Sweet Life diabetes community blog.

Emotional Help for Diabetic Child?

Hi there,
My daughter has been a Type 1 diabetic for 2 years+ now. She is 10 years old.

Do you perhaps know of a natural product that I can give her to help her emotionally. She’s been very emotional the past couple of months (sometimes really mad and other times really sad). It really is sad and bothers me so much to see her this way, but I don’t like just giving any chemical medicine. I’d like to know which natural products have other mothers been using and obviously the ones which works the best without any negative results.

Would really like your feedback as soon as possible.
– Carolien

I’m Worried About Getting Diabetes!

Hi to all at  SWEET LIFE,

I am so happy to have found the right people to ask my question and allay my fears!

I am lucky to be relatively fit and healthy and pretty active.

I am 52, weigh about 65kg and really enjoy food, wine, chocolate and all the other delightfully decadent offerings the world has to offer.

I just worry about sugar being “THE SILENT KILLER” and that one day it is going to zap me and I’ll wake up with Sugar Diabetes.

I have had my sugar levels checked on occasion and they are usually normal.

Are there any signs I need to watch for?   Will my pancreas one day fall victim to the silent killer?   Could it be under attack as I type?

I would be very grateful for some information as I haven’t really find direct answers to the above questions.

Looking so forward to a reply.

Warm Regards,


Spiking Blood Sugar Levels after Breakfast?

Seriously confused.
I have Type 2 Diabetes and am on Lantus (12 units) and Galvusmet (50/100 twice daily).
My averages are okay (I think) – my range settings are Low: 5; High: 8.5.
Here’s my issue.  My postprandial levels after breakfast stay high, no matter what I eat.  I usually measure between 5.5 and 7 when I wake up and rarely see a jump of more than 2 after lunch or dinner.  After breakfast, however, my levels often jump to 9 or 10 or above.
What has me stumped is that this happens even when I have Greek Yoghurt (full fat), 24 Almonds & Glucerna powder.  Greek yoghurt has a GI value of 33, Glucerna about 53 and Almonds Zero!  The spike is less when I leave out the almonds, but those are supposed to have no impact on sugar levels at all.  Go figure.
Any ideas?
As an aside, when I complained about not being able to eat pizza, an old guy who has had diabetes forever suggested I drink a Hunters Dry Cider before I eat pizza.  No idea why, and I rarely succumb to the temptation, but it works.
Be well.
– Gideon

A Fabulous Sugar Alternative

IMG_7025I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want something decadent to eat – despite being diabetic. I want a slice of cake with my cup of tea, especially if I’m celebrating with friends and family.

Of course, Sweet Life has always shared recipes for treats as well as ordinary food, because we believe that you can’t be on a diet your whole life, and diabetes is definitely sticking around for your whole life… But still, it made me feel guilty to use sugar in recipes when I know what sugar does to my blood sugar (bad, spiky things!)

That’s why I was so delighted to be given Natreen artificial sweetener to test out. I’ve always been a bit scared of artificial sweeteners because of aspartame, which has been linked to cancer, but Natreen doesn’t have any aspartame which makes me very happy! (Apparently the claims of aspartame being linked to cancer haven’t been proven, so it’s not something that they can shout about any more).

My next concern, though, was what replacing normal sugar with a sugar substitute would do – particularly while baking. I’m very happy to report that the result was exactly the same, and my non-diabetic friends didn’t even notice the difference! I made our special occasion Flourless Chocolate Tart and it was simply fabulous. Best of all, my blood sugar readings were heaps better than if there had been sugar in the cake. That’s because the sweeteners in Natreen (cyclamate and saccharin) don’t have any carbohydrate – as opposed to sugar, which is 100% carbohydrate. I actually asked for a breakdown so that you could see exactly what I was talking about – take a look below:


  • 8 drops Natreen Liquid = 1 tsp sugar (4.2g)
  • 100ml Natreen Liquid = 0.96 calories
  • 1 tsp sugar (4.2g) = 16 calories
  • 100g sugar = 387 calories
  • 6.67ml Natreen Liquid = 100g sugar


  • 100ml Natreen Liquid = 0g carbohydrates
  • 100g sugar = 100g carbohydrates

So for those special occasions when you really want something delicious and sweet, I would highly recommend using Natreen instead of sugar… Your blood sugar will thank you!

Specialist Physician in KZN?

