Posts

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Diabetes & Discrimination?

I’m sure you (too) have a story about discrimination against you because you had diabetes?

On today’s #type1thursday, I want to hear your stories!

What brought this on was a very unfortunate ad by the police in Hamburg, Germany, where they appealed to people to call the police of they saw someone injecting themselves. With the headline “Insulin or Heroin?” Wow. Ouch! (see the image below!)

I share a few instances of my own experience with diabetes & discrimination, perhaps you can relate to some of them, too?

Diabetes & Discrimination? – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

This is the image that my friend Steffi from Pep Me Up Diabetes Blog shared on her Instagram. (Steffi also has some awesome tools to Pep Up your diabetes, check it out here!)

Diabetes & Discrimination by the Hamburg Police
Not-thought-through ad from the Hamburg Police… from @pepmeup.diabetesblog on Instagram

👉🏼 What are your stories about diabetes and discrimination? And how can/should we react to it? Let’s chat! 👈🏼

Disclaimer

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

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“Why are you so harsh on yourself?” 😳

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

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

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

Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

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

Disclaimer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer

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

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“What do you eat in a day, Hanna?”

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer

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

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Live Q&A with Hanna

You have been asking me to do a Live Q&A on my Instagram Stories! And now I made it a reality.

Find out my answers to your questions on this weeks #type1thursday !

I’ll happily answer most and any questions about diabetes, lock down, blood sugars, tools, tips & tricks, me – anything you want to know or have my opinion on! 😃

Live Q&A with Hanna Boëthius on Type 1 Thursday

Q&A

You’ll find out my answers to these questions:

🌟 Do you find your diet restrictive?
🌟 What insulins have you had since diagnosis?
🌟 How well do you think you manage your diabetes?
🌟 What is the hardest part of being diabetic? The best part?
🌟 Does your diabetes cause you any other problems?
🌟 What would you like a non-diabetic to know about having diabetes?
🌟 What would you tell someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
🌟 Who do you get support from? Who treats you?
🌟 Have you got any tips for keeping teens interested in their care?
🌟 Were you low carb in your teens?
🌟 When and why did you start coming back to caring better for yourself after dodgy teens?
🌟 How do you bolus for protein/fat?
🌟 Would you recommend low carb to T1D kids?
🌟 Are you using a slower insulin than Novorapid for protein and fat?
🌟 Do you eat a lot of snacks and what would they be?

Do you have any questions for me? Let me know!

Disclaimer

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

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Double Diabetes, Double The Fun? 😳

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

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

Double Diabetes – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

What is Double Diabetes?

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

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

Are there any solutions to Double Diabetes?

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

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

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

Disclaimer

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

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The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit

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

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

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

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

The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit – Hanna Boëthius

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

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

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

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

Transcription

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

Coming soon!

Disclaimer

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

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My Food Log Experiment (Patterns revealed!)

Do you ever keep a food log? 🤔 As you may know, if you’ve seen it on my Instagram I’ve been doing an experiment on myself with exactly that this week.

Having had to do so many, many times since my T1D diagnosis 35 years ago (including during my nutrition training…), the result is that I absolutely can’t stand it. It’s fiddly, too many numbers and honestly, I don’t even care about them (anymore).

Despite this, I decided to check that I’m eating enough, if I eat consistently and how/if my blood sugar and insulin requirements would change with changes in kcal (etc) intake. Normally, I care as little about kcal as I do about ketones, i.e. not at all. Counting calories doesn’t work, food is nutrition, which is information that the body uses.

BUT – I do believe in eating when I’m hungry/my body needs fuel, which ends up being two meals a day for me. I also believe in eating real foods from nature and minimally processed. And I believe natural fat is good for us (yes, also saturated fat). Throughout this week, I found a few patterns:

🌟 I ate somewhere between 1100-2000 kcal/day. My basal metabolic rate is around 1300 kcal. I had a few comments that that would be too little as an intake, but if you see me I’m not exactly skin and bones. I’m also a big believer in nutrition density, and I think my kcal contain more nutrition.

