How to Handle Halloween for Children with Diabetes

It’s that time of year again: the leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and all things scary and spooky are on store shelves. While pumpkin picking and catching a hay ride are (for all intents and purposes) “low carbohydrate” activities, trick-or-treating can be anything but. So, how do you handle Halloween with a young child with diabetes? Do you allow them to “be a kid” for an evening, and go all out on the chocolate and sugar spike? Or do you limit them to a few, portion-controlled treats, with a food scale nearby? While there’s no one right answer to this question, here are some helpful tips to make your Halloween a little less spooky this year.

Take the Focus Away from Food

This is helpful for all children, for all holidays. No holiday needs to be 100% about the food, especially for a child with diabetes. For Halloween specifically, focus on carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, dressing up in really elaborate Halloween costumes, and yes, if you and your child wish, some candy, too.

Noelle from California says, “Our kiddo is three so our main focus is on creating traditions that will be helpful for her later on with type 1. For parties, I create treats that aren’t food-related.”

Lila from New York City says, “We completely avoid the candy thing. Trick or treating isn’t a huge deal in our neighborhood, so this hasn’t been an issue yet.”

Kate, from Pennsylvania, says, “We go out a little, but limit the number of stops. After we get home, we go through our candy, keeping only what we really, really like. The rest, we give to the Switch Witch, and she brings the girls a little present in the morning as an exchange for giving her their candy.” There’s even a book you can buy that helps explain the magic of the Switch Witch.

Create Unique Traditions

Perhaps you have a spooky, scary dance party or movie night on Halloween, or the whole family dresses up in matching costumes to go walking around the neighborhood. Maybe you bob for apples or roast pumpkin seeds after carving, or let your child have a few friends sleepover. Creating unique family traditions that are inclusive will be beneficial not only for your child now, but will be helpful as they grow up with type 1 diabetes.

Be Wary About Restrictions

Be cognizant about putting too many restrictions on candy for your child. Children with diabetes are much more likely to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. If your child really wants to indulge, just make sure they’re carbohydrate counting appropriately, and let them enjoy themselves (within moderation, of course). Most of the time children intuitively eat anyway, and don’t actually end up eating that much candy.

Melissa, from Iowa, says, “We bring any candy home and carb count it ahead of time, and then put a post-it note on each piece, so our daughter can dose appropriately whenever she’s hungry or wants a treat.”

Plan Ahead

Like all things diabetes-related, it helps to plan ahead. Make sure your child eats dinner with some protein and fat before going trick-or-treating, so they’re not just eating sugar on an empty stomach, which can cause the roller coaster effect. Make sure you know where and how far they’ll be walking, or better yet, walk along with them. Have your child carry low snacks (they shouldn’t solely rely on candy that won’t have any nutrition facts or carbohydrate information on it), and make sure they’re drinking plenty of water. It’s helpful if your child also has fresh continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump sites on, but not absolutely necessary.

Hannah says, “Planning ahead a learning to navigate holidays with type 1 diabetes is critical and so empowering once you find what works for you and your family.”

Don’t Stress the Small Stuff!

It’s important to remember that Halloween is only one night, and you shouldn’t stress the small stuff. Some parents of children with diabetes shy away from candy, while others let them indulge, and there is no one right answer. Do what works for you and your family, but don’t let the stress of one holiday ruin the evening for you and your child. Relax and let them have fun! They’ll be doing so much running around anyway that you’ll be glad they had the extra “low snacks” on them anyway.

Lija, from Minnesota, says, “We don’t do anything different for my type 1 and non-type 1, and it works out fine. We find that she tends to go low while out trick or treating, so she just eats and boluses a little while out; it isn’t actually a difficult holiday for us!”

The key is finding what works for you. There are no right or wrong answers. Here’s to a happy, spooky Halloween! Hopefully the candy (and subsequent blood sugars) are the least scary part.

How do you and your family handle Halloween in a household affected by diabetes? What tactics and strategies have helped you manage appropriately? Share your experience in the comment section below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Flying with Diabetes During COVID-19

While not currently especially recommended for people living with diabetes, air travel is sometimes necessary, and people with diabetes will inevitably have to fly from time to time (for work, a funeral, or a family or medical emergency) during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is helpful to know the proper precautions to take to make sure that you stay happy and healthy in the friendly skies, should you have to use air travel in the coming months.

The COVID-19 virus actually does not spread as easily on flights as originally reported, because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing can be difficult on crowded flights (some airlines are promising to keep middle seats open to help with this), and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of being exposed to the virus. Air travel however does require spending time in security lines and airport terminals, bringing you closer to other people and having to frequently touch common surfaces. These precautions can help you stay healthier for your trip.

Precautions to Take

  • Wear a cloth mask at all times while at the airport and on a flight (removing your mask to eat a low snack is always okay).
  • Wash your hands often (this is especially important after going through airport security, using the bathroom, and before eating).
  • Carry and use hand sanitizer liberally. As part of their “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure” campaign, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is temporarily suspending their 3-1-1 rules around liquids; TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags (all other liquids, gels, and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces/100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag).
  • Physically distance yourself from other travelers as much as possible. Staying 6 feet away from anyone not in your party is ideal. Paloma Beamer, associate professor of environmental health sciences at University of Arizona, says, “Six feet 1 inch doesn’t make you safe, neither does 5 feet 10 inches make you not safe; it’s kind of a range. Some people are going to release a lot more virus when they’re sick than other people,” she said.
  • Bring disinfectant wipes and use them to wipe down the storage trays during airport security, as well as wiping down your seat, armrests, and tray table once you board the plane.
disinfectant airport

