Have a diabetes question? Ask us here!

Have a diabetes question? Ask us here!

There are some questions that only diabetics know how to ask – and answer… This is your space to ask any diabetes questions you like – and give answers to the rest of the community. After all, we’re all in this diabetes journey together!

Share your experience, your tips and advice, and your challenges with diabetes on this page.

diabetes question

Please bear in mind that any information shared here is from the diabetic community, and has not been supplied by a medical doctor. Don’t make any changes to your medication without first consulting a medical professional. That said, diabetes is a social condition, and we can all learn from each other as we strive towards better control.

Have a question?

Write an email, attach a photo (if you want to) and we’ll publish it here! Give as much information as you can about the issue and we’ll work through it together!

Diabetes question (an example!)

Subject: Eating curry sends my blood sugar up
Email: Every time I eat curry my blood sugar goes through the roof… Has anyone else experienced this? I’m eating chicken curry with naan and taking what I think is the right amount of insulin. By Joe Blog (www.yourwebsite.com)
Pics: If you want to add photos to your post, simply add them as an attachment in the email and we’ll put them up as part of your blog post.

Once your blog post is live, we’ll invite the rest of the community (particularly from Facebook) to join us in sharing advice.

Have a diabetes question? Let’s answer it!

Posted on: May 30, 2018__Sweet Life__

35 thoughts on “Have a diabetes question? Ask us here!

  1. I want know what type of diabetic I am. I Think I fall between type 1 and 2 so technically a type 1.5? as I was diagnosed as an adult but have to inject before every meal and at night. Am I correct and could you give me more information if I am in this group as it is the first time I have heard of type 1.5.

    1. Hi Karen,
      Type 1.5 is really just a way of saying ‘adult Type 1’, as traditionally only those under the age of 30 were diagnosed with Type 1. The condition is exactly the same as Type 1, the only difference is that you are an adult when diagnosed. These days, what used to be the common ages for Type 1 (young) and Type 2 (old) are blurring, as more and more young people are diagnosed with Type 2, and more and more people over 30 are diagnosed with Type 1. Some people think it’s an advantage to be diagnosed later in life, as you’re more able to deal with the condition. What do you think?

      1. no dont agree with being diagnosed later in life, am still very resistant to have to watch every single thing that passes my lips and still not dealing with it and it is now 8 years later.

  2. Yes, that’s the other side of it, isn’t it – that old habits are hard to break. Hopefully our magazine and community will be able to help, or at least let you know you’re not the only one feeling that way!

  3. Hi Karen and Sweetlife 🙂 My name is Annelie and I’ve been diagnosed August 2011. I must say, it was a shock as that am a very fit woman and eat right, most of the time. So adjusting my eating habits wasn’t really that much of an issue. I must point out that training, that is any form of exercising, do help and keep my sugar levels constant. I’ve got a ‘sofy spot’ for biscuits every now and then. (Although I’m not allowed 🙂 but do test myself thereafter just to see that my sugar levels is ok, and that it is. By the way, I’m type 1. You said you don’t know which type you are? Maybe go for a local check at the doc. I’ve been very depressed last year with my diabetes and looking at it nown it’s really just a healthier way of eating that you will benifit at the end. I thought being diabetic I can NEVER eat nice things anymore, but there are so manu recipes for diabetics and is not that much of a change to the nornal recipes 🙂 you need to find maybe a hobby or something to ‘calm’ you for the day, if it’s a 30 min walk, you’ll see, it’ll do wonders. Most people don’t like excercising, but it is so important. I’ve learned that one can become very ill with diabetes if you don’t look after yourself, so look after yourself, it’s your life, your body and most importantly, your mind, and a powerful mind that is. Good luck and keep your head up, there are many of us out there 😉

    1. Thanks so much for this, Annelie – you’re so right… If you look after yourself, you’ll feel so much better and happier, and diabetes feels less overwhelming. I’m going to post your and Brett’s comments as a blog post so that the rest of the community can benefit from them.. Thank you!