🌟 I seem to intuitively vary the amount of kcal according to what my body needs and tells me. LISTEN 👏 TO 👏 YOUR 👏 BODY! It’s natural that the level of hunger varies, and as long as I’m happy, full, satisfied and well nourished, I trust my body to eat what I/she needs. For example, I seem to be eating slightly less on my more active days. And I’m ok with that.

🌟 I bolus for my meals (this I already knew, of course). As bolus strategies are very individual, I didn’t see the point in announcing doses. Throughout this experiment, I’ve used a total daily dose of 17-21 units/day, with a 85% basal, 15% bolus split, just like I usually do. My blood sugars have been fantastic, too!

How do you feel about logging food? A fun experiment or personal torture? 🤔 Discuss!

Food Log Experiment (Patterns Revealed!) – Hanna Boëthius

As a reminder, to yourself or someone you know needs to hear/see it, this is my main point:

Food Log – Hanna Diabetes Expert

Transcription

Would you prefer to read more about my food log experiment? Here’s a written version:

My Food Log Experiment

I have done something different this week. And I’m excited to tell you about it. I will tell you what I did, how I did it (well, that’s pretty straightforward)! But I will also reveal all the patterns that I found doing this little experiment.

As you may have seen, I have been logging my food, again for the umpteenth time in the history of my diabetes career, which has become quite long by this point, despite me only being 25 and I cannot see how that works?! 😉 But as you may have seen on Instagram, I have been logging my food again. I want to know from you, while I keep yapping on here, how about you tell me in a comment somewhere whether you are pro or contra logging food? I am very much against logging food – I really frickin loathe it, like I hate logging food. I hate it so much and this comes from my diagnosis having to do it well, I didn’t have to do it my but my parents had to do it for my diagnosis about 35 years ago this year. And also I’ve had to do it so many times since and especially when I’ve been struggling with diabetes, and it was really shit everywhere. And I yes, also of course, when I became a nutrition professional, I had to log a lot have food and I really, really don’t like it. So that’s, you know, my bias.

Despite this, I decided to do it now anyway, because I do think it’s good to sometimes check where I’m at in terms of how much I’m eating and all this stuff. I have to be honest and say that I really don’t care about calories, I really don’t care about macros, I really don’t care about the percentages here and energy percentages there. I don’t care about ketones at all, unless I’m sick, and ruling it out as a cause. I just focus on minimising the carbs because that’s what works for me. I know you’re a lot of people out there where this doesn’t work for or you don’t agree with it. But let’s just assume that we can be individual in our care and that different things fit different people. So yes, I really think it is a good idea sometimes to do check what it is that I’m eating. And you can do this with different providers such as My Fitness Pal or Cronometer.

Calories?

My basal metabolic rate, as in what my body burns, when I do nothing when I sit and breathe, basically, is about 1300 calories. You can find out this in many ways, you can use manual things, or you can use online calculators or I also have my wearables calculate for me as well, and they’re always around 1300 calories. So that’s, you know, what I’m working with here.

In this week’s experiment, it has revealed itself that I eat something between 1100 and 2000 calories a day. To be honest, I don’t even believe in calorie counting. So I don’t even know why I’m keeping track. But I thought it could be interesting. I don’t see that calorie counting works, and especially not the way it has been made to seem to work. I much more believe in that nutrition is information for the body that the body can use to function properly. And I also strongly believe that our bodies are wonderful machines who can regulate this! If you dare to listen to your body, and this is my main message today; if you dare to listen to your body, it will tell you if you need more calories, less calories, more energy and in which form less energy in which not form.