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Helpful Tips

  • As a person living with diabetes, you are allowed to pre-board all flights (COVID-19 or not). Use this to your advantage, to give yourself extra time to organize and have easy access to any low snacks and pump/CGM supplies you may need. Check out our other tips for flying here.
  • In addition to wearing a cloth mask, it may be helpful to wear an N95 or KN95 mask underneath that, to make sure the air you’re breathing is more filtered. Additionally, face shields are helpful to prevent the virus from jumping into your eye, and catching the disease that way.
  • Aim for a window seat, near the front of the plane, if you’re able to choose your seat when flying. “Because people are walking by you in the aisle seat, it’s shown in outbreaks of norovirus that people are more likely to get ill if they sit on the aisle because people are touching surfaces and walking by,” Charles Gerba, a professor of virology at the University of Arizona said. “So based on norovirus outbreaks, the window seat is better.”
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about adjusting your medication doses for travel to stay in range as much as possible. Also, aim to eat and drink before arriving at the airport, so you can keep your mask on as much as possible.
  • If possible, avoid public transportation or ride shares to and from the airport. Opt to have family drop you off, or pay to park at the airport to avoid more crowds and close proximity to strangers.
  • Book a morning flight. Aircrafts are now being thoroughly cleaned every night, so aiming for a morning flight is a better guarantee that your vessel is free of viral particles than a flight going out later in the day.
  • Don’t make friends with your seatmate: talking can spread viral particles in the air. The fewer people you talk to, the better. Bring a book, podcast, music, or get some shut eye instead.
  • Don’t panic! By taking these necessary precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus, and there is no need to panic.

If you plan to or need to travel by air, it’s best to check your state’s travel advisories as well as the CDC’s travel recommendations by country to assess your risk. After traveling, make sure to quarantine for at least 14 days to minimize spreading the virus to others (you may be asymptomatic but have the virus), or get tested if able.

By following these guidelines and the CDC’s precautions, you can stay healthy and safe should you need to travel during this time.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Former NFL Player with Type 1 Diabetes Shares His Story

Jake Byrne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teen, and he didn’t let his condition stop him from pursuing his dreams of playing professional football. He also wrote a book to inspire others with type 1 diabetes to pursue their dreams. We talked to Jake about his journey and the advice he would give to young people recently diagnosed. 

How old were you when you first became interested in football?

Since I was a little kid. My parents are from Wisconsin, and I grew up watching the Green Bay Packers every Sunday. I first started playing football in the 3rd grade.

When were you diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed when I was a sophomore in high school; I was 15 years old.

How did your diagnosis affect the trajectory of your football career at the time?

The largest hurdle to overcome was how to manage a new disease with the physical and mental demands the game of football put on someone’s body.

Did you become discouraged about your future?

Yes, the most noticeable change was the sudden weight loss. I lost around 30 lbs. and had to figure out how to adjust to a completely new lifestyle living with T1D.

What worried you the most, and how did you move forward?

How to manage my blood sugar was my biggest worry. Stabilizing my blood sugar to be able to stay in a healthy range for a 2-3 hr. game or practice was such a challenge. There was just not a lot of information or people I knew that could provide helpful insight on how to manage in such an extreme environment. For the most part, it was trial and error that was my method of finding what worked for me.

What was your most memorable football experience?

I have a couple. I never thought I would make it as far as I did in my football career. I always wanted to make it to the NFL, but I set more short-term goals that seemed realistic at the time. The first was after I finally got in a good rhythm with my diabetes and football and was able to play well enough to earn my first scholarship offer from the University of Arkansas. This eventually led to several other offers, which lead to my decision to attend the University of Wisconsin. The second was my Junior year when we beat Ohio State (who was #1 in the country), which lead us to become Big10 Champions earning us an invitation to play in the rose bowl in Pasadena, CA. The third was when I finally got a shot to play in my first NFL game on Sunday for the Huston Texans.

What was the most challenging aspect for you in regard to playing football with type 1 diabetes?

Keeping my blood sugar in a safe range. Lows were always a struggle.

Tell us a little bit about your book. What prompted you to write it? What was the inspiration and motivation behind it?

The inspiration behind the book started when I first received a letter from a young kid who was struggling to convince his parents to let him play football, triggering the feelings around how lost I was when I was first diagnosed. I was looking for some hope and guidance on how to move forward. From that point, I wanted to find a way to share my story to help others that were going through a difficult time overcoming adversity.

*Editor’s note: Jake’s book, “First and Goal: What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up”, can be purchased on Amazon.

Can you tell us more about how having type 1 diabetes affected your football career experiences and vice versa?

Playing football at a high level is a challenge in itself. Then diabetes adds a level of complexity and discipline on top of that no-one else has to deal with.

Did the training and commitment involved in playing the sport at such a high level translate to more optimal diabetes management?

Absolutely, the amount of physical activity involved in sports like football leaves very little room for error. You can’t take one second off with T1D.

What advice would you give to newly-diagnosed kids and teens who have professional sports aspirations?

Never let diabetes set your limitations. Control your diabetes; don’t let it control you. It all comes down to your willingness to be disciplined in having a proactive approach to their daily routine to match your lifestyle.

Where are you today, and how do you think type 1 diabetes affected your path, overall?

Diabetes taught me very quickly that I had to be very disciplined in everything I do; it ingrained a work ethic and a sense of responsibility that is now part of who I am. That mindset allowed me to chase my dreams to play in the NFL, transition into my career into robotics, and eventually led to an opportunity to work for Locus Robotics as the Director of Customer Success. T1D taught me that through my life that if you work hard and have a thought-out plan, you can accomplish anything you set out to do.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Jake. Your story is sure to be an inspiration to many young athletes with type 1 diabetes. We wish you all the very best in all your future endeavors!

***

Are you a competitive athlete with type 1 diabetes? What challenges have you faced and what advice would you give?

Source: diabetesdaily.com

On-the-Go Snacking: Strategies for Work Days, Road Trips, and Keeping Carbs at Bay

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Catherine Newman

Catherine shares her favorite low-carb, high-protein snacks that you can buy at a convenience store, make at home, or keep in your pantry

If you’re reducing the carbs you eat, then you already understand why snacks are so uniquely challenging. Because, for so many of us, snacking has always been about the chips and the muffins, the cookies and crackers and donuts. Or at least, it used to be. But we’re changing our ways so that a sudden pang of hunger doesn’t mean we end up crashing just when we need our energy and stable blood sugar the most. High-protein, low-carb snacks. It’s got a holy grail kind of feeling to it, I know. But we’re on it.

