

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

CBD Oil Supplement

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

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

Berberine Supplement

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

Alph-Lipoic Acid Supplement

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

Probiotic Supplement

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

Thyroid Supplements?

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

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

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

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Inspire – don’t judge!

“You give other people with diabetes bad conscience!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post originally published on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert

Type 1 Thursday – Medication

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

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

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

Type 1 Thursday – Medication – Hanna Boëthius

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

Transcription

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Movement?

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

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

Why Movement? – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

How do you move your body?

Transcription

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

Bunmi Laditan

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

What are you grateful for today? 🌟

(Post originally posted on my Instagram account – @hannadiabetesexpert

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Type 1 Thursday – Stress & Blood Sugar?

What does STRESS have to do with your diabetes management?

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

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

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

Stress & Blood Sugar – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relaxation cannot coexist with stress

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

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

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

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Real Food?

Real food is actual food, food that comes from nature and is not refined, made in a factory or tampered with by humans. And no matter of what way you choose to eat, be it keto, paleo, vegan or otherwise, we can all agree that real food is what is the best for our bodies, health and blood sugars.

But why is eating real food so important? And especially so if you live with diabetes? In this week’s episode, I outline a few quick points. Watch the video, or read the transcription below, and let me know your thoughts!

Ps. If you do like the concept of eating real foods, why don’t you join me and an amazing group of people at The Low Carb Universe 2019 in Mallorca, Spain in November? Incredible international health experts, amazing views, movement, joy AND 100% real food! You can book your ticket here!

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius – Why Real Food?

Do you eat mostly real foods?

Transcription

If you prefer to read to learn, below is a text version of the video about real food above. You can also read why low carb is a great option for Type 1 Diabetics here!

Why Real Food?

Today I have quite an exciting topic, if you ask me, because my background is within nutrition. My topic for you today is the importance of eating real food.

I am so happy to hear your comments and ideas and thoughts about this topic or any other topic, actually, I’m easy that way! Jot them down in a comment below and I will be happy to chat with you there anyway, about real food.

If you ask me, that is the only topic where we can actually agree on, no matter what kind of diet we choose to follow or eat. I don’t really like the word diet, but I choose to use it anyway, as it’s normally the one used. The thing is, whether you are keto, paleo or vegan, or, well, maybe not the Standard Western Diet, actually, because the importance of real food may not be so, so big there. In any other diet that you may or may not be following, I think real food is the one thing that we can agree upon, that it is very good for us.

What I define as real foods is foods that don’t have a label. Real foods actually comes from nature, which is quite rare, if you think about the standard Western diet. It is foods like meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, and all these things that actually come from nature and from the earth and not through a factory, or from a factory or has been tampered with too much with by human beings. They’re just as clean and natural and real as possible. That’s my definition of real food, so that we’re all on the same page throughout this discussion.

The main point of this is that real food has no additives. What additives often do, is that they mess with your blood sugar. For example, maltitol is a classic example of this! It is a sugar substitute that still affects your blood sugar. Don’t be fooled and eat that, although it’s supposed to be great and “diabetic friendly”, can be labelled whatever you want to be labelled with whatever health claim. They still include things that are really not good for your blood sugar and really not good for your health. In effect, you’re not doing yourself any favours by buying these “health foods”. No additives, so that they can’t mess with your blood sugar, in this case, if you are diabetic, or live with a blood sugar problem.

If you are going to venture into that kind of a sphere with pre-made foods, I have as a rule of thumb for you. The food item can include five ingredients, and those five ingredients all have to be recognisable to me, I need to know what they are, without googling, because that’s cheating. Then, if I approve all of those ingredients, then yes, absolutely, I will buy it and consume it and enjoy it. But if that is not the case, it will most likely go back on the shelf! “I see it, I love it, I want it, I checked the carb count, put it back”, is pretty much like going to the grocery store with me. My poor husband, I mean, seriously… Anyway, 5 ingredients that are recognisable otherwise, to me, it is not worth the gamble of a possible really high blood sugar or a possible low blood sugar, because I’ve overdosed insulin. It’s just not worth the hassle for me.