I did get a few comments, not just one, about why am I eating so little calories? Again, for me, this is not really a problem because I don’t really pay attention to it, I pay much more attention to whether I’m full, whether I’m happy, whether I’m satisfied, whether I’m in a good mood, all of these things. And of course, my yearly checkup, I check if I have any deficiencies, but so far, it hasn’t been that way. So why so low calories? I really believe that I do eat food with very dense nutrition. So there’s a lot of nutrition per calorie, per gram of carb, per gram of fat and protein. There’s a lot of nutrition in the calories and the macros that I do eat. That’s why, if I’m not hungrier than 1100 calories one day, I’m not going to force feed myself just to get up to an arbitrary number for me. I am well nourished, as you can see, I’m not just skin and bones. There’s ample things to take off from here, so I’m not malnourished either. I eat however much I want, I don’t have any limits for myself, I eat however much I want until I’m full, happy, satisfied. And I really believe in that.

Intuitive eating?

This experiment showed me that I intuitively vary calories according to my needs. It is something very natural for hunger to vary, and for calories to vary from day to day, depending on what you’ve done, how you feel, all of these things that have an impact. I came to the conclusion that I am quite good at intuitive eating actually, where I really listen to my body in terms of what it wants, in terms of how much it wants, in terms of what nutrition it needs on that day in that moment. Really, my philosophy is really as easy as, Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. This leads me to mostly eat two meals a day, sometimes I have a snack between the meals, sometimes I don’t. It really depends on what my body is calling out for. An important point, because this is a completely different ballgame if this is your problem, but I eat without emotion. I think that food is joyous and it’s good and I enjoy food and it has to taste good. But I don’t eat because I’m sad. I don’t eat because I’m happy. I don’t eat because you know, there’s an underlying emotion. So if this is your ballgame, then there are tonnes of experts out there who can help you with this, but it’s a completely different thing to handle.

I also noticed that I tend to eat less when I have a more active day which sounds completely weird. Three days a week, I do bodyweight exercises for half an hour, I go out walking at least half an hour, and I do at least half an hour of yoga. So that’s 1,5 hours on those three days that I move my body. I do it because it feels good and not because I feel I have to do it. And again, I listen to my body, and it wants to move! On the other four days of the week, I do walking or yoga or both. It all depends on how I feel during the day. But yes, on the days I move more I eat slightly less calories, which was weird to me. But again, I don’t worry about it. I know my body can take care of itself. It’s fine.

Bolus for minimal carbs?

I also got a lot of questions if I bolus for the meals that I eat, considering there’s very little carbs in the food that I eat. Do I even bows for it? And yes, I do bolus for my food (which is what I said in my Instagram Stories very many times, “yes a bonus for this”). It is very important, of course, to keep blood sugar stable, healthy and at normal levels. This was a great success in the in that respect as well this week, my blood sugar’s have been great! I’m very grateful for that. I also corrected when I had to, and used insulin as normal.

Because bolus strategy for every person with diabetes is very, very individual, I didn’t see the point of actually disclosing any numbers or how many units I was taking or anything like that. It’s turns out to be a pretty arbitrary number, much like calories. How much bolus I take doesn’t really matter because it’s so individual. A lot of it comes down to what your routine is, what your eating habits are like, what do you usually eat? Do you eat a lot of carbs usually? Or do you eat less carbs? Usually, your bolus strategy will depend on these factors. It also depends on what kind of a role of your basal insulin, the underlying insulin, plays, along with so many other things, like what your fat and protein factors are and how much you need to bolus for protein, for example. There are rules of thumb, absolutely, for all of this, but for you as an individual, you will need to play a little trial and error to see what works for you in certain circumstances.

But as a little factoid, I used anything between 15 and 21 total units per day in my insulin pump. That means it’s both basal and bolus insulin. It works out to a ratio of 85% basal and 15% bolus. It doesn’t really tell you much, but it just shows that I do take insulin and I do take adequate amounts of insulin and I won’t go into DKA (as that is the danger of taking too little insulin, DKA is always due to at least the relative lack of insulin in your body).

