There are 12 different types of diabetes, all of which are very different. Type one diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks insulin making cells. Type two diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use the insulin. For 20 years, I have had type one diabetes. Through many ups and downs, life has taught me a few tricks that can make the journey seem less like a turbulent flight on a sketchy airline. Whatever type of diabetes you have, these hacks can make dealing with the disease a little bit easier.
1. Find Support
Diabetes can be an emotionally isolating disease. So finding others who can relate is often life-changing. Search for groups on Facebook that fit your personality. Maybe it’s a diabetes related fitness page, or perhaps one that focuses on having children with diabetes. Either way, that connection is invaluable.
2. Subtle Food Swaps
Substitute half of the flour in recipes with almond flour. Use yogurt instead of milk when eating cereal, to fill up faster. Make your own keto Mcgriddles with Birch Benders keto waffles, organic egg and cheese with a drizzle of Lakanto maple syrup. Simple mills has amazing almond flour crackers, Smart Sweets are ultra low sugar gummies (they still have carbs), and Lily’s dark chocolate covered peanuts could easily replace MnMs. It’s common knowledge that diabetics can work in some treats into their diet, but these healthy alternatives make life easier.
3. Use Oral Probiotics
Diabetes can be tough on teeth for many reasons. One is that high glucose can lead to sugar in the saliva. This throws off mouth bacteria levels causing decay. But oral probiotics can restore vital good bacteria and can be a real game changer when it comes to dental health. Regular brushing, flossing, dental check ups and healthy foods along with oral probiotics can make all the difference.
4. Use Clever Low Blood Sugar Solutions
Low blood sugar is scary—diabetics need to access a quick sugar source to prevent serious reactions such as loss of consciousness. Baby food squeeze pouches with banana or other fruit are great and store easily in a bag. Glucose Revival necklaces have a diabetes identification charm and liquid glucose gel on the inside for quick access.
5. Try Fasting and Keto
Always talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes. Intermittent fasting has shown to have blood sugar stabilizing effects in diabetics. A healthy keto diet with plenty of low carb vegetables can help improve insulin sensitivity. It is possible for type 1 diabetics to fall into acidosis on a ketogenic diet, so only do so under medical guidance.
6. Consider Metformin
Metformin is controversial to some, but has made researchers believe it may can prevent cardiovascular disease. And it does increase insulin sensitivity. Be prepared for some tough side effects at first, like diarrhea and nausea, especially if eating too much fat. But this wonder pill can improve the overall health of those with both type 1 and 2 diabetes.
7. Prevent Keloids
Diabetics notoriously heal slowly. This can lead to something called keloid scarring which can appear lumpy and prominent. After surgery, piercings, or injuries, practice good scar management. Use silicone sheets or creams after the wound is progressively healing. After developing keloid scars there are still therapeutic options like injections and laser treatments.
8. Consider Clinical Trials
Clinical trials can be a good way to receive a little extra care. Sometimes they pay as well. Participants might be trying out a new drug, or even better, just equipment like glucose monitors. Check with your endocrinologist to find out about trials in the area.
9. Check for Food Allergies
Food sensitivities can play a huge role in unexplained high blood sugar. An allergy to a food causes inflammation, and inflammation causes insulin resistance. This spikes blood sugar levels. Consider an allergy or food sensitivity test to find out if any common ingredients are causing extra strain on your body, like wheat flour, milk, or shellfish. Trust us, there are a multitude of substitutions out there, so you’ll still enjoy eating.
10. Build Muscle
Building muscle helps control blood sugar. Muscle is more insulin sensitive than other tissue, so glucose is more easily converted to energy, preventing damage to the body. So this is much more effective than fat. Work on muscles gradually and use proper form—it may be worth a couple of personal training sessions to get down the routine. Weight lifting can cause blood sugar spikes, and high blood sugar makes it hard to gain muscle. So monitor and treat during workouts.
11. Focus on Feminine PH
Keeping track of feminine pH is important for women with diabetes. When sugar spikes, yeast and other bacteria thrive in places where the sun doesn’t shine. Keep strips on hand that make it easy to track what’s going on—these will tell you of you’re acidic or alkaline. Strangely, the vaginal region is one place in the body that should be acidic. There are suppositories that can help diabetics achieve “down there” health. Talk to your doctor about the options.