Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes

Traveling with Type 1 DiabetesTaking diabetes on the road can add a wrench into normal day-to-day diabetes management.  Between the lack of activity and other variables, one must be vigilant with their diabetes.

In time, the skilled traveler will make appropriate adjustments that come with experience.  Preparing, packing and executing a trip can be worrisome without proper foresight.  The end goal is to have thought things through so well that embarking on an adventure with type 1 diabetes will not be anxiety producing.

Preparing for a trip to the beach, mountains or perhaps overseas all require similar but unique items of importance.  Tapping into the community of folks living with type 1 diabetes can be a fabulous way to get input.  If you use twitter try the hashtags #t1D #type1diabetes #diabetes #DSMA after your message. [Read more...]

Hypoglycemia- How Does it Make You Feel?

Hypoglycemia0 how does it make you feel?

What does hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) really feel like? 

Most parents have no problem interpreting if a blood sugar is low, but can they discipline when their child is hypoglycemic?  It is a frequently asked question and talked about topic amongst parents.

Parents, teachers, and care providers for kids with type 1 diabetes are often left to interpret behaviors.  Is this child misbehaving purposefully or is this a “Houston, we’ve got a problem” moment?  Perhaps this witty child is testing me and using their diabetes as an excuse?  Type 1 diabetes management in a child is simply tricky business.

Every child is unique, therefore parenting is molded to the needs of each individual.  Parents of kids with type 1 diabetes are always sorting through potential diabetes factors, it’s a continuous cycle of what if’s.  I can guarantee there isn’t a parent out there who hasn’t disciplined their child’s behaviors only to figure out they had low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).  You don’t have to be a type 1 diabetes rookie to have it happen to you.  With good intentions, you can relieve yourself of the mental muck that comes along with that… [Read more...]

Prediabetes, Can You Stop the Progression?


Prediabetes is exactly what it sounds like, almost diabetes.

Prediabetes can be a frustrating place for many patients.  With a visit to their health care provider they are given a list of housekeeping duties to improve their health.  Motivated patients may get right on it, while others ride the slippery slope of diabetes without attempting to modify their lifestyles.

Given the fact that most people with prediabetes already have insulin resistance, high insulin levels, and obesity just how effective are the changes they can make in the long run? [Read more...]

Diabolical Diabulimia


The Double D. 
If you ever thought managing an eating disorder was horrendous, add type 1 diabetes to the mix. eating disorder

Working as a psych nurse with kids for a number of years, I had quite a bit of exposure to severe eating disorders. Type 1 diabetes brings a very unique twist to this form of purging.  Instead of cutting back on calories, the individual is actually eating gobs of food.  High blood sugar is the ultimate goal in this game of Russian roulette.


Diabulimia’s measured success is through weight loss- sad, but true.

University of Toronto researchers studied eating disorders in adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes

Researchers found that eating disorders seemed to occur at a much higher rate in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.  In fact, it occurs at a rate 2-3 times higher than their peers.

What is the underlying mechanism of weight loss?

Manipulating the amount of injected insulin and food consumed has a direct correlation to blood sugars.  Keep in mind, with type 1 diabetes the only source of insulin is that which is physically given through an insulin pump or a syringe.  When blood sugars are high and insulin levels are low the body begins its natural purging process.

Insulin serves as a key that opens the door between the bloodstream and the bodies cells.  Without a large enough key, the doors remain shut on processing the sugar to the cells for energy.  With the sugar levels remaining high in the bloodstream the intelligent human body takes over its own rhythm of helping that along.

High blood sugars encourage thirst, urination and the breakdown of fat and muscle for energy.  This is sounding like a state of ketosis isn’t it? Eerily familiar to the days of diagnosis with type 1 diabetes?

You are right, and there isn’t a healthy thing to note about this form of weight loss.  The stakes are high and walking the tight rope of high blood sugars versus diabetic ketoacidosis is a perilous game to play.

What is the human experience?

Weight loss
Body aches
Increased urination
Increased thirst
Flu like symptoms


Diabetes revolves around the word control.  We becomes masters of manipulation with type 1 diabetes.  If the blood sugar is high we manipulate food choices and insulin.  If the blood sugar is low we are increasing food and decreasing insulin.  We manipulate minute to minute, hour by hour, day to day.  No day is ever the same and the results always vary, but we are taught to CONTROL our diabetes.

Having type 1 diabetes as a child can be overwhelming.  Parenting to this disease also proves to be emotionally overloading at times.  Most kids will tell you they are controlled by their parents right?  Remember all those rules and regulations?

Type 1 diabetes can take a lot of independence and freedom away from an average child.  With all of the daily tasks and checking in with parents ten or so times a day to discuss the treatment plan at hand.  Blessings from the parent granted about what they can eat, where they can go, when to check, what insulin to give- kids lose a lot of control over decision making about their bodies.