Food Log Conclusion

So what is my conclusion of my (now) four day experiment, I cannot wait to finish it tomorrow. But my four day experiment so far is that I still loathe, I still hate logging food. It was a great reminder for me., It really takes away that joy for food, the joy of eating the sheer pleasure of eating and puts it too much into my head. There are too many thoughts, there’s too much planning. There’s too much of, “oh yeah, how many blah, blah blah was this and how many walnuts did I eat there?” and “how much cream was that?” It takes the complete joy out of it for me. And it also takes me out of trusting my body, listening to my body-feeling, that I find is so, so important, especially when it comes to eating. This was the quick-ish conclusion of my four day experiment of logging food!

Before I go, I wanted to ask you, what does food logging mean to you? Have you used one of these terrible chart-things that I used to get from my dietitian (when I still saw one)? Is it a fun experiment to check in on yourself every once in a while, or are you more Team Me and it’s a bit of a personal torture? Please let me know in a comment!

Disclaimer

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

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All About Vitamin D

Hola, Sunshine! ☀️ Today on Type 1 Thursday, we’re talking about vitamin D!

Where do we get it from, how can we improve our levels (if needed) and what is it good for?

Did you know vitamin D is THIS important? How do you make sure you have enough vitamin D? Let’s chat in the comments!

All About Vitamin D – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

Ps. Why don’t you share this video with someone who needs to learn more about vitamin D?

I made this handy graphic about the sources of vitamin D to go with the video. Got any questions? Let me know in the comments!

Vitamin D Sources – Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

If you prefer to read about vitamin D, here is a text version of the information :

Welcome to this week’s Type 1 Thursday and today’s topic, vitamin D. I asked you on my Instagram Stories again what you wanted me to talk about and vitamin D was the clear answer.  (Well, actually it was a yes or no question, so anyway, it was Yes on that! So that’s what we’re talking about today.)

Vitamin D is claimed to help anything and everything in your body, like your immune system to Alzheimer’s to MS to cancer and blood sugar. There have been studies showing either way on all of these so it’s quite an important thing for our body. 

Did you actually know that vitamin D is something like a pro hormone, so like a precursor of a hormone and not as much of a vitamin as we are made to believe? It’s so important in our body, and its role in many, many functions is astonishing. Our bodies can make it on its own, which I will go through in a little bit, but it basically uses cholesterol and sunlight, and we can also get it from food sources if the sunlight is not enough, which it can be, for example, in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter half of the year. 

Benefits of Vitamin D

What are the benefits of vitamin D? It can help regulate and control the body’s ability to absorb phosphorus and calcium. It may also help the body regulate the insulin production in the pancreas. Vitamin D levels in a person should ideally be around 20 to 56 ng/l and with anything clinically as low as 20 ng/l is considered deficient. It is now of course known that we need a sufficient amount of vitamin D in our system, in our body and something around 60 to 80 mark even 100 ng/l can help, for example, blood glucose levels to keep them under control, which is absolutely vital for people with diabetes. 

What else is it good for then? (If you know, how about you send me a little comment so I know I’m not completely alone out there on the interwebs!) In the meantime, vitamin D does support our immune system, our brain and our nervous system which can be very good and especially at this point of time. It also is very good for lung function and our cardiovascular system, and it can also influence the gene expression of cancer tumours. It’s not quite clear how it really works there, but it seems to be able to have an influence on cancer metabolism. 

Vitamin D also helps you have better skin, it helps you have healthier muscles. Also, more studies are finding a link between Type 1 Diabetes and vitamin D levels because of the auto immunity aspect, as well. Something I learned very recently is that there is a presence of vitamin D receptors on insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells. And to this, multiple studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation as a young child can seem to be able to prevent a Type 1 diagnosis later in life. It’s quite an interesting topic and if you’re interested, I suggest that you Google it because it is a very interesting field of research! (And of course I am invested myself, so please go find all the good stuff and report back.) It also can also help with depression in some cases, as well. 

