Hmm, now in no particular order:
* However, you do need to take it seriously. Ignoring the ‘betes will result in disaster sooner or later…
* Speak to other diabetics. Opinion and knowledge vary enormously, but you can pick up a tonne of tips. I’ve learnt a million things from our readers since we set up Shoot Up.
* Learn to calculate your carbohydrate intake. If you’ve got a good DSN you’ll be taught to do this (I was!), failing that teach yourself or try and get on a DAFNE (Dose Adjusting For Normal Eating – off the top of my head) course. Essentially diabetes is all about balancing what you eat with the amount of insulin you inject.
* However, it’s not that simple! For example, pizza is a notorious diabetic blackspot. Its combination of high carbs (all that doughy base) and fat (yummy greasy toppings) mean that its carbs are digested and released quite slowly over the course of a few hours – which can be a nightmare.
* To make things even harder everyone is different! Diabetic A might not have any problems with pizza because of their own particular physiology while Diabetic B might avoid pizza entirely as it’s just too difficult to manage. The only way to find out what works for you is by trial and error.
* Therefore, to begin with at least, it can be useful to log everything. I logged my blood glucose (BG), what I ate, what I injected and then looked at the results to see what patterns emerged. From the data I could then figure out how various things effected me. A grounding in maths and slight OCD helps with all the logging! Once you’ve learnt it all then less logging is perhaps necessary.
* Maybe treat GP’s with suspicion. They are generalists and sometime aren’t the best person to help with very specific queries. Diabetic Specialist Nurses (DSNs) at your local hospital will usually be very good.