  4. Hi. Like Karen I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in my 30’s, and I take insulin and glucophage. I have been diabetic for about 8 years now. Initially after consulting with a specialist and a dietian I gained control quite quickly, and maintained control for a long time. There was definately a honeymoon period of about 3 years where all went great and then I got pneumonia from which I took about a month to recover from. I found afterwards that my sugar levels were far more unstable, and heat and cold played a much larger role in how much insulin I needed. I have a really physical job so extra exercise has really never been an issue for me, except when going on holiday. I think most diabetics crave some type of junk food, or sweet, at one time or the other, it’s simply human nature, especially when a friend or partner is snacking in front of you, and you think, “Why me?” There are some very conflicting ideas of what foods are good, and what is bad, high and low GI/GL etc, but simply eat as much fresh unprocessed foods as possible, eat healthily, and eat in moderation. Nobody wants to be hypo and definately not hyper. I applaud Sweet Life for their efforts simply because it’s time the big corporates wake up and take notice of how many diabetics there are in SA, and hopefully more will be done to reduce costs and make life a little sweeter. Remember diabetes is simply a lifestyle change, a change to what everyone should actually be doing anyway.

    1. This is a great attitude towards diabetes, thanks Brett! I’m going to post your and Annelie’s comments as a blog post so that people can see that diabetes doesn’t have to be limiting… Thank you!

  5. Hi

    I am a 38 year old Indian male and my blood sugar levels stay high ( 11 to 16 ) I am on meds for it but it don’t want to come down to normal. I am a shift worker and don’t have the time to excessive or have plenty of rest and I do smoke. I am trying to cut down on my smoking and i have a vi bro shape machine will this machine help me with the exercise part that I am not getting ? how else can I bring my sugar levels down to normal . Please advice.

    Thank You

    Subash

  6. Hi

    I am a 38 year old Indian male and my blood sugar levels stay high ( 11 to 16 ) I am on meds for it but it don’t want to come down to normal. I am a shift worker and don’t have the time to exercise or have plenty of rest and I do smoke. I am trying to cut down on my smoking and i have a vi bro shape machine will this machine help me with the exercise part that I am not getting ? how else can I bring my sugar levels down to normal . Please advice.

    Thank You

    Subash

  7. Hi there, i am a 30 year old female, i have been diagnosed as a type one diabetic in 1998. My sugar levels were never right. the only time, when i could say my sugar levels were good were when i was pregnant with my baby boy. HbA1c was 5.6. About a week ago i got this red itchy rash on my left leg, it is worrying me alot. i just would like to know is it because of my diabetes and what can i do. the more i scratch it, the worse it becomes 🙁

    thanks for the great magazine i just love it!

  8. I am a 38 year old and I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic recently. I inject insulin morning and night and take glucophage at night. When asking the specialist what the difference was between a type 1 and 2, his answer was that it is just terminology. I am still left confused!

    1. Hi Antoinette,
      Welcome to the community!
      First off, I think you need to find a new specialist – there are many differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and it’s definitely not just terminology! We explain it in our blog post here, take a look: http://sweetlifemag.co.za/2011/06/what-are-type-1-and-type-2-diabetes/
      If you have any specific questions, feel free to email us at hello @ sweetlifemag.co.za (without the spaces!) or ask on our Facebook page (Diabetic South Africans).
      You’re not alone 🙂

      1. Terminology! That’s like saying the difference between a neurosurgeon and a tarot card reader is terminology 🙂

        Type 1 diabetes is where your body cannot produce insulin (for whatever reason), so you need to inject insulin to match the carbohydrate content of the food you eat.

        Type 2 diabetes differs in that the body still produces insulin, but is not able to use it (i.e. the individual is resistant to their own insulin).

        The causes of each differ, and therefore the treatments differ too. Best you ditch that specialist! Good luck, get a proper diagnosis and make the changes you need to enjoy life – it’s within reach!

  9. Hi there…are there any can foods that are suitable for diabetics to eat? Sometimes we need to make a quick meal and its so easy to cook can foods.

  10. I am a type 1 diabetic since 1991. I have had two children and desperately want a third, but cannot face another pregnancy like the second due to severe hypoglycaemia which kept occurring. I breastfed for a very long time (2 years +) after the birth of my second child and since stopping my sugar levels have been very unstable – this also happened after stopping breastfeeding the first child and I was labelled a brittle diabetic at that stage. I want to get a pump and have approached Roche. My doctor did initially suggest it and I have asked for a referral to a centre that deals with pumps as my present doctor does not. I have heard that there are two centres in Pretoria that deal with pumps, but have had no information about Johannesburg. I have also been told that no endocrinologists specialise in/are dealing with pumps in this country – that only GPs are doing so at present – is this true? I also would like to know what the chance of getting a pump on medical aid is if it is recommended by a doctor and if the medical aid is paying for CDE at the moment? I have been told that a pump costs R26000 at the moment – are there cheaper options? What type of motivating factors would a medical aid be wanting to approve a pump?