Hi there,

We relocated a year ago from the good old Gauteng to Nottingham Road in the Midlands. I have Diabetes 1 and am looking for specialist physician, I have tried two one in Hilton and one in Pietermaritzburg. The one in Hilton sent me to be scanned for kidney failure, the radiologist found nothing and could not understand why I was sent there.

The second one in private hospital Pietermaritzburg, saw me the first time where I presented him with a letter of introduction from my previous specialist as well as a copy script of all my medication agreed to by the doctor and my medical aid. He then said on my next visit he want a complete set of blood test done so he can build up his own file on me. This was done and dusted and sent to him a week before my scheduled appointment, the day before my appointment they cancelled the appointment, when I asked why I was told he is an I house doctor with the hospital.

When I explained that I urgently needed a script because my repeats were finished I got nothing but attitude from this practice, even after explaining to them that I can’t stop my medication to suit them, after a few days of verbal battle I was given a new script with 6 repeats to date I am still waiting for a new appointment date, I won’t be going back there. And then the cherry on the cake the medical aid rejected all the blood test bar those that conforms to my treatment plan, which meant I had to pay a whopping R 1600.00 out of my pocket (I’m a pensioner so this type of spend really puts a strain on my finances). The medical aid insisted that these tests where not necessary.

I can’t believe the unprofessional attitude here in KZN, I only have two repeats left and am desperately trying to find a specialist physician, can you help me please.
– Don

Diabetes Turned My Life Around

Hi everyone…

It’s so heartening to read all of the posts on your website and learn from all of your experiences! It has inspired me to share my story on your website.

I am a 40 year old Indian male. Two years ago (18 December 2013) to be exact, I had admitted my self to the Umhlanga Netcare hospital. I was just too tired, too run down and did not know what was going on with my body. I had started feeling tired, restless, sleep deprived a few days before. I was also very stressed out and emotionally down due to a lengthy divorce battle and being separated from my children. The doctor attending to me admitted me to ICU. I was undergoing a Type 1 Diabetic Keto Acedosis attack. I lay in hospital for a week. When I was finally discharged, my weight had dropped from around 85 kg to 68kg! I was totally insulin dependent, and was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 38.

My world seemed to be collapsing around me. First, the divorce/separation from my wife and kids (who mean the world to me), and now finally my health just failing me completely. I just could not cope with anything at that point in time.

Eventually I pulled myself together. I started off my new life by following my Insulin dosage instructions carefully, and by doing relentless research on Diabetes Type 1 and read up on everyting about Diabetes and related topics/posts/blogs etc. I learnt about a balanced Diabetes nutrition and and how to shop, prepare and eat food Diabetes Smart. I eat a low fat, controlled Low GI Carb Diet, with no refined/processed foods. I have developed an exercise routine that I follow religiously. My eating pattern, portion controls and diet have become a daily way of life now. Its embedded in my lifestyle.

When I was going through the Type 1 DKA attack, my blood Glucose was 27 mmol/l, my HbA1C at that time was 18.5 percent and Cholesterol 4.67 mmol/l. Since Dec 2013, I do HbA1c’s every 6 months, together with Cholesterol checks etc. My last two HbA1C’s were 4.90 and 5.10 mmol/l, and Cholesterol 3.67 mmol/l.

I believe that I have my condition under control, and firmly believe that I can still have a meaningful, productive life of good quality, if I maintain my Diabetes Care Routine.

Type 1 Diabetes does not have to be a death sentence, you can turn it in your favour by living and eating healthily and staying positive about your life.

Cheers for now everyone and happy, healthy living!

– Dhiraj

Diabetes chat on Afternoon Express

Sweet Life editor Bridget McNulty was recently interviewed on Afternoon Express on SABC3 – here’s the episode if you’d like to watch! She was joined by some fantastic diabetes experts who spoke about everything from health to diet, support and living with the condition. Make yourself a cuppa and watch them all below…

Strandfontein Diabetes Walk this weekend

Want to get involved in a diabetes walk in Strandfontein? Here are all the details:

When: Saturday 28th November 2015

Where: Leaving from the Strandfontein Clinic in Welgelegen Ave.

What: 3 to 5km walk.

Time: Gates will be open from 7am for late registrations.

Warm-up will be done by Virgin Active at 8.15 till 8.30am.

Other highlights: Welcome by the Strandfontein area councillor.
Pre-testing of blood pressure / blood glucose / pap smears will be done by registered staff.

Entries are only R20 +R10 for kids and R30 for moms with prams and wheelchairs.
If people don’t have entrance money they can just come to walk for awareness.