How to get Vitamin D

So how do we get vitamin D at all? The obvious one is (I tried to depict it in my clothing today); sunshine! It is the one very natural and fantastic way of getting vitamin D and this is because 80 to 90% of the body’s vitamin D is made by the skin with the help of cholesterol and the UVB rays of the sun.  This is when vitamin D3 gets transferred to the kidneys and the liver and it’s converted to Calcitriol, which is an active form of vitamin D. It’s said that 20-30 minutes daily sun exposure is recommended and this is clearly more difficult when we are not in the summer time of the year. If you wear high enough sunscreen, it will block your vitamin D production in the skin, which is not a great thing if you are out in the sunlight trying to get vitamin D!

This is actually why it’s best to do short periods of time in the sun, however be very careful not to burn yourself, which is the key to all sun exposure. Make sure that you go without sunscreen so that you get the full benefits carefully. There are apps like for example, my favourite summer app in the universe, which is the D-minder app. I can’t tag them as they are not on social media and I do not work with them, but I think the app is fantastic! It takes into account your location, your altitude, all of these things to see what the UV index is for that day in that weather, you can put in how much clothes you’re wearing, how overcast it is, and your skin type and it calculates how long you can safely be out in the sun to get vitamin D and sun exposure. (It also helps you get a great tan, if that’s what you’re looking for!)

What if you can’t be in the sun?

If being in the sun is not an option, what are your other options? Well, you have two other ways of getting vitamin D. One is from food sources and this is of course, I always recommend whole foods sources. Personally, I’m not really sure about the “fortified” foods that are out there and in my opinion, the best forms of exogenous vitamin D is D3 and it comes from animal foods. That’s where it’s most widely available and most grains and other non animal foods, they really need to be fortified with this extra vitamin D and I feel like that’s a little too much chemistry for me so I’ll leave that alone. That’s up to each and every one of you to decide but I would recommend things like cod liver oil, salmon is a great vitamin D source and  salmon roe and it’s delicious. And how about some tuna or sardines, eggs are great, cheese and liver. (I’m having liver pate tonight and I cannot wait also because of the vitamin D, but mainly because it’s yummy.)

If you can’t get in the sun, you can’t eat any of these things, you can supplement vitamin D, so you are not left alone! Make sure that you get the vitamin D3 and not the D2, because the D2 is not bioavailable, so it doesn’t get absorbed as well in your body and D3 is already one step closer to being used, so make sure it’s D3. And make sure you take the supplements with a fatty meal for the best absorption, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin. Otherwise, what’s the point eating them if they don’t get absorbed, right? H

How much does one supplement? That is an everlasting question and I cannot even tell you how many people have asked me this, but and the fastest and easiest and safest way to check is actually with a blood test so that you can see where your level is now, and then you can try supplementing for a while, before taking a new blood test and see if you need to increase or decrease. That’s the safest way. 

Generally, living in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s difficult to get enough during the winter and especially if you also have some sort of autoimmune thing going on, like I do, and many of us do here. Remember that the official recommendations, as in what you see on the supplement package, usually tends to err on the low side. Having an excess of vitamin D is very difficult to achieve. You have to take many, many supplements for very long to get an excess which would manifest in a too low calcium in your body. 

Did you know that vitamin D is this important and if you did, tell me how you make sure that you get enough vitamin D. And if you didn’t, how are you planning to get enough vitamin D into your system?

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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Great sleep, great health!

Today on Type 1 Thursday we’re talking about the importance of SLEEP!

How can sleep improve your health? And what on earth does it have to do with diabetes and blood sugar management? 🤔

Find out in the sleep video below, check out my graphic for my top sleep tips or read the information below.

Type 1 Thursday – Sleep – Hanna Boëthius

My questions for you: Do you get enough sleep? What are your best sleep tips? Share them with me in a comment!