What are the top my top three “watch out” ingredients for additives in food?

If you do live in the States, or a similar kind of an environment, high fructose corn syrup. Just stay away, that can really mess up so many metabolic markers within you, so much of your metabolic health can be ruined, because of the consumption of high fructose corn syrup. It’s just so highly refined and so highly tampered with that it’s not really worth it to consume in my opinion. It’s no longer food, it is just factory made.

Number two, trans fats, man made oils, trans fats, are really not good for you. They add a lot of unnecessary strain on your body and your metabolism (that you can just actually fix with eating real food). Adding real fat such as butter, avocado, olive oil, things that are actually not man made, but is made by nature, is a lot better for you than highly refined and processed fats.

Number three, and this can be a tricky one, I do admit it. So bear with me before you slam down the lid of your laptop or turn off your phone, but it’s artificial sweeteners. And with that I really mean the artificial sweeteners, the ones that have been made in a factory. Maybe stevia is fine for you, if you enjoy the the flavour of it. And monkfruit can also be fine. Erythritol to a certain extent, absolutely. But things like aspartame and things that we don’t really know what it’s doing with our bodies yet. It’s definitely not natural in any way or form, and that I would be careful with. I remember growing up, this was a huge thing, as long as there were artificial sweeteners, then, hey, this product is a go! I was raised in the 80s and 90s, when it was still a little bit more controlled what people with diabetes should be eating. I had to eat a lot of terribly sweetened things. It’s been shown in studies since that for example, fructose, which we thought back then was the holy grail for diabetics, can actually clog up your liver, so that it can’t do its job properly. Then your whole metabolism might be damaged.

There’s a lot to be said about this stuff, of course! These three things impact your gut health, they can have an impact on anxiety levels, they can, as I said, clog up your liver, so that can do its job properly. And other things like your skin and other things that are really important for us to work properly. These additives can make an impact on our health, and that’s not very good, is it?

I do want to sort of give a special warning, I did touch upon it a little bit at the beginning of this. For example, “keto foods” some of them or “vegan food” or whatever it’s labelled, heart healthy, don’t even touch this stuff is not healthy for you at all. Don’t trust the labelling on the box! Look at the ingredients, does it have five ingredients? Do you recognise them? Buy it, if you think you’re going to enjoy it, if it doesn’t, maybe you should rather leave it alone? “Foods”, such as salad sauces, sauces, spice mixes, soups, ready made things that you don’t think will have an impact can actually contain a bucket load of sugar and will impact your blood sugar. Stay with the real food is my opinion! It’s better for us, it’s healthier for us, and we’re going to feel a lot better.

If you’re just starting out from, for example, a standard Western diet, to going to more into the real food way of eating, then I really suggest you adopt the 80/20 rule, so that 80% of the time, on work days, you eat real food, and on the weekends, you can still have a bit of what you still think is fun.

I would love to hear from you. Do you eat mostly real foods? Let’s talk in the comments below and I can’t wait to see you next time.

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Type 1 Thursday – Period & Blood Sugar?

Type 1 Thursday is back!

This one is for the ladies – managing blood sugar before and during your period, HOW?! 🥵

I was asked on Instagram about how I handle my blood sugar during my cycle, and I wanted to share my four best tips on what to do. It can certainly be tricky and requires extensive trial and error in order to find what works for you, but it’s definitely worth it.

Watch the recording of my Facebook live session here:

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius – Period & Blood Sugar?

How do you manage? Share in a comment!

Transcription

If you prefer to read about period and blood sugars, here’s a transcribed version of the video above.

Welcome to the return of Type 1 Thursday! Type 1 Thursday has been enjoying a beautiful summer break. But we are now back and more than happy to share thoughts, concerns and everything else regarding Type 1 Diabetes, and blood sugar management, food, nutrition, all of these things that really bother us in our everyday life.

I am Hanna Boëthius, the founder of Hanna Diabetes Expert. I am also a Type 1 diabetic since 34 years, I was diagnosed in 1985. And I have a fantastic topic for you today! This one is for the ladies, so if any guys are watching, please, you’re welcome to stay. But it’s going to get a lot with female hormones and so on. If you’re interested, please tag along. If not, I completely understand if you choose to maybe not stay around for it this particular episode.

