As you may or may not know, I am a Type 1 Diabetic.
That means I inject insulin every day just to stay alive.
I’ve been living with this for nearly 20 years and have, up to this point, done quite well. When I consider how many blogs there are now, written by Type 1 Diabetics, and all the trouble they are having, I see that I have taken a good road with my diabetes management.
Of course, there is one group on Facebook who are just like me, but we seem to be in the minority. Type1GRit. (Go check them out if you find your interested to know more.)
Most of these blogs are filled with writing about the individuals daily life and the ups-and-downs they put themselves through by not taking control of their diet and insulin plan.
I know of only one Doctor in the “land of diabetes” who has written a book on managing Type 1 Diabetes. He claims diabetics have a “right” to normal blood sugars. By this I think he means normalizing your blood sugars is something everyone is encouraged to do. He is my personal hero and I’ve followed him since 1997 when I read his book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.
His name is Dr. Richard K. Bernstein.
If the diabetics with blogs haven’t heard of him, then I feel sorry for them. But if they have, and haven’t taken action… then they have no one to blame but themselves.
It takes effort to stay healthy. And when you have to measure out every dose of insulin to cover every morsel of food you put in your mouth, it becomes magnitudes harder.
You see, every time a type 1 diabetic eats something, whether it be protein, carbohydrate or even fat, they need to balance it with a dose of insulin. Just like a person who isn’t Type 1 Diabetic naturally produces their own insulin.
Yes, you have to live a well regulated life and stick to it every day for the rest of your life.
Yes, it is difficult to do. But not impossible.
But after some time, it becomes routine.
And no, you can’t eat whatever you want. This is the hard reality.
Your friends and acquaintances, although well meaning, will tempt you and say “well, how about just this once?”
The problem is, “just once” can turn into twice and then three times, and the roller-coaster of ups-and-downs starts all over. You’ll be forced to give in or stick to your guns. It’s you life. It’s your choice. Whatever the outcome, you are responsible for your choices.
Only you can decide what your Blood Sugar Levels will be.
And only you can make the right, or wrong, choice of treatment.
It’s all about the choices you make in what you eat. Are your choices limited? Yes they are.
Gone are the days of eating pizza, pasta, cookies, bread of any kind, potatoes and all forms of sugar. Drinking soda is right out. I don’t even drink “diet” soda anymore. I sampled a taste of regular coke recently, and found it putrid.
You as a Type 1 Diabetic are now on a permanent Low Carb diet, if you want to stay healthy and free of complications.
Just to clue you in on how most of the Type 1 Diabetics with blogs think, let me tell you about a few.
For example, one writer states that living with Type 1 Diabetes is just one up-or-down after another without ever addressing what he eats every day. Or how much. He talks about how sometimes he gets it “just right,” but most of the time he is all over the place with his blood sugar control.
Well, If he was serious about staying healthy and taking care of his family, of which he has two young children, he would do something about maintaining level blood sugars in a normal range and eat in a way to make this possible.
And here is where I see all the issues with these sites I’ve recently discovered: Not one of them advocates a strict diet. Not one talks about exactly what they eat.
And now I find diabetes education and institutional sites that advocate for eating normal as every one else does.
In fact, just to illustrate my point: I just perused the ADA site and found they still advocate an A1C of 7% for diabetics. That equals a average blood sugar of 154.
Now you may not know this, but complications arising from chronic high blood sugars begin to show at an average blood glucose reading as low as 90. So why would the ADA recommend something so high?
Could it be because, although they put on a face of caring, there are just too many political pressures in place to stop anyone in authority from admitting such a high A1C is preventable.
Such as, maybe a person with Type 1 diabetes could adopt the eating plan advocated by Dr. Bernstein, get his A1C down below 5, and live a long happy and healthy life.
But, you say, “that is so much work.” It’s that or a life of confusion and depression. And sickness and hospital trips and… as you’ll find so many Type 1’s posting on their personal blogs.
It’s so depressing to me I’ll stay with my low carb eating and minimal insulin plan. I’m fit and healthy and in a good mood almost every day. All because of the way I eat and try to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Last A1C of 5.2 and dropping with almost no lows.
It’s not easy but it can be done.
P.S. If you are a Type 1 Diabetic, or know someone who is, please pass on the link to Dr. Bernstein’s book. You’ll know if they already have it when they respond. If they don’t, you’re doing them a huge favor. If they know about him and don’t go with the program, well, at least you tried. No harm, no foul.