Our advice here is divided into three components, all of them focused on savory snacks that have less than 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Click to jump to a section:

  • How to snack on the road and/or from a convenience store, because stopping to refill your tank doesn’t mean you can’t get a reasonable bite to eat.
  • Our recommendations for snacks to stock up on – plan-ahead stuff you can buy at the store or order online and tuck into your desk drawer, briefcase, or glove compartment for daily, occasional, or emergency snacking situations.
  • Our own Zucchini Chip recipe for at-home cravings. You didn’t know you needed a zucchini chip recipe? Ah! You were wrong.
  • More recipes for make-at-home snacks.
  • For airport/airplane snacking after the pandemic, please see Adam Brown’s article.

We typically recommend whole foods versus processed foods, but we’re not doing that here. Or not exclusively, because many packaged snacks have been processed. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just do your best to get some nutrients into your body, and to minimize your carb load. You’ll feel so much better – we’re almost sure of it.

On-the-Road Snacking

Ideally, if we’ve got to be in the car for a while, we would all plan ahead and pack up deviled eggs and cut-up veggies. But so often we don’t, and we’re pulling into the snackmart hungry and scanning the aisles for our best bets. Plus, with many of us trying to minimize time in grocery stores during COVID-19, here are three parts of the store to focus on:

  1. Snacks

    Image source: Catherine Newman

    The refrigerated case. Specifically, the cheese sticks and discs, and the shrink-wrapped hardboiled eggs—all high-protein, no-carb options. You might think you don’t want a shrink-wrapped hardboiled egg, but I’m here to tell you that if you keep salt and a bottle of hot sauce in your car, it’s really a pretty good snack.

  2. Snacks

    Image source: Catherine Newman

    The jerky/sausage aisle or endcap. Is jerky an ideal food? Well, not exactly – I mean, it’s processed and salty, and the meat might strike you as sketchy. But also? It tends to be very high in protein and very low in carbs, making it a very good choice in a pinch. Read the ingredients to make sure there’s no (or barely any) added sugar. This photo is from a run-of-the-mill middle-of-nowhere gas station, and it shows three of my favorite processed meat items: Duke’s Shorty Sausages (these come in a bunch of flavors, and offer 7 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbs per serving), Tillamook Zero Sugar Beef Jerky (14 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs per serving), and Vermont Smoke & Cure meat sticks (these also come in many flavors, and have 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of carbs per 1-ounce stick).

  3. The place where the nuts and seeds are, which might be kind of spread out around the candy. Look for products with no added sugar: sunflower seeds in and out of the shell, peanuts, smokehouse almonds, and pumpkin seeds are all good options. These tend to be high in protein and relatively low in carbs, plus they give you the crunchy-salty-filling trifecta you might be looking for in a snack.

If you’re thirsty, grab a bottle of water, unsweetened iced tea, or unsweetened flavored seltzer from the fridge!

Plan-Ahead Snacking

Once you’re planning ahead, snacking gets a lot easier, and you might already have plenty of good, snackable, packable food at home: nuts and seeds; cheese sticks; cut-up veggies and dip; cottage cheese; hard-boiled eggs; avocados; pickles, olives, and the like. Invest in some reusable small containers, and consider prepackaging what you’ll need for the week.

But I also like to have more grab-and-go style snacks on hand, with a few especially delicious items in the mix so that I don’t succumb to the temptation of the vending machine Cheez-Its. These are all low-carb, some are high-protein, and most of them are fairly expensive. I try to think about these a little differently to offset my concern about the cost: unlike most junk food, these are actually made from whole, high-quality ingredients. In other words, they’re more like food than like snacks, which makes them worth investing in (at least for me). All of these snacks have the added advantage of being gluten free.

Trader Joe’s Norwegian Crispbread

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These have answered my cracker-lover’s prayer. They seem a little. . . seedy at first. A little excessively wholesome. But the more I eat these, the more I love them: they’re nutty-tasting and crunchy, and one cracker slathered with mustard and piled with cheese makes a pretty perfect mid-afternoon meal (my daughter spreads hers with peanut butter).

Per serving: 4 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; 6 grams carbs

$4.29 per (7.55-ounce) package at Trader Joe’s

Whisps

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

We’re pretty much crazy about all the single-ingredient cheese crisps out there (can you guess the single ingredient?) but these are our current favorite. They are SO CHEESY! They’re like the part that leaks out of a grilled cheese sandwich and crisps on the grill. And we can’t keep them in the house, whatever flavor we get, because everybody loves them so much. Other brands we like include Moon Cheese and Just the Cheese.

Per serving: 6 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 1 gram carbs

$15 for 12 (.63-ounce) packages on Amazon

Epic Pork Rinds

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

I grew up seeing pork rinds in the bodegas of my childhood, but I’d never tried them until recently. And they’re really good—or at least these are. They’re like popcorn, but if popcorn were meat flavored and crunchier than anything you had ever bitten into in your life. Not crumbly-crunchy, but hard-crunchy, which is strange and nice. They’re also very filling. We like the Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt flavor, which have a happy two ingredients: antibiotic-free pork and salt. (Or three ingredients, if you count the two types of salt.)

Per serving: 11 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 0 grams carbs

$4-4.50 per (2.5-ounce) bag at Whole Foods or epicprovisions.com

Flock Chicken Chips

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These are basically the pork rinds of the chicken world. If you’re a person who volunteers to carve a roast chicken so that you can pull off its crispy skin and stuff it into your mouth before anyone else even knows it existed, then this is the snack for you. The chicken flavor is shockingly fresh and good. Be warned, though, that these are almost eerily filling. They come in different flavors, but we’ve only tried the original ones.

