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Hey there

My name is Hugh and I am new to this site today. I myself am not Diabetic however a close friend of mine has type 1. I want to learn as much as I can so I can be of support to her and more importantly understand how it effects her lifestyle each day.

We often talk about food together so I guess I want to learn what its like to be Diabetic so that when it comes to talking about food and eating with her we are both on the same page. My friend has had type 1 for about a year now and its time I pulled my weight and learnt! I have seen the impact it has had on her and how life changing it is especially for someone at the age of 20.

I will be reading as much as I can about the GI and GL of foods as well as serving sizes etc so that I can really get up to speed and help her out. A steep learning curve I feel its going to be!

So if anyone has any suggestions for me on how and where to look then that would be much appreciated or if there is anyone on here that is in a similar position as me and is helping someone with Diabetes then please feel free to let me know!

Thanks :)
hugh:)
 

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Welcome, Hugh . . . I think if you just prowl around our boards here, you'll get a pretty good look at the problems we face & how we handle them - it's different for each of us, so yeah - the learning curve might be a little steep! But good for you, getting educated about it. If she ever feels the need for people who understand, we'll welcome her too.
 

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Hi Shanny thanks very much, she is on a forum but im not sure which one. I know she really wants someone she can just talk to on a daily basis that understands diabetes. So far I've been a bit flakey but its time to knuckle down and get sorted!
 

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Welcome Hugh! I think its great you want to be able to relate to and support your friend :) There is lots of info to be found around here and please feel free to jump in on a conversation and ask questions. Hope to see you around :)
 

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Hi Hugh. What is your friend's treatment regimen? Does she do MDI (multiple daily injections) or is she a pumper? What's her food plan like? How many times a day does she test her blood sugar? Do you guys cook together? Exercise together? Sorry to pepper you with so many questions.

In my 2 1/2 years with T1, I've found that eliminating starchy carbs like rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. makes the biggest difference in the amount of insulin I need. I still cheat, as I LOVE to bake bread, but it requires too much Novolog to eat it on a daily thing. Big salads and lots of other veggies like cauliflower, eggplant, kale, chard, squash and the like are part of my daily diet. I've cut out most fruits - they also require too much insulin and cause blood sugar spikes for me - but berries and citrus seem to work just fine. I balance my intake of protein and fat. Cheese is indispensible, but I tend to avoid other dairy like milk and yogurt because of the carb content.

A lot of the food thing is very individualized - it's called eating to your meter: You eat, test, eat test and see what works. For people who use insulin, it also involves a bit of personal choice about how much insulin you're willing to use to cover the carbs.

Hope this helps a little.

Jen
 

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Welcome to Diabetes Forum! That is really nice that you want to learn about diabetes so that you can understand and help your friend. Is your friend taking any medications for her diabetes? Medication is usually necessary for someone with T1 diabetes. I am T2 on insulin. There is a wealth of information on the forum so read up and ask as many questions as you like!
 

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Welcome Hugh! I think its great you want to be able to relate to and support your friend :) There is lots of info to be found around here and please feel free to jump in on a conversation and ask questions. Hope to see you around :)
Thanks very much! I figure it’s the least I can do for her and from what I can gather a Diabetics diet is also a healthy diet in general so there is no harm done there. The forum definitely has a lot of friendly and knowledgeable people so I am looking forward to reading and chatting on here :)

Hi Hugh. What is your friend's treatment regimen? Does she do MDI (multiple daily injections) or is she a pumper? What's her food plan like? How many times a day does she test her blood sugar? Do you guys cook together? Exercise together? Sorry to pepper you with so many questions.
Hey Jen, My friend is on MDI and not a pump. Is there any particular factors that would determine if a pump is more suitable for people as opposed to injections? She uses Levimir as her long-acting insulin however the name of her short acting insulin eludes me at the moment. Her food plan is not too bad however executing it recently has proved to be more difficult as she has just moved away to a new city for study and is also working at a bar. The hours for work are not exactly ideal when it comes to normal eating hours etc so there is a bit of a lifestyle change happening at the moment. Of course a lot of this will come down to discipline on her behalf which she is aware of.

As far as testing goes she will test several times a day, usually around 30 minutes before and after eating. If she hasn't been able to eat for a longer period than normal then she will test and check she isn't getting too low and vice versa.

We used to cook and eat together quite a lot up until we moved away from one another (although if you ask her my contribution in the kitchen was normally limited to setting the table...). My cooking prowess is not of the highest quality either... From what I can gather a Diabetics diet is also quite a healthy one too so that is a bonus for me. It was hard because a lot of the food we used to enjoy were things like pastas and Asian dishes with lots of rice so moderating them was difficult but rice was replaced with tofu for some dishes and seemed to work quite well.

As far as exercise goes we used to walk and run a few times a week as well as including a few sets of pushups, situps and squats. Doing this exercise was great together and I could see the difference it was making in combination with eating well. The two almost fed off one another really. The hard part was getting into good regular routines and keeping it up.

Would you agree that the word routine really is important? She needs to find what works for her and stick to it. Like you say Jen when you refer to ‘eating to your meter’? Simply eat then test and take note of the results. Keep doing this combined with exercise and the eventually the right food combination's and amount of exercise will become apparent?
 

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Welcome to Diabetes Forum! That is really nice that you want to learn about diabetes so that you can understand and help your friend. Is your friend taking any medications for her diabetes? Medication is usually necessary for someone with T1 diabetes. I am T2 on insulin. There is a wealth of information on the forum so read up and ask as many questions as you like!
Hey thanks for having me! I really just want to be able to understand how Diabetes effects all parts of everyday life. Soon enough I would like to be able to go out with her and have her order her food and not be alone when it comes to working out her dosage. Or if we are talking on the phone and she tells me what she is cooking i can simply say 'oh so that serve of that equals this many carbohydrate, your levels were this before therefore this amount of insulin should cover you.'

It is hard because for my entire life I have never had to even think about eating really. If I go out at night or away at all or over to someone's place for dinner it doesn't really matter what is served to me but for a diabetic its different. I have really noticed that its when my friend is out of her home and comfort zones that things get more challenging.
 

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Hey Jen, My friend is on MDI and not a pump. Is there any particular factors that would determine if a pump is more suitable for people as opposed to injections? She uses Levimir as her long-acting insulin however the name of her short acting insulin eludes me at the moment. Her food plan is not too bad however executing it recently has proved to be more difficult as she has just moved away to a new city for study and is also working at a bar. The hours for work are not exactly ideal when it comes to normal eating hours etc so there is a bit of a lifestyle change happening at the moment. Of course a lot of this will come down to discipline on her behalf which she is aware of.

Actually I had several reasons for going to a pump. For one...I was having a lot of wild swings in my blood sugars, highs and lows....going on the pump has made me more stable. I rarely have lows now, and when I do, its because I have over calculated my carbs and over bolused myself.

Another reason was my schedule made it very difficult to stick to a real routine for eating. I work 12 hour shifts at night...so I am constantly flipping back and forth between a day and night schedule and it was making it harder to eat at certain times. The pump gives me the freedom to eat when I want to...or when I have time to..I no longer need to keep a "schedule".

I was also having a lot of issues with dawn phenomenon (waking up fasting with high blood sugars). The has pretty much taken care of that also since I have set a higher basal rate between 3am-7am. I now wake up mostly normal.

As an added benefit...I no longer have to take 5-6 injections a day. I just have to change my pump site every three days. I am also getting much tighter control using about 60% less of the daily total amount of insulin I was using on MDI's. So it was a good decision for me. There are definitely pros and cons about it.
 
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