By 2013, around 3.2 million people had been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. If you're one of those people, you're often asked the same quesions - about diet, blood sugar levels and injections. It's hard to keep up! But here are 8 things you only know if you're a Type 1 diabetic...
1. You’ve an inbuilt carbohydrate counter
You know the carbohydrate content of pretty much every food (and portion size), and if you don’t know exactly you can give a pretty good guess! If not, there’s your trusty Carbs and Cals app to refer to…
2. You’re a human pin cushion
Your injection sites are pretty unslightly. Fact. Despite rotating it still doesn’t stop bruising and lumping underneath the skin – lipohypertrophy if we want to get technical. And don’t get us started on the state of our fingers from blood tests…
3. Your blood sugar is what?!
Sometimes the readings on your glucose machine make absolutely no sense. You could do the same, eat the same, inject the same amount of insulin day in day out, yet sometimes, your sugar levels just don’t make sense!
4. You carry a sugar stash
If you’re diabetic, at any given time you’ll have a sugar stash with you. Be it glucose tablets, a chocolate bar or a sugary drink, you’ll need a helping hand if your blood sugar levels drop. None of us want to get caught out. Great excuse to eat some chocolate, right?!
5. You have to go easy on the alcohol
Whilst we enjoy a cheeky drink as much as the next person, it wreaks havoc on your blood sugar. We always find it’s better to eat something after consuming alcohol to avoid a hypo. For some reason, it inexplicably lowers the blood sugar…and helps you dodge a hangover!
6. The fear
There are serious risks associated with poorly-controlled diabetes. The fear of losing your sight, having your feet amputated, suffering kidney failure or heart attacks all helps to keep you on the straight and narrow (as well as living life to the full!).
7. Hospital is a home from home
Chances are, if you’re diabetic, you’ve ended up in hospital on the odd occasion. And then there are the regular check-ups (never a bad thing). Your local hospital may well start to feel like a second home, though…
8. The word ‘eyedrops’ makes you shudder!
Yep, if you’re a Type 1 diabetic you’ll know the horror of the dreaded special eyedrops doctors use to make your pupils look like saucers! No one enjoys having these horribly uncomfortable drops, but diabetics know it’s for a good cause. They dilate your pupils, so doctors can check the blood vessels at the backs of your eyes. We know how important it is, but we still complain about it!
Disclaimer: This is just one Type 1 diabetic’s viewpoint!