Per serving: 14 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 0 grams carbs

$24 for 8 (1-ounce) bags from flockfoods.com

Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These are those papery little sheets of seaweed that are a little fishy, a little salty, and strangely satisfying, if you like seaweed. Seaweed has lots of micronutrients (it’s especially rich in minerals) but it doesn’t have a lot of protein, so these won’t satisfy actual hunger. But if you’re just feeling a little snacky, seaweed snacks can really hit the spot. Our favorite flavors include the Seasnax lime flavor and the gimMe Organic sesame or teriyaki.

Per serving: 1 gram protein, 0 grams fiber; 1 gram carbs

Around $1 to $2 per (.35 ounce) package at many stores and online

And! The recipe.

Zucchini Chips

Image source: Catherine Newman

Nobody ever says this about zucchini, but bigger is actually better here, since these are like Shrinky Dinks in the oven. You can season them however you like once they’re baked: a sprinkle of curry powder, a shake of cheese powder, a dash of smoked paprika. But we love them plain, too. There’s something about the shrinking process that concentrates all of their sweetness. Maybe you didn’t even know that zucchini had any sweetness to begin with! Now you will.

View the recipe.

More make-at-home snack recipes:

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book “How to Be A Person” was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Moving Abroad for Better Diabetes Care

Anyone who lives with diabetes in the United States knows that affording care, and specifically insulin, is becoming more and more difficult as prices on insulin and essential medications continue to rise. A recent Yale study even showed that 1 in 4 people with diabetes have rationed their insulin due to cost, which can quickly lead to serious complications and even premature death. In our recent study , an overwhelming 44% of respondents reported struggling to afford insulin.

Our lack of a strong social safety net is leaving some patients feeling as though they have no other options for affordable care, and some patients have even resorted to crossing the border into Canada and Mexico to buy cheaper insulin, where federal price caps prevent runaway pricing on essential medications and prescription drugs. In light of all this, some people with diabetes have even daydreamed of completely relocating to another country for better care, where health coverage is centralized, universal for all people, and where medications are more affordable. The United States is the only rich country in the world that doesn’t guarantee healthcare for all its citizens.

Meet Liz Donehue, a comedian, writer, and American expat who has lived with type 1 diabetes for the past ten years. She moved abroad a few years ago to find better diabetes coverage, and I chatted with her about her experience moving to the Czech Republic.

What made you want to leave the United States? 

I left the United States for many reasons, but one of them was that the motion to repeal Obamacare passed in the House in 2017. Most of my employers didn’t provide health insurance, so the enactment of Obamacare in 2013 was a life-saving situation. Healthcare and insulin had never been unaffordable to me, but then again I was fortunate enough to have my parents support me in times of need, especially after I aged out of their insurance at age 26. I have never rationed insulin due to cost, only at times when the pharmacy or my endocrinologist made an error during insulin refills.

Why did you choose the Czech Republic? 

Part of the reason I chose the Czech Republic was that their visa process was relatively easy compared to other countries. I also chose the city I’m in, Brno, because of the cost of living. Having moved from Seattle, my cost of living went down by 66%. Other candidates included Poland, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but I had previously been to CZ and they had the most advanced healthcare system out of the four.

What was the deciding factor that made you move?

I had recently been laid off from my job, and I had just gotten out of a relationship. Essentially there was no true reason that kept me in Seattle, so I started to look at other options, especially where there was available socialized healthcare. I did research for about four months before moving, and I was able to secure an apartment online for myself and my cat who I brought with me. I’m living here permanently and my visa is through my current employer.

Will you become a citizen? 

I’m not a Czech citizen and as a “third country national” (non-EU), I will need to have lived in the country for ten years before I can apply. When I first arrived and waited for my freelance visa to process, I had to get private insurance through an international company for my application.

Typically, how expensive is diabetes care and insulin in your new country? 

During this wait, about five months, I was paying out of pocket for appointments and medications. But because it’s CZ, the costs pale in comparison to what they are in the US. A pack of five Humalog pens costs $18 here as opposed to $556 back home without coverage. When I got hired by my current employer, they took over paying for my healthcare costs, about $98 a month. I paid this for myself while I was self-employed, but everything was covered. There are no prior authorizations and the notion of pre-existing conditions doesn’t exist here.

Additionally, monthly insulin supply costs me nothing. I take Humalog and Tresiba daily and my test strips are also free of charge and included with my health insurance costs paid for by my employer. I get new prescriptions every 90 days whether I ask for them or not, so I now have a surplus of insulin and I don’t need to worry about refills.

Do you miss anything about the US healthcare system? 

I think the major thing I miss about the US healthcare system is the access to current technology. The system in CZ, while affordable and readily accessible, doesn’t have the technology to download glucometer readings, for instance. I also need to provide my own samples of urine for quarterly testing instead of having it done in the office. The medical equipment and tools are often metal and sterilized as opposed to plastic and designed for one-time use, which I’ve heard is a practice left over from the communist era.

Are you ever planning on moving back to the US? 

My move to CZ was an act of self-preservation. In the US, for some reason, health insurance is tied to a person’s employment. As long as that system is in place or there is no enactment of a system like Medicare for All, I can’t move back to the US. The pandemic has increased my concerns, and right now, I could go back to the US to visit, but I would not be let back into the Czech Republic just on the basis that I was IN the United States as the situation is worsening by the day. I feel healthier [living here] but I’ve also been taking extreme precautions due to the pandemic since I’m immunocompromised.

Thank you for your time, Liz. We really appreciate you sharing your story with us!

Have you ever considered moving abroad for better health coverage and diabetes care? Why or why would you not move abroad? Share your thoughts below; we would love to hear from you!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How to Increase Your Life Expectancy

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that health is everything. There are simple steps everyone can take to increase their life expectancy, and to give individuals the best chance at living a long, healthy life. Incorporate these simple habits into your daily and weekly routines to increase your life expectancy and improve your health now and into the future.