Today we are talking about how to control blood sugar, before your period during your period, as that can be really difficult especially when you do live with Type 1 Diabetes. It’s not just one hormone that is fluctuating at same time, and remember that you don’t even produce one of the key hormones. That’s why maybe don’t have as easy of a time as other ladies have.

Fluctuating hormones ahead of your period will, in most cases give you a very bumpy ride when it comes to your blood sugar. Our blood sugar is impacted by everything, not just insulin, movement and nutrition, those things that are commonly known as influencers of blood sugar. Beautiful hormones such as estrogen and progesterone definitely have a big impact on what happens to your blood sugar’s during, or ahead of that time of the month.

Estrogen and progesterone are the two biggest female hormones and are made in the ovaries, which is a really important thing for our bodies to do. It’s a natural thing that should be there and we shouldn’t suppress them, like some may suggest. They essentially prepare the uterus for the upcoming pregnancy, and if it doesn’t happen, that’s when you have your period. That is the whole point of those two hormones. So PMS or PMD, or whatever you want to call it, is all about the changes in hormone levels. That’s why you sometimes feel cranky, sometimes you want to cry about it, sometimes you are really hungry, and sometimes you crave weird foods that you didn’t have any clue that you were even eating anymore.

A lot of things can happen when your hormones are at play. This is also what causes the erratic blood sugars ahead of your period. Female hormones can also call cause insulin resistance, which is why we get fluctuating blood sugars. The body doesn’t react to the insulin like it should, because it’s impacted by the other hormones.

What can you do to make this better, to improve this for yourself? And what are the tips and tricks that maybe you can can do to to help your time of month get a little bit easier?

(I’m of course super happy to hear your experiences. Please share those with me in a comment somewhere on the internet, and I will continue the discussion with you there.)

Before I start the what’s and the how’s, remember that very often, in very many cases, insulin sensitivity returns on day one, or two of your period. Be careful and do not push too hard on the insulin dosing.

Number one of what you can do is to track. Track your cycle, when you have what symptoms and also track your blood sugar. There are beautiful apps for this! If you know of an app that combines period tracking or cycle tracking with your blood sugar, please let me know because I’m looking for one of those myself. What you do is to look at the trends from both of these trackings, and compare them and see where and when when you can expect to see the pattern of insulin resistance increasing. Then you know exactly on which day, at which point of time in your cycle, you have to start reacting. This can be done by on paper, as well. But I like to keep as much as I can digitalized, I would prefer to have an app to track both of these at the same time.

In terms of tracking, this is where a CGM really, really does pay off. You can see exactly when the blood sugar went up, and not have to wait for the finger prick to show you. CGM is the movie of your blood sugar, and the finger pricks are the photographs you take every once in a while. You simply get a more complete overall picture. I recommend every single Type 1 diabetic, who has the possibility, to get a CGM of some kind, so that you have a better overview of what’s going on in your body. We’re all individuals and all react differently.

Number 2, this goes hand in hand with the tracking – find out how insulin resistant you become so that you can change your insulin dosages in time. Or even before even the blood sugar starts going up. You can change your basal dose if that’s what’s needs tweaking and tracking during that time, or bolus, or maybe both need to be increased a little bit in the week or days before your period? Some women also experience a few days of insulin resistance when they ovulate in the middle of their cycle, but not everyone. And so that’s also a good reason for tracking, so that you can find out how much more insulin you need.

Number 3 is be ahead of the curve. Make sure that you do find the patterns through your tracking, so that you know what is happening when, to empower you to act before anything really happens at all. You have to go through how much you should increase your doses when you become insulin resistance ahead of your period with your healthcare professionals. Or if you feel comfortable doing it alone, then you know what, that’s fine. I suggest that you talk to health care professional, like your doctor, your CDE or nurse, who can help you figure this out and how to play with the dosages if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

Number 4, I know it’s difficult in many cases, but keep to your healthy lifestyle. Try to keep to your nutritious and nutrient dense foods that you’re eating, make sure that you move your body (that also helps the cramping), make sure that you de-stress because this is an additional stress on the body (which could also cause insulin resistance and your blood sugar’s to be wonky).Make sure that you have the supplements that you need, for example Magnesium can be really good for relieving cramps and also for de-stressing. Hydrate properly.