Many kids with an eating disorder come from situations where the only thing they could control was what they ate.  If they are forced to eat it they can still purge it.  Bulimia through laxatives, vomiting, excessive exercising or by producing high blood blood sugars all have the same catastrophic results.

Whatever the cause may be for diabulimia, it must be addressed.  If you suspect your child has diabulimia or you have it yourself, please seek medical help.

You can lose weight healthfully with type 1 diabetes.


BMI a Diabetes Yardstick

Diabetes and Obesity are so closely related they have even morphed into one word, diabesity.obesity and diabetes

With obesity reaching epidemic proportions diabetes has become one of the most heavily diagnosed diseases.  Don’t be fooled into thinking type 2 diabetes is an adult disease either.  Obesity has spread its wings, including America’s children now and diabetes has has sunk its talons.

Traditionally, we think of type 2 diabetes as an adult disease but it can and is appearing at any age.  With the rate of obesity skyrocketing in America, disease diagnosis isn’t far behind. What does this have in store for our children? [Read more...]

Type 1 Diabetes Assistance Dogs- Jake’s Story


July 26, 2011 is a very memorable day for Jake Seff, age 11.  Almost as unforgettable as hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, assistance dogthe day he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes five years ago at age 6.  This is the day Jake brought his 3 year old newly appointed assistance dog home to Flagstaff, Arizona.  Quake is a faithful, content and beautiful yellow labrador retriever.  Quake came from Power Paws Assistance Dogs, Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona where she was trained as an alert dog for people with Type 1 Diabetes. [Read more...]

The Somogyi Phenomenon in Type 1 Diabetes


Whoa.  Not so fast, increase nighttime insulin because you or your child wake up with high dawn phenomenonblood sugars?

…Think again, first wake yourself and get a early morning blood sugar to see whats going on.

As a person living with Type 1 for 29 years I have heard of this and experienced it first hand throughout my life.  I have always wondered where this unique name originated though.  With a little research I found the answer to this inane question- Dr. Michael Somogyi, of course.  Sounds a little star treky, I know. [Read more...]

Hyperglycemia- how does it make you feel?

Dear She Sugar

A question I frequently receive from other parents is - What does hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) really feel like?  High blood sugar, sings and symptoms

Many parents feel frustrated at times trying to interpret their child’s behavior with Type 1 Diabetes.  Are they being a kid that needs to be reprimanded or are they feeling poorly?  Could they be playing me?  I mean really, how terrible could high blood sugar make you feel?  Are they tired from staying up late last night or from their busy day today?  Any of these questions ring a bell? [Read more...]

Type 1 Diabetes Defined


Type 1 Diabetes has more than a few names: T1D, Juvenile Diabetes, Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

T1D is an autoimmune disease, which is very different contextually from Type 2 diabetes.  The body basically begins an all out warfare against its beta cells in the pancreas – better known as ‘the insulin producers’.  It’s a rather quick process and essentially ends with little to no insulin production.  Type 1 diabetes may be diagnosed early enough to avoid an illness called Ketoacidosis. [Read more...]

Type 1 Diabetes and Bedwetting in Children (Part 2)

Type 1 Diabetes and bedwetting in children can be a common issue, see Part 1 of this article from yesterday.  There is not much to identifying that you have this going on in your house, right?  Here are some thoughts that may improve your success with toilet training at night.type 1 diabetes and bedwetting in children


  • Try your best to remain calm and not punish your child- remember it is an accident, increasing their anxiety with this is never productive.
  • Praise your child when they have a dry night, only wet underwear, a smaller accident on the bed, or they get up to use the toilet.
  • Be sure to never shame your child for bedwetting, trust me they are not purposefully bedwetting and this can be very difficult on their self esteem.
  • Check in with siblings so you are certain they aren’t teasing them.
  • Let them know other children are going through this too, they are not alone.
  • Praise your child for their help in the middle of the night when they remove wet linens and put clothing in the laundry basket.
  • Make an appointment to talk to your Pediatrician about other health conditions that may be contributing to the problem (such as constipation or a urinary tract infection) and get a referral to a Urologist if needed.
  • Try your best to maintain normal blood sugars overnight-as we know high blood sugars with Type 1 Diabetes and bedwetting in children is commonplace.  Make an appointment with your Endocrinologist and Certified Diabetes Educator for insulin adjustment suggestions if this is your situation.
  • Take your child to the bathroom a few hours after they fall asleep if it is possible.
  • You may want to encourage less fluid intake between dinner and bedtime if it is appropriate.  This can potentially cause resentment and anger so be certain to be gentle with this suggestion.  Remember high blood sugars cause increased thirst and this is not a time to decrease available fluids. [Read more...]
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