1. Keep Your HbA1c Low, TiR High

If you live with diabetes, one of the healthiest life-extending habits you can adopt is keeping your HbA1c low and time in range (TiR) high. Tightly managing blood sugar levels can help prevent devastating complications such as blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and premature death.

In addition, since the HbA1c test is simply an average of one’s high blood sugars and low blood sugars, it’s important to keep your blood sugar consistent and stable, with your time in your target range as high as you can get it. Studies have linked more stable blood sugars (and not gigantic swings between highs and lows) to longer life for those with diabetes. Most people aim for an HbA1c lower than 7%, but check with your doctor for your ideal target.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen daily is crucial for preventing the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. Even on cloudy days, your skin will absorb 80% of the sun’s rays, and with it, harmful UV radiation. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every time you go outside. Ample use is crucial: On average, people only use about 20-25% of the amount of sunscreen needed for sufficient protection, so make sure to lather up!

3. Move Your Body

It’s no surprise that exercise is healthy for people, especially people living with chronic conditions like diabetes. Exercise is crucial for heart health, to manage blood sugars, increase lung capacity, and build and tone muscles to prevent future injury. All of the short term benefits of exercise add up to a longer, healthier life. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, more if able! A study showed that people who exercise vigorously for only 3 hours a week had cells that were 9 years younger than nonexercisers.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

4. Spend Time Outside

Nearly 50% of adults have low vitamin D levels, due to our sedentary lifestyle and the fact that most Americans live and work inside most hours of the day. Vitamin D (which can be absorbed right into the skin when people go outside) is important for proper immune system functioning, healthy teeth and bones, managing depression, and may even help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes! Getting outside for just 15 minutes a day is usually enough to maintain adequate vitamin D levels for most people.

5. Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Blue Zone countries, places around the world that have notoriously long, healthy life expectancies, place a lot of emphasis on socializing with family and friends. Having a social circle can help people get through hard times, reduce daily stress, boost resilience and immune response, and act as a literal shoulder to cry on. This is especially important for people with diabetes who can oftentimes feel isolated and alone with their condition. Connecting with others in our struggle can help extend life expectancy: studies show that maintaining a social circle can help people live up to 50% longer, and having just 3 close social ties can decrease your risk of an early death by 200%. 

6. Eat Whole Foods, Mostly Plants

Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will be full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can extend life. Even if you don’t go completely vegetarian or vegan, eating more whole, unprocessed foods is beneficial for a healthy life, and to prevent diabetes complications. Many studies over the years have correlated a plant-forward diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as protective factors against cancer, heart disease, depression, and dementia. People who eat mostly plants tend to have lower body weight, healthier blood pressure levels, and have significantly lower mortality risk. Bon Appetit!

7. Meditate to Manage Stress

Stress has been correlated with shorter life expectancies, and learning to manage it through meditation and yoga can improve and lengthen your life. Successfully managing stress through meditation can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, boost your immune response, and improve your relationships, all of which add up to a healthier, longer life. Check out some free meditation apps to get you going!

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

8. See Your Doctor Regularly

Regularly seeing your doctor for screens and tests can catch diseases early (such as cancer), and can ensure an appropriate and timely treatment plan if something is detected. Mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears are some of the routine tests and screens scientifically proven to decrease mortality from the diseases they screen for. It may not be fun, but it’s proven, effective, and worth it!

9. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Sugar is the new tobacco. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist from England, shares, “…added sugar is completely unnecessary. Contrary to what the food industry wants you to believe, the body doesn’t require any carbohydrate energy from added sugar.”

There is evidence linking sugar not only to obesity and higher incidence rates of type 2 diabetes, but also to liver disease, heart disease and tooth decay (which can lead to dementia). If you cut out added sugar from your diet, you are also more likely to gravitate to unpackaged, whole foods, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and life-extending properties.

10. Get More Sleep

One in three Americans don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked with a plethora of negative outcomes on many body systems, including cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Side effects of not getting enough Zs include obesity, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, stroke and increased risk of developing cancer that can all shorten one’s life. Sleep is when the body replenishes cells, is crucial to proper brain functioning, regulates one’s metabolism, and repairs damage done to the body during the day. Adequate sleep promotes healing of all body systems, and getting enough of it can extend your life. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.

These small, easy changes can add up to many more healthy years. Try to incorporate a few of these strategies into your routine today to increase your life expectancy!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Advocating for Better Care in the Hospital

Most everyone knows that landing yourself in the hospital with diabetes can mean trouble for your diabetes management. A recent study by the NHS showed that patients with type 1 diabetes are 3.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19, and people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 in the hospital as compared to people who don’t have diabetes.

Patients with diabetes have complained about the quality of care they receive in the hospital setting for a long time, and improvements are slow to reach the bedside. So, what gives? And how can you better advocate for yourself should you find yourself being admitted to the hospital any time soon?

Know Your Rights

Even though you’re in the hospital, you still have rights that doctors need to abide by. If you’re willing and able, some hospitals will let you sign a waiver allowing you to manage your insulin intake and test your own blood sugars while in-patient. If you’re on a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and/or insulin pump, make sure you ask the nursing staff if you can stay on your technology for the duration of your stay.

Note: Staff will still come into your room and manually check your blood sugar with a hospital-grade meter every few hours, even if you have your CGM on. The more control you can have over your insulin intake and blood sugar management, the better.

John, who lives with type 1 and is from Iowa, says,

“About five years ago I had an overnight stay at the hospital for surgery, and the nurse told me that I had to remove my pump for the stay. I explained I would feel more comfortable with my own settings and control. She finally relented, but made me fill out a sheet every time I bolused or checked my blood sugar, and I was yelled at several times when I forgot to fill out the form… I was happy when her shift ended.”

Ginger, who lives with type 1 diabetes, recalls her experience in labor and delivery with her baby,

“They withheld insulin from me, and I had to take secret injections in the bathroom to keep my blood sugar at an even 90 mg/dL for the sake of my soon-to-be-born child.”