    I am trying to control my sugars now but even tracking them 6-8 times a day, taking multiple extra shots when needed and tracking my diet closely is not helping and the problem appears to be with the night time readings – as some nights I do go hypoglycaemic, but whether I do or not my sugars always rise very heavily between 04:00am and 07:00am when I get up so even if they are normal at 4:00am they will be high by 07:00am and if they are low at 04:00am then they will be even more high by 07:00am (sometimes as high as 18/19) Can a pump help to correct this as a bad reading in the morning seems to mess up all control for the rest of the day no matter what I do to try to correct it. Also can a pump prevent the severe hypoglycaemic episodes I had during my second pregnancies which resulted in ambulance trips a few times if I were to fall pregnant again?

    1. Hi Bronwyn,
      Thanks for your question – I’ll post it on the blog so we can get the rest of the community involved…
      So sorry to hear things are so difficult for you right now, I’m sure they’ll get better!

    2. Hi Bronwyn I think after pregnancy when your hormones have stabilized it should be easier controlling your insulin levels also if you do some sort of physical exercise, I know your time could be limited with having two kids but you have to adapt your lifestyle accordingly for yourself and your kids. Pump is very convenient if i understand it correctly from people I spoke too, as you can set the delivery dose think it works like a drip also monitors your sugar levels often and beeps if below a certain point. Also your insulin sensitivity could be determined by a number of factors like body fat levels, stress levels etc. The higher both the less sensitive your body would be to insulin and the less active you are, as being more active increases blood flow to extremities and keeps body fat lower and could aid if stressed so in all aids and benefits blood sugar levels as a whole. I can only advice under practical experience as a type 1 diabetic myself being involved in sports as bodybuilding and powerlifting where it benefits to know how our body works and responds to certain inputs and why. What insulins are you using how often and also how does your diet look and frequency of meals? Pump might not always be as beneficial as a life style change. Friend of mine is a type 1 diabetic and got the pump but didn’t think it was worth the money and gave it back but then also met others it worked for, so look at lifestyle changes before looking at the pump in other words look at or try and determine the source or route of the problem before you start treating the side effects of it. Hope this helps. Also been a type 1 diabetic for 11 years now.

  11. I have been a diabetic type 1 for the past 17 years. my levels r up and down but under control. I go to the endcrineologist twice a year. I just want to hear what other blacks have to say about our diet. blacks have they staple food rich in carbohydrates. which makes it difficult for us to adjust. I feel that this is a richmans disease. all dieticians advice us on the diet which is not affordable. Please help. Which foods should I included on my plate to make 1/4 prot. 1/4 carbohydrates and 1/2 fruit and veges. thank you.

  12. Hello all you diabetics!

    Firstly, I was diagnosed with Type-1 at the age of 4. I recently turned 31, so 27 years of insulin dependency and a happy, healthy life in general.

    On 25 January ’14 I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with DKA – I was in hospital for a total of 22 nights. I also contracted a fungal infection whilst in hospital then also had internal bleeding from my oesophagus because of this infection…. I know, super dramatic stuff!

    My question is this: Has anyone else experienced the emotional instability after being released from hospital? Is this a diabetic thing or just my own mental problems…?

    I’m crying for the most ridiculous things… Yesterday the laundromat advised me they couldn’t dry my clothes and I burst out crying. Its just not me – I didn’t even need the clothes 🙂

    What can I do?

    Please help!

    Adios,
    Bonnie

    1. Hi Bonnie!
      Thanks so much for your question and so sorry to hear about your difficult start to the year!
      I’m going to post your comment as a post so that we can get input from the rest of the community…
      Good luck!
      Bridget

      1. Thank you Bridget! It could have been worse, so it’s all good 😉
        Have an awesome day!
        Keep well,
        Bonnie

  13. Hi everyone…its 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 lifestlyle. 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!

  14. Hi all,
    I am quite keen on studying towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educators, is there any info available or can I please get some advice/feedback from current CDE’s?
    Many thanks!
    Dhiraj

    1. Hi Jahanzeb,
      We aren’t medical specialists but that sounds like normal blood sugar to me – best to go and have a blood glucose test at your local clinic or doctor and they can advise.

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