The graphic I’m talking about in the video, is this one. It’s a quick reminder of the things we can do to prepare, invest and do for great sleep. Share it with someone you think would need it!

Sleep Tips – Hanna Diabetes Expert

Transcription

Do you prefer to read about just how important sleep is for your health and blood sugar management?

Great Sleep, Great Health!

This super exciting topic actually has a lot to do with blood sugar management and diabetes, although we might not think about it. I asked on my Instagram Stories if I should do a Type 1 Thursday on sleep and the importance of sleep and an overwhelming amount of people thought that was a great idea!

We have to really step away from this old notion of that “we can sleep when we’re dead” or “we can sleep later” or “we can catch up on sleep later”. No, we really cannot. Healthy, proper sleep is actually super important for us, for our health, and for our well being. So no more pushing it til later! You should invest in your sleep and you should definitely make it a priority, because it is “no backsies” as Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory would say. You can’t take it back and you can’t make up for it later. So it’s very important that you handle that.

Sleep science is growing exponentially right now and it is showing that sleep is actually essential to your health and to your performance. Even though we might not feel like it, or think we can push through and all these stupid things that we tell ourselves. No, sleep is actually super important for our health and performance.

How much sleep?

So how much sleep do we need then? Actually, we need seven to nine hours a night, not a week, not anything else. We need it a night in order to function properly and to reap all the benefits that sleep does have because it is quite astonishing. This is when sleep becomes restorative, when it becomes rejuvenating. I’ll go through a couple of types of sleeps, or sleeping patterns a little bit later. But first of all, please don’t think that you can survive on less than six hours of sleep a night (unless you are one of these 5% of the population that have a genetic mutation, which makes them able to survive on less than six hours sleep). Otherwise, it will lead to a lot of problems, such as cognitive dysfunction, and your immune system won’t work fully. The brain is trained actually to disregard sleep deprivation so you might not even notice if you are sleep deprived or not, or have had too little sleep.

Benefits of great sleep?

So what does enough sleep do? What are the awesome features that come with enough sleep? Well, one of them is of course, which is super important right now, is immune function. Your immune system cannot function without proper sleep. So if nothing else, it is very important for you to get proper sleep right now so that your immune system is on 100% and on top. Your energy and strength, that goes without saying and of course also blood sugar control. Yes, it does help with your blood sugar management because lack of sleep is a huge stressor for the body. And as I say all the time, stress is the blood sugar killer number one. So try to eliminate as much stress for the body as possible.

Also, it can aid in weight loss because your hormones are regulated when you sleep properly. It also leads to better skin, for example. And of course, things like coordination and flexibility are increased when you do sleep enough. As I mentioned, hormone regulation but not just hormone regulation in terms of weight loss, but also in terms of stress management, in terms of emotional regulation, in terms of everything. So sleep really helps there as well.

And it also leads to better recovery because your hormones are regulated, You can drain yourself and then recover better if you sleep better. And enough sleep helps with focus and creativity and this leads to better performance as well which is quite an important thing.

As I already said, emotional regulation, we react in a different way when we have slept properly than when we haven’t, I’m sure you recognise this! And sleep helps with longevity as some studies actually show that when we sleep better, we live longer and healthier. So that’s a good thing to keep in mind. Also, our resilience grows a lot when we sleep properly. So it’s not a bad idea to actually prioritise your sleep.

Something that is very in the air right now is that proper sleep also helps your metabolic function and there is a lot to do with the immune system right now, but also metabolic function and metabolic syndrome. So maybe there is something to the fact that you are not sleeping properly if you are suffering from something like that? This can, in turn, if your metabolic function is not optimal, lead to insulin resistance, both Type 1 and Type 2. So if you haven’t slept properly as a Type 1, you can get insulin resistant, or if you don’t have Type 1, you can actually start developing functionally insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. By the lack of sleep, and of course, other co-founding factors, but it can be a contributor. Lack of sleep makes you produce a lot of cortisol. As long as cortisol is high, it cultivates a bad gut bacteria in your gut and that can also be a problem because that leads to poor health and that’s poor immune system and it all goes in a circle.