Managing in a New Setting

Managing diabetes in the hospital setting is extremely different from everyday life: your exercise and physical activity levels are way lower, you don’t have control over much of your diet, and things like infections and stress levels can leave your blood sugar sky-high. Keep in mind that you may need to increase basal rates or doses during this time, especially if you’re dealing with illness or infection on top of environmental change. Some ways to improve your management while in the hospital include:

  • If able, walk laps around the floor to get some steps in
  • Don’t request the “diabetic meal”- these meals are extremely high in carbohydrate, and are just fixed at a certain number of carbohydrates per meal. They are not low-carb. Instead, opt for ordering menu items “a la carte” where you can choose a few different protein options and low-starch vegetables as a side
  • Increase your basal rates or doses accordingly (do not just continually bolus, as this can cause your blood glucose levels to crash)
  • If you’re on an IV drip for hydration, make sure it is NOT a dextrose drip (this is the most common kind and will quickly send you into DKA)
  • Make sure the hospital staff allows you to dose for meals before you eat! (due to liability issues, many will try and force patients to dose after they’ve eaten).
  • Try mindful meditation or gentle chair yoga to calm the mind
  • Remind  yourself that your stay is only temporary

Amy, who lives with type 1, expresses her frustration over the meal options that hospitals often provide for their patients,

“Although the doctors were wonderful, I found that they, unfortunately, do not get involved with a type 1 diabetic’s diet. So my first night there (before surgery) I was given a very high-carb meal. Pasta, bread, fruit, and dessert. The nutritionist told me that this was the ‘recommended diet’ since it was pre-carb counted.”

Allie from Brooklyn agreed that getting adequate care in the hospital setting was almost impossible,

“a hospital I was in once denied me insulin for a full 24 hours because they couldn’t get an endocrinologist on call to come consult…”

Advocate for Yourself

When all else fails, you must advocate for yourself. Being in a hospital can be lonely and scary, but if you’re well enough to advocate for better care, you must. Many hospitals and providers are not up to date on the latest diabetes technology and care, so arm yourself appropriately. Some helpful information to have on hand:

  • Contact information for your endocrinologist and primary care physician
  • A printed out diabetes medical management plan detailing how you manage your diabetes to provide to the hospital staff
  • A printed list of all your prescriptions
  • Contact information for your pharmacy and pharmacist
  • An emergency contact’s information

Judy, a type 1 from Georgia, laments,

“…after the hospital began hydrating me (with a dextrose drip), I continued to get worse. They ended up not even putting me on an insulin drip, and removed by insulin pump so during that time I had no insulin on board whatsoever. Eventually, I was transferred to the ICU until an endocrinologist finally realized what was going on…”

Advocating and standing up for yourself can sometimes be the best guarantee that you will receive the treatment you need and deserve when in the hospital setting.

Diabetes is a multifaceted condition affecting major organs and entire body systems. It requires close, quality care and fine attention to detail. As diabetes can affect everyone differently, one must work with their healthcare team to create and follow a care plan based on one’s individual needs. Making sure that patients get this quality care in the hospital setting is crucially important, both for acute and long-term health outcomes.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

What It’s Like as a High-Risk Individual Six Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic

Let’s face it: type 1 diabetes has always been a huge annoyance. There’s nothing fun about always living on your toes, and there’s nothing normal about eating in your bed in the middle of the night. But the good news is that type 1 hasn’t stopped me from doing anything in life. I went to college thousands of miles away from home, traveled to numerous countries alone, and have held a successful career at Google for nearly five and a half years now. And even the things I worried about most as a young teen – like how it’d affect friendships and relationships – turned out to be a non-issue. The right people have always been by my side and supportive.

Type 1 has shaped me and even improved my life in such significant ways – and while of course, I’d get rid of it in a second if I could – I’m very appreciative of the personal growth, responsibility, and resilience it’s instigated. I’ve always tried focusing on the positives of type 1 – if I’m “stuck with it,” I might as well own it, control it to the very best of my ability and determine a way to thrive. And for over 12 years with this mentality, I’m fortunate that I have thrived with type 1.

While I naturally have a cautious personality, I’m a firm believer that it’s useless to worry about things out of your control. But what about things that are in your control? When COVID-19 first started earlier this year, it was clear that if I stayed home, stayed away from people, got deliveries versus going shopping myself, etc., I’d have a very low likelihood of contracting COVID-19. I’m very fortunate that I have a job that allows me to work from home, complete control over my home environment, and no responsibilities such as children right now, where their wellbeing would also be a key factor in my decisions. So yes, while I knew I was in control, I didn’t know what great expense that would come at, nor that it would last so long.

Photo credit: Caroline Levens

I’ll admit I had a heightened sense of concern early on in COVID-19. I bought an N95 before COVID-19 was even known to be spreading in the US and was self-quarantined by the first week of March. And up until recently, I felt my COVID-19 experience was probably one collectively shared by nearly everyone – of course, everyone had cabin fever, and COVID had affected their plans, friendships and relationships in unexpected and unfortunate ways.

Then COVID fatigue seemingly blanketed the nation – myself included. The mentality that “well, if this is seemingly going to go on forever, I’ve got to start living my life again. I can’t stay inside forever. The death rate is extremely low anyway. I’d probably be fine. Or whatever I’d experience has got to be better than a year or so cooped up inside.”

And just like that, for the very first time in my life, type 1 felt like it was limiting what I could do. My thoughts and COVID-19 exhaustion was shared with mass America, but I didn’t have the privilege to act on them. And somehow it made it much harder when I felt like the only one still sheltering in place – which, of course, I’m not. There are millions of high-risk individuals – and loved ones of high-risk individuals – experiencing the same thing. But it sure doesn’t help seeing pictures of friends on social media living a life I long for so much right now. I recognize that it is my decision how to respond to COVID-19, but to me, it feels practically synonymous to my immune system declining all invites on my behalf.