The reason why I chose this topic today is because I was asked on Instagram how I handle it in my own case. I have to say that I used to have huge problems with insulin resistance ahead of my cycle a couple years ago. My blood sugars would be up in the 200’s mg/dl, or 10-11 mmol/l, without me doing anything differently. I tried to handle it with these tips and tricks that I’ve just given you, I tried to work with insulin dosages, tried to work with all these tools that I have in my toolkit. Frankly, it was a hit and miss. I didn’t really know if I was going to be successful, if I increased the dose too early so that I would go low, for example. It was really difficult. But actually, and I know this sounds stupid, but the longer that I have stayed low carb and keto and not have eaten that much sugar, the more my hormones have, all together, regulated so that I don’t really have a problem today at all. Maybe it could be an age thing, as well. I’m older now, and I have a different body than I did a couple years ago. I really believe strongly that eating healthy, nutritious food can really help regulate your hormones, even the female hormones. Today I maybe notice a day ahead of my cycle that “oh something is off, I’m a little bit insulin resistant today”, followed by “oh yeah, of course”.

What are your experiences wit hormonal fluctuations and blood sugar? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to chat with you there.

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Type 1 Thursday – Injections vs Insulin Pump?

Today’s topic is MDI (multiple daily injections) vs insulin pump – which is better?

This comes after a question I got on an Instagram post, where I was asked if it’s necessary to use a pump as a Type 1 Diabetic?

My short answer is DEFINITELY NO! If you achieve great results and reach your goals, it doesn’t matter what kind of insulin delivery system you use. The main point is that you have normal, healthy, happy blood sugars.

Watch the video (or read the transcription below, if that’s more your thing) to find out my pros and cons of MDI and insulin pumps.

I want this to be a conversation starter, so why don’t you let me know YOUR pros and cons in a comment below? And, what do you use to deliver insulin? Let me know!

Transcription

The age old question for most people living with insulin dependent diabetes, is the question I recently got on my Instagram post.

The question was about whether it is necessary to use an insulin pump, or if multiple daily injections, either though a pen or syringe is better for diabetic?

This is very difficult to answer straight off the bat, because this is a highly individual topic. In my opinion, the short answer is that it doesn’t really matter what you use to deliver the insulin, that you do need as a Type 1 Diabetic, as long as you do. If your diabetes is well managed with maybe a completely crazy version of either MDI or insulin pump or whatever, then hey, that’s fantastic. You found what works for you, and that is great.

Today, I wanted to have a conversation starter with you, which we can happily continue in the comments below. I wanted to outline my pros and cons for both MDI, which is multiple daily injections, you deliver your insulin by injecting yourself every so often with both basal and bolus insolence. And also pros and cons for the insulin pump that I’ve noticed for the past couple of years. Maybe this can help you make up your mind, maybe there you find out something that you want to try, and if you do, please let me know in a comment.

My own story in regards to my insulin delivery method has been a little bit jumpy. Well, I was actually flat out refusing to have an insulin pump for so many years. I had had diabetes for 27 years before I finally agreed with my diabetes nurse that now I was ready to try. And this despite health care professionals suggesting an insulin pump to me, for the majority of my upbringing, (well, maybe not in the 80s. They weren’t super common back then.) since they have become more common, they have been suggest to me every once in a while, and I’ve always refused. Because, and this was the biggest con for me the insulin pump back then, was that there’s something always attached to me. I was afraid that I would feel sicker than I have to be. And I was afraid that I’d be constantly reminded of that I am maybe not as chronically healthy as I would like myself to be or as other people may be. (I am, however, chronically awesome!)

So I was very, very hesitant and very afraid of getting myself my first insulin pump. I opted for a tubeless patch pump, which then changed into a tubed pump, about one and a half years ago, I took the step towards a tubed pump for a variety of reasons, which we can happily discuss, and maybe a little bit later. I’ve done multiple daily injections for a lot longer than I have lived with an insulin pump constantly attached to my body.