That’s why sleep is so important. All of this goes in a circle and they go hand in hand. Good sleep also helps you become more effective when you think, improves your reaction time. Whether it’s sports or in traffic or just generally in life, your reaction time gets better. Sleep helps your memory function better.

Types of Sleep

So what are the types of sleep? Well, there are three main ones and we fluctuate between them all night every night. And that is light sleep, there is REM sleep, which is 20 to 25% of your total sleep, deteriorates with age and this is where you dream. This is where your memory improves. This is where you become or have creative thoughts because some of our dreams I can tell you, if you’ve ever paid attention to them, they are quite creative, if not crazy, but yes, a bit creative.

And then the third one is deep sleep, which is 0 to 35% of our total sleep, and it’s very individual depending on what you’re used to, and that’s where it’s very restorative and rejuvenating. And that of course is also needed for your body to regenerate.

Tips for better Sleep

So what are some sleeping tips? These are some sleeping tips that I came across myself and from other people. For example, no screens at least one hour before bedtime. This can be very challenging because what does one do without a screen nowadays? Especially when we may be on a lockdown, and we need to somehow entertain ourselves until it’s proper bedtime? What does one do? Read a book, read a magazine and do something just creative outside of the screen world. Make sure that you have a bedtime routine also on weekends. (I mean seriously, most of these tips make you sound like a really boring old person but I gotta say they do have a point to it because most of them actually aren’t that bad – they actually work!)

Make sure that the temperature in your bedroom and what you’re wearing and in your bed linen, like the thickness of your duvet is suitable to how you sleep the best. If we are too warm, we don’t sleep well and if we’re too cold we don’t sleep well. So we have to be like Goldilocks “just right” in terms of temperature in order to sleep well.

Don‘t have any big meals or a really strenuous exercise right before bedtime because that gets your pulse going. That gets your digestive system going if it is food and that it won’t have time to come back down in time for your sleep. So don’t have anything heavy to eat right before bed. And this also, of course, more diabetes specifically, helps with your blood sugar control throughout the night if you don’t do anything crazy, right before bedtime, and you know what the outcome is. Also, unwind, but that’s easier said than done in some cases, and especially now, but do unwind and make time for unwinding in the evening so that you can fall asleep swiftly and carelessly and get rocked away by your sleep.

Limit alcohol right before bed, especially and this of course also has a huge blood sugar benefit. Limit caffeine after 2pm, seriously, I sound like an old lady but this old lady has a point. It is very beneficial to cut the caffeine after 2pm and this also has a blood sugar benefit, like a lot of these tips actually do.

Move your body regularly, not right before bedtime but during the day and in the days regularly. Find out what you think is fun to do, and how you want to move your body and make sure that you get a little exhausted at times because that does help with your sleeping patterns.

Make sure that your bed is for two things: for rest and for romance, nothing else. Do not watch TV in bed, do not technically play with your phone in bed. It’s just for rest and romance. And you will thank yourself and maybe even your partner’s gonna thank you for having that new rule in your life. 😉

Yes, napping is fantastic, but they have to be well timed. So ideally not before 3pm so that it doesn’t impact your night’s sleep, either from the beginning or towards the end of your day. But naps can really help as well.

Use wearables. If you can measure your sleep, it’s actually quite interesting. You can do this with tons of providers out there but there’s for example the Oura ring. You can use Fitbit, you can use the Apple Watch, all of these things that you can track your sleep with so that you see how much you sleep and on which level and how you can improve it.

Now I want to hear from you: do you have problems sleeping or is sleeping a breeze for you? And what are your best sleep tips? Do share them with us in a comment somewhere on the interwebs. 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.