To be fair, there are many type 1’s who have largely resumed their normal lives, though many of them are children and have a lower likelihood of experiencing severe complications, or are in lower-risk areas. But at this point in COVID-19 – I personally feel I can’t let up. Health is one of my very top personal priorities, and the truth is, I don’t know what kind of experience I’d have if I were to contract COVID-19, both short term and long term. And to clarify, it’s not just type 1 that has me on my guard – I’m also immunocompromised and have several other autoimmune diseases.

There’s a heavy emotional toll that comes with being part of a high-risk community. Early on in the pandemic, I questioned where type 1 fit in the picture when they said diabetes was a high-risk factor. It was also known that obesity was a huge risk factor, so I was skeptical if it was diabetes in itself that was the risk or intertwined with the risk posed by obesity, which is strongly correlated to type 2. Then came a study out of the UK with thousands of diabetics that showed actually type 1s had significantly higher death rates than type 2s. I personally lost a type 1 friend from my teens, and he was 26, one year younger than me. I’ve read about countless stories that range from minor cold-like symptoms to months of enduring fatigue to permanent lung damage and more.

Riding out sheltering in place is hard – but if I were to have a severe case of COVID-19 that damaged my health, I’d never be able to forgive myself. So I continue doing the best I can. And no doubt it’s come with sacrifices – I couldn’t attend my grandma’s funeral, it put a strain on a relationship I was in, l didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to friends who moved away for good, and even though I’m a total homebody and introvert at heart, I’ve experienced loneliness for the first time.

I know long-term this is just another part of the type 1 journey in life. The level of gratitude I’ll have for the most simple things will be immeasurable post-COVID-19… hugging a grandparent, going grocery shopping, having lunch with a friend. With any luck, I won’t have any future experiences where I feel type 1 is stopping me again, but if I do, I’ll be better equipped to handle it.

So why am I writing this? There’s been so much criticism towards those still staying home, those still wearing masks in outdoor settings, those not sending their children back to school, and it’s really uncalled for and disrespectful in my opinion. You have no idea what someone else is going through, and many of the highest-risk conditions are invisible.

In summary, if you’re not high-risk and are comfortable resuming your normal life, recognize that’s a privilege many aren’t fortunate enough to have. For millions of people at home for one reason or another – be it type 1, older family members, or other medical conditions – we’re still riding out an isolating quarantine, compounded by the stressor of uncertainty and the unknown timeline. So keep in mind that everyone is experiencing COVID-19 differently, and trust that other people know what’s best for them, just as you know what’s best for you. Your pandemic may have “ended,” but others still have to be as on guard as they were months back — all while not knowing if it’s the beginning, middle or end of this wild ride.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Can You Manage Diabetes Well Without Lots of Money?

If you live in a country like the United States, where the majority of health insurance is privatized and there is no strong social safety net, it can feel as though managing a chronic disease like diabetes requires nothing but lots of money. And it does. As of 2017, diabetes cost the United States a staggering $327 billion dollars per year on direct health care costs, and people with diabetes average 2.3x higher health care costs per year than people living without the disease.

Diabetes is also devastatingly expensive personally: the cost of insulin has risen over 1200% in the past few decades, with no change to the chemical formula. In 1996, when Eli Lilly’s Humalog was first released, the price for a vial of insulin was $21. In 2019, that same vial costs around $275. Studies show that 1 in 4 people ration insulin simply due to cost. Diabetes Daily recently conducted a survey study, with almost 2,000 participants, of which an overwhelming 44% reported  struggling to afford their insulin.

So where does this leave patients who don’t have tons of money to spend on insulin and supplies, or who don’t have adequate health insurance coverage for the technology to help prevent complications? Can you manage diabetes well without lots of money? The short answer is yes. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Best Practices for Managing with Less

If you have insurance coverage, but are unable to afford a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or insulin pump, it’s advisable to follow best practices for optimal diabetes management. According to the Mayo Clinic, one should test their blood sugar:

  • Upon waking
  • Before meals and snacks
  • Before and after exercise
  • Before bed
  • More often during illness
  • More often when traveling or changing a daily routine
  • More often if on a new medication

One study has even shown that following a lower carbohydrate diet can improve health outcomes, reduce complications, and cut down on medication costs for people living with diabetes.

The study goes on to say that, “…insulin dependent diabetics can expect to half or third their insulin requirements. Less insulin injected results in more predictable blood sugars and less hypoglycemia.” However, no patient should ever feel pressured to follow a low carbohydrate diet solely to control the cost of their medications. There can be more effective ways to manage the cost of medications and supplies.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

No Matter What You Think, Get Coverage

People with diabetes need health insurance coverage. In the short term, this makes sense, as insulin and things like insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, syringes, and test strips are expensive. But it also makes sense long term as well. People with diabetes can face serious complications as they age: diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness and amputations, and is a leading cause of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease and premature death in its sufferers. Having health insurance helps pay for things like surgery, preventive screenings, doctors’ appointments and follow-up care, and any additional medicine and needs that’s needed.

It may seem cheaper to forego coverage, but don’t. Check to see if you’re eligible for Medicaid in your state. If you are, this comprehensive coverage will help you access affordable medication, doctors’ visits, emergency and preventive care. If Medicaid is not an option, see if you qualify for a tax subsidy on the federal or your state’s health exchange. There, you can find a range of affordable options that will cover your diabetes care and (especially) insulin prescriptions.

Get Help Paying for Insulin

Even if you have health insurance coverage, the cost of your insulin may be prohibitively high. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of adults aged 18-64 enrolled in a high deductible health plan rose from 10.6% to 24.5%. These plans have a high dollar amount that consumers must meet before their plan kicks in to help pay for things like prescriptions or hospital stays. Some high deductible health plans have deductibles as high as $10,000. This means that someone with diabetes could potentially pay the full $275 a vial for their insulin, every time they fill their prescription, until they reach their $10,000 deductible. These types of plans are cheaper monthly (have lower premiums), but don’t offer great coverage.

