type 1 diabetes

The Freedom Swim

We were just sent info about the inspiring Freedom Swim next week. Read all about it below!

Meet Dr. Annabelle Slingerland:

She is visiting South Africa – Cape Town, to be exact. She is a keen swimmer. While she is here, connecting with medical friends, she is training to swim from Robben Island to the shores of Big Bay, and by doing so, she aims to help raise more awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.

She is swimming solo! On the 27th April from 9am till she reaches the shore around 12noon. It’s called the Freedom Swim. The Freedom analogy is strong… Many T1D’s may comfortably exercise external freedoms society offers but internally they may still be very imprisoned thinking they cannot achieve their dreams or goals due to diabetes. This is not the case. Does diabetes interfere somewhat with life? Sure, but it need not hold any person back from The Freedom to BE and contribute positively to our society.

We will support causes like this shining a spotlight on efforts to raise awareness about diabetes.

More details on how to get involved with The Freedom Swim will be posted next week.

Diabetes and Alcohol

Do you drink alcohol? Do you know how it affects your blood sugar? Here’s some fantastic advice from community member Ane on how to deal with drinking and diabetes:

I’m a second year student in Stellenbosch, which is not very helpful with all the beautiful wineries etc here for a type 1. I do, however, prefer to either drink nothing or drink something I know will not have an impact on my sugars too much. The problem with alcohol is it makes your sugar drop rapidly when too much alcohol is in the blood without sufficient carbs to keep levels stable. This is a confusing concept since 275ml of beer = 5 slices of white bread = carb overload!
Do not drink cocktails. Nor shots. Ever. Try to avoid cloudy drinks as well.
I would recommend not drinking and drinking Coke Light or water (much much cheaper) or if you have to drink and want to, have some whiskey or champ. (Whiskey is your best option, and champagne is regarded the best type of drink for ladies with Type 1 diabetes.)
Always always have a friend with you that will not get drunk. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of a hypo, people will think you are drunk since it looks 100% the same in a club at 02:00..
Keep carbs with you at all times, and never drink on a empty stomach.
Set alarms in the morning to make sure that you don’t get a hypo. Rather little higher than too low.
Wear something to say that you have type 1 diabetes..
Remember, we are all curious at some point in time about alcohol (and a lot of other things that have an influence on our levels) We try things, make mistakes, learn and educate others. Everyone is different, this is my opinion since I have experience.. Hope it helps!

drinking and diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes and Breastfeeding

To all the diabetic mommies out there:

Being diabetic did you breastfeed your baby? I have found that my sugar dips from the breastfeeding.   think I should stop as I nearly went into a coma, when I came to my sugar was 0.5, but I don’t want to stress my baby out. She does not like taking a bottle from me at all.

The doctors and councilors all seem to have different opinions. I have been feeding my baby less and have now got spiking sugars, I assume from my body adjusting  again. I am very torn because my baby needs me more than my milk.

Has anyone else out there had the same situation?

Thanks,

Candace

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

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:

Calories:

  • 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

Carbohydrates:

  • 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

Looking for Diabetes Support

Hi there,
I think it is so great that you have managed to turn your diagnosis into a magazine!  I think it is really inspiring!
Im hoping you can help me.  I am looking for an online forum to support me and my diabetes.  I am 29 and was diagnosed at 5.
I want to get on to a pump because I think it is the next best thing for me, however, I am stuck between a finding a good clinic in Joburg, Medtronic and finding a Medical Insurance company that will cover me.
I just need someone I can speak to and help me clear my questions as I do not understand all this legal terminology.
In Zambia we have no support network (in fact I am the head of one but no one comes to it) – and I just need someone to talk to. The psychological aspect can have such a toll.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Kaajal

The Diabetes Dawn Phenomenon

Hi,

I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for 20 years now.  Lately I am suffering horribly from the dawn phenomenon.  My sugar readings are perfect before bed, perfect at 03:00 am when I wake up to test, but absolutely sky high when I wake up in the mornings.

Has anyone experienced this and if so how can it be prevented?

Thank you.

– Frances