More info: Strandfontein Diabetic Support Group.

Cape Town Diabetes Walk next weekend

The Western Cape branch of Diabetes SA has partnered with the Lions to organise a walk this National Diabetes Month – get all the details below!

When: Saturday 28th November 2015

Where: Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology, Firgrove Way, Constantia

Route: Through the Tokai Forest

Find out more: By emailing


A message from Diabetes SA Western Cape:

Diabetes is the 2nd leading cause of  death in the Western Cape. In South Africa there are over 6 million people diagnosed with Diabetes and many more who don’t know they have the disease. Diabetes is prevalent in over 30% of the population of the Western Cape.   Diabetes kills more people than HIV/Aids, and people with Diabetes likely to develop T.B. and die from it.

Diabetes South Africa is a registered Non profit organisation and public benefit organisation and registered under Section 18A with S.A.R.S. They raise funds towards the implementation of many projects which include; camps for children with diabetes, workshops for newly diagnosed patients, Schools Awareness project,  Community Wellness groups, Public Awareness events and Training of Home Based Carers in Underprivileged Communities. Included in their services are Corporate Wellness Days where education, counseling and screening of staff can be done at small fee.

No financial support is available to Diabetes South Africa in the current Healthcare system.  In order to facilitate their services to the people of South Africa, Diabetes S.A. needs the support of the Private Sector in it’s efforts to reduce the damaging effects of this disease and premature mortality, which affects so many people in the prime of their working  lives. The prevalence of diabetes has increased hugely in the coloured community, and the high prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes portends that cardiovascular diseases might grow to epidemic proportions in the near future in South Africa.

Contact Diabetes S.A. Western Cape Branch at 021 425 4440 or email to offer some support, or book your corporate wellness day.  Help further their very important work of saving  lives and preventing diabetes.

Joburg one of the Cities Changing Diabetes

At the first global Cities Changing Diabetes Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, today, it was announced that the City of Joburg together with the City of Vancouver will join Mexico City, Shanghai, Tianjin, Copenhagen and Houston as partner in addressing the urban diabetes challenge. With an official population of 4.5 million people, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the first in Africa to join Cities Changing Diabetes.

More than two thirds of the world’s 400 million people with diabetes live in urban areas.

In South Africa alone, more than 2.7 million people live with diabetes, 4 out of 5 living in cities.

The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative is a response to the rapidly increasing number of people with diabetes now living in urban areas, as well as to the ways in which urbanisation is impacting on the risk of developing diabetes.

The programme aims to find out more about how urban environments and living conditions contribute so significantly to the risk of city dwellers developing diabetes. This dovetails with the City of Joburg’s Vision 2030, which aims to significantly improve the quality of life for all residents over the next 15 years.

“We have learnt from experience that the way in which the cities are laid out and managed has a direct impact on the health and well-being of their residents,” says Nonceba Molwele, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development in the City of Joburg. “Our aim in joining Cities Changing Diabetes is to learn as much as we can from international experience and to find innovative ways of approaching the diabetes issue in our city.”

The Cities Changing Diabetes programme involves mapping the true extent of the condition, identifying ‘hot issues’, sharing solutions and upscaling programmes aimed at reducing the risk of developing diabetes in urban populations, improving treatment outcomes, and making cities healthier places in which to live, work and play As a partnership programme, it encourages city leadership, urban planners, communities, the business sector, healthcare professionals and academics to work together in developing solutions..

“This is the first-ever partnership of its kind,” says Dr Timmy Kedijang, Vice President and General Manager of Novo Nordisk South Africa, “Our objective is to ensure that we mobilise as many resources as possible at our disposal and come up with workable, sustainable solutions to ensure healthier communities.”

A delegation from the City of Joburg including the MMC, the VP and General Manager of Novo Nordisk South Africa and representatives from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), travelled to Copenhagen in Denmark to be officially inducted to the programme at the global Cities Changing Diabetes Summit, 16 November.


About Cities Changing Diabetes

Cities Changing Diabetes is a partnership programme to address the urban diabetes challenge. Initiated by Novo Nordisk, it is a response to the dramatic rise of urban diabetes and has been developed in partnership with University College London and Steno Diabetes Center, as well as a range of local partners including the diabetes/health community, city governments, academic institutions, city experts from a variety of fields and civil society organisations. The aim of the programme is to map the problem, share solutions and drive concrete action to fight the diabetes challenge in the big cities around the world. For more information, visit