If you need help paying for your insulin, you can get low cost insulin through these assistance programs:

  • Eli Lilly’s $35 Co-Pay Program: Launched in early April in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Eli Lilly is introducing their Lilly Insulin Value Program, which allows anyone with commercial insurance and anyone without insurance to fill their monthly prescriptions of insulin for $35.
  • Novo Nordisk: Novo Nordisk has recently launched a $99 program, where people needing insulin assistance can purchase up to three vials or two packs of FlexPen®/FlexTouch®/Penfill® pens or any combination of insulins from Novo Nordisk Inc. for $99.
  • Sanofi: Launched in 2019, Sanofi’s program allows people living with diabetes in the United States to pay $99 for their Sanofi insulins (with a valid prescription), for up to 10 boxes of pens and/or 10 mL vials per month.
  • Medicare: Medicare recently unveiled a pilot program that would cap the cost of insulin. The Medicare Part D Senior Savings Model would cap insulin co-payments to $35 per month, starting in January 2021. Seniors must sign up for a plan that will qualify under the pilot during the open enrollment period, which is October 15 through December 7.
  • Buy a State-Regulated Health Plan: If you live in Colorado ($100 per prescription per month), Illinois ($100 per 30 day supply), Delaware ($100 per 30 day supply), New York ($100 per 30 day supply), Utah ($30 per 30 day supply), West Virginia ($100 per 30 day supply), Maine ($35 per 30 day supply), New Mexico ($25 per 30 day supply), Virginia ($50 per 30 day supply), Washington ($100 per 30 day supply), or New Hampshire ($30 per 30 day supply) and you buy a state-regulated health plan, you are eligible for a copayment cap on insulin (implementation dates pending, but Colorado was the first bill to be implemented and it went into effect January 1st, 2020).

Check the fine print of any health insurance plans on the federal or your state’s exchange to see if they are eligible for the copayment cap. More states are introducing legislation in 2021, so keep an eye out for a bill proposing some similar changes in your state!

Get Help Paying for Supplies

Several companies have launched affordability programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few new programs are:

  • Dexcom: Is offering up to two shipments of 90-days of Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System supplies, with each shipment consisting of one transmitter and three boxes of three sensors for $45 per 90-day supply shipment. For existing customers only, if you qualify.
  • Omnipod: Is offering a six-month supply of products (60 pods) free of charge. The program is focused on current US customers who have lost jobs and health insurance as a result of the pandemic.
  • One Drop: This online subscription package charges the consumer a monthly fee, and you get access to cheaper test strips, online personal health coaching, and a mobile app to track your progress. If your health insurance doesn’t adequately cover test strips, this can be an affordable and effective way to go.
diabetes advocacy

Photo credit: T1International Instagram

Advocate for Change

If you see or are experiencing injustice, you should always try and advocate for change. This means writing letters to your elected officials, calling your members of Congress, petitioning your health insurer, testifying for bills that support better health care coverage, and raising your voice to improve policies that will benefit all people living with diabetes. Get involved in the diabetes online community on Facebook or Twitter. Sign up to become an advocate with T1International. Donate to your favorite diabetes charity who’s working to make things better.

Show up at your state capitol and talk to people about what it’s like to live with diabetes, how expensive it is, and how crucial good coverage and affordable medications really are. You can live a great life with diabetes, but coverage, laws, regulations, and policies can always be better. And things won’t improve until we have everyone at the table, advocating for change.

How are you able to manage well with less to spend? What policies or changes would you like to see in the US healthcare system that would make management easier for you? Share this post and your story, below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Book Review: Actually, I Can.: Growing Up with Type 1 Diabetes, A Story of Unexpected Empowerment

Morgan J. Panzirer is 19 years old and is a student at Villanova University, majoring in biology and minoring in Spanish. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age six and is now working towards her goals of attending medical school and becoming a pediatric endocrinologist.

She recently published a book called “Actually, I Can.: Growing Up with Type 1 Diabetes, A Story of Unexpected Empowerment”. As with all our book reviews, I received a copy of the text at no charge, and I did not receive any additional compensation for my review.

There are many short chapters, as the author walks us through her life with diabetes, highlighting the highs and the lows of her experience in relatable and vivid ways. She shares her positive revelations, as well as frustrations. I think this text is a good read for young people with type 1 diabetes, and especially those who are newly diagnosed. Morgan’s story is really a wonderful example of making lemonade out of lemons, and will sure be inspirational to many.

The title of the book, “Actually, I can” refers to the common assumption that people with diabetes cannot eat sugar. The author explains,

“I can eat anything I want and it doesn’t have to be sugar-free as long as I give myself the proper amount of insulin. There is no special diet I have to follow. I can eat literally anything I want to. Sorry, that sounds super aggressive but I can’t tell you how many times people assume everything I eat has to be sugar-free. It is incredibly frustrating.”

Morgan writes with great candor and a sense of humor, and I can’t imagine her stories wouldn’t be relatable to almost any young person with type 1 diabetes. The author’s upbeat attitude about living with the chronic and challenging health condition comes across throughout the entirety of the text. While she is very honest about the gravity of the disease and the difficulties of living with something so relentless day in and day out, she is also incredibly optimistic.

“The, “Oh my life sucks because I have this disease” attitude is not the one to live by. It is so much more empowering to think about it this way: “Yes this disease sucks, it is such a pain in the ass, and has had such an impact on my everyday life, but look at the kind of person it’s made me.” Make it into a positive. Not everything in your life has to be negative all of the time. This was something I had to learn because I was, like most, only seeing the negative. Just remember: there’s always a positive. No matter how deep it’s buried, I promise you it’s there. There is a reason that you’re in the situation you are right now. Whether it’s to better yourself or educate others, there is reasoning behind it. You may not understand why your life is hell now, but you will later. You have to trust me on that.”

In short, Panzirer’s book is honest and relatable about growing up with type 1 diabetes. It strikes the right balance of acknowledging the gravity and hardships of the condition with a great optimism and empowerment.

What has been your experience with type 1 diabetes? Please share your thoughts below, we love hearing from our readers.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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