I wanted to outline few pros and cons of them each.

So let’s start with MDI, as that’s where I actually have most of my personal experience. I want to start with the pros. This is a biggie for me, and for very many other people who live with diabetes, the freedom factor you have with multiple daily injections. You don’t have anything attached to your body, unless you’re wearing a CGM, but they are a lot smaller and maybe you don’t want two things connected to your body at all times.

Hand with this goes also that it makes the illness more invisible. Because you don’t have a pager looking thing stuck to your hip or your clothes somewhere. It becomes a very much more visible illness to live with, with an insulin pump.

If you do multiple daily injections, you can also take a lot more different types of insulin, because different insulins act in differently during different times. For example, as Dr. Bernstein always recommends, is that you take regular insulin, or R insulin, to cover protein, and the protein spike that comes a few hours after you eat a lot of protein. This is easier to do if you are on MDI then having to remember to also have another shot when you’re on an insulin pump. You can also then take fast acting insulin, to which you have to correct high blood sugar or for covering for carbs. Finally, you can choose which long acting insulin that you combine this with in a way more flexible way. When it comes to types of insulin that you take, you can find a routine and a regime that works for you. And for your diabetes, to manage it properly.

MDI can also be seen as being a bit simpler, you take an injection and you’re done. Instead of having to care about every time you remove a piece of clothing or something that the tubing gets stuck or you snag the the infusion set… If you get the benefits and reach your goals with MDI, then why not stay with that?

I think it can also be argued that MDI is cheaper than being on the pump. With the pump comes very many things that you have to pay for, such as rent of the pump, for example. I have to pay rent every month for having my pump. All the supplies for it also cost a lot. It’s not just the insulin that costs! With MDI, either you use syringes that are reasonably cheap, or you have insulin pens that most people with diabetes actually get for free.

Also, from a very, from very superficial point of view, because sometimes you need to be that, too. On MDI, you can wear anything, and you won’t see any devices poking or sticking out, or being in the way, or there’s a seam or there’s something that is just obstructing either the pump or the tubing. With MDI, you are freer in that way too.

I would conclude that with the main point of the pros of MDI is freedom.

The cons of MDI! I find it in hindsight, it is quite inconvenient to be on MDI for myself. I can only speak for myself here! But every time I had to correct, every time it’s time for the the basal shot, I had to pull up my shirt, or pull down my pants… For me, it became quite inconvenient, because I had to inject myself about 10 times a day, before I swapped to the pump. That was a big sales argument for me, to be honest, not having to pierce myself with a needle 10 times a day, only do it once every three days, that sounded like heaven! That’s why I went for it, actually. You also have to remember to take your basal insulin at the right time. It became a huge effort for me to try to remember when and how and how much, which dose at this time of day…

What else I see as a con for MDI, in my opinion, is that you have a lot more to carry along with you when you leave the house. An insulin pump is always on you. So that’s it for the insulin thing. Then you need a blood sugar meter, maybe some glucose tabs and that’s fine. That’s a lot easier to carry then two types of pens and the pen needles and blah, blah, blah, for me it becomes a lot more carrying along. That being said, for most people is not a problem.

Another, slightly inconvenient part of MDI, is that you have to expose body parts. Usually this is not a problem at all, whether you’re female, male, whatever. But – imagine what is it really, really cold, and you have to like take up your shirt, and you feel that icy wind against your skin. Then you also have to inject yourself. I don’t miss that at all. I really do enjoy the fact that for example, if I am out and about around town or something, I can just take up my insulin pump, I can look like I’m texting (or whatever ignorant people choose to believe). That’s how easily I’ve saved my life with more insulin if that’s what I need, or turned down the basal if that’s what I need. But it becomes a little bit inconvenient for me to expose body parts here and there, especially when I’m out and about.

The importance of rotating sites becomes very, very big on MDI, because we all have those favorite spots that we like to inject ourselves in. And that’s fine. But you do have to rotate your sites! I noticed for myself, that it is a lot easier for me to rotate pump sites than it was to rotate injection sites. It even got so bad that no one could touch my upper thighs for a while because I had just injected so much long acting insulin into them.

For the MDI cons, in conclusion, inconvenient to me.

Let’s move over to the pros of the insulin pump. So the absolute highlight for being on an insulin pump for me is that it is very, very flexible. I can be very flexible with my basal rate, for example. If I notice that I’m trending upwards, I can change it, I can add on a bit of temporary basal to see if that’s the problem. And also with the bolus, you have the different bolus profiles. Instead of, as I was talking about in MDI, you can use different insulins for this, you use the same insulin the whole time, just in different profiles, so to speak. For me, it’s a lot easier to just remember that I have one tool to work with and I can do different things with this same one thing.

My second favorite pump benefit, it is micro-bolusing. I can take bolus’ in the size of 0.1 unit, for example. If I really want to, I can do a 0.05 bolus on some pumps, making it much more precise. This is not possible on MDI, because there you have the minimum is half a unit. So it depends a little bit on how tight you want to steer your diabetes ship. I really like the fact that I can really micro manage my blood sugars, to a certain extent, not overly so of course, because that becomes ridiculous on all other levels. But it is very nice that I can do a micro bolus every now and then. When I see the CGM trending up, I’m like, oh, let’s try with 0.X units and see if it comes a little bit down. If not, then I have to redo and recalculate. But it is a good check for me to see what’s wrong.

As I mentioned before, it is very easy to handle when you are on the go. You can even take care of your health and blood sugar during a business meeting (I have done that many times before), and when you’re out with friends, if you are in a busy street. Or imagine, for example, it’s rush hour at the farmers market and you feel or you get a notification for your CGM that your blood sugar is a little bit high, you would like to correct but you can’t really find a quiet corner. With an insulin pump, it’s a lot easier because you just click a few buttons and you’re done. You’ve taken care of the situation and you can move on with your day.

To a certain extent, I also find that it’s more efficient for me to treat and manage my diabetes with an insulin pump. I don’t use nearly half of the insulin as I do before. I also don’t spend as much time managing my diabetes as I did with MDI. Also, of course, if you are a data nerd, you have a lot of data to take care of and see and have insights and analyze and see trends. And the ever so important tech integration, more and more pumps now do integrate with a CGM, so that you can get both things at in the same device. And also, the looping possibilities that are coming up now that are very, very exciting to everyone who lives with diabetes.

The cons of insulin pumps (yes, yes, they are. There are cons with these ones too, it’s not all just roses and happy flower dances.)

I already mentioned one of them, which is that this is something that you always have attached to your body. And that can be very draining, both emotionally and physically and mentally, for some. It’s not always easy to always be connected in that way.

The tubing does, if you have a tubed pump, get caught on stuff like door handles, and other things, clothing, everything. It’s not really the most maybe smooth thing in the world to live with, you do have to watch out and make sure that your tubing is inside of your clothing, preferably, so that you don’t snag it somewhere.

I find that using an insulin pump produces a lot more trash than MDI. I’m not really happy about that, but as it is a lot easier for me to manage my diabetes with the help of an insulin pump, I keep with it, and I hope that the insulin pump provider companies will at some point really reconsider their recycling policies, so that you can maybe even send that stuff back so that they can take care of it. And not to mention Dexcom, please get your act together! But that’s another video. 😉

One problem with insulin pumps is that if it for some reason, malfunctions, and that can be the site malfunctions, the battery runs out, or the insulin goes bad or the machine get some sort of hiccup. If it somehow malfunctions, you don’t get any insulin at all and that can become dangerous quite quickly. That is one of the bigger cons for an insulin pump.

For me, airport security, or generally when you travel, insulin pumps can sometimes get a little bit interesting. They will want to swipe them for explosives. For certain airports, I do have to take more time into consideration when I travel through there because they just don’t know really what it is yet. It is unfortunately becoming more and more common, meaning it is less of a problem. But sometimes I could happily maybe be on MDI for a trip!

What do you have to add in terms of pros and cons for MDI and pros and cons for insulin pump? What do you use it to deliver insulin?

Please let me know in a comment below. I will be